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Housing: How About Some Data?
Where is the data in the discussion on reforming Dartmouth’s housing policy? Has anyone canvassed alumni from different eras and asked them how and where they made their best friends at the College? In fact, have any anthropological or sociological tools been brought to bear in this discussion? Jim Kim used to talk about his “ethnography” of the College, but I fear that this was no more than another empty, but impressive-sounding, term from our ex-leader. Similarly, Director of Residential Education Mike Wooten (right) regularly throws up a storm of jargon, but I have yet to hear a single statistic from him. Memo to Mike: properly sourced numerical data contains more information than buzzwords.
Dartmouth’s housing policy can be divided into three eras since the advent of coeducation:
a) 1972 to the mid-1980’s, when students had the option of remaining for four years in a dorm and all classes were mixed in each residence hall;
b) Mid-1980’s to mid-1990’s, when students were shunted around campus each time they returned to Hanover, but all classes were mixed together;
c) Mid-1990’s until today, when freshmen were segregated in their own dorms, and upperclass students moved from dorm to dorm.
How about a survey of alumni from all three periods? They can then share with us their perception of the quality of their residential experience at Dartmouth, and from their responses we can pick and choose policies based on real information.
My correspondent today was in no doubt about the importance of his dorm life in the late 1980’s, even though he was a member of a fraternity. And my own experience in the 1970’s — in a dorm that was almost like a private club — was the highlight of the social side of my time in Hanover. Will anyone from the last twenty years speak highly of dorm life among Dartmouth students? Shouldn’t we find out the answers to these questions in a manner that befits a College where first-class research is conducted?
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…