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This Wednesday at 4:30 (in McCullough) we’re hosting our second and final student forum to discuss changes to the Commons system. If turnout is anything like it was at the first forum—5 or 6 students—then I will be inclined to believe (along with the President) that students are basically okay with this change and that the consulting phase of this next phase in the Commons’ development is over.

Am I right about this? Another possible interpretation—apart from the usual caveat that students are very busy—is that people really only pay attention when they know change is imminent. So as the administrator whose office will be tasked with the responsibility for managing this change, I will (recklessly) hazard the following conclusion: this is a done deal. Maybe that pronouncement will boost attendance.

Of course, nothing is ever really done, which is why students may want to join this discussion. One question that warrants more consideration has to do with juniors and seniors. Once upperclassmen are “free” from the current room draw guidelines to live anywhere on campus, what will they have to do with the Commons? This general question is probably best explored through a series of more specific questions:

  • Assuming most juniors and seniors will live in res halls that are not assigned to Commons, who will administer these dorms? Should the RA’s report to some central office, as opposed to a Commons office?

  • How about the classrooms, lounges, and other public spaces (like the library in Hall B)? Will these be Commons-free zones, or should they—for the purposes of programming—be assigned to Commons?

  • Commons Councils: will older students “return” to their Commons to play a leadership role on Councils? What sort of role do we imagine the Councils playing in the Commons of the future?

  • Should each Commons set aside rooms in the geographic heart of each Commons for students who would like to continue to play a leadership role in the Commons? Does proximity matter at all for juniors and seniors?

Having reached the wall in these 1-2-3-4 musings about 4/2 Commons, I will stop here, and wait to see if students take the next step at our forum on Wednesday.

Have we missed anything?

No Responses to “4/2 Commons, Part IV: Done Deal?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, I do not believe the lack of attendance is due to students agreeing with the change. While they are busy, the real reasons are a bit more bleak. Many do not feel the administration acutally cares about their views. Such changes as the RA/CRA ones done despite the majority opinion to the contrary (a prime example being the loss of Dean David Edleson, who epitomized what the Deans should be, and one of the only real hopes to the Commons system) had a poor effect on the trust of students. Beyond that, the commons system does not directly affect the lives of most students except for housing concerns. They, thus far, have not constituted a real community on campus (apart from the select group of students directly involved in commons councils) and thus fixing the housing situation makes the entire issue of the commons system moot for the majority of students.

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