What is this?

This site is our attempt at collecting a large sampling of students’ and alums’ feelings about East Side living group cultures at MIT. It was originally prepared in anticipation of a visit by Chancellor Barnhart to East Campus, in the hopes that we could create a body of writing about why we love where we live. The response was overwhelming: posts poured in from freshmen, upperclassmen, recent alumni, non-recent alumni, friends, parents, and educators. Each wrote of how the spaces provided in the walls of East Campus, Senior House, Random, Bexley, and elsewhere shaped who they are and what they know.

Now that we have closed submissions, we hope that this site will serve as a sort of time capsule of opinions on the East Side. It is not intended to undermine other dormitories or living groups: those spaces serve their residents’ own needs well, and making this an “us vs. them” issue is counterproductive and off-message.

Instead, if at some point in the future an administrator wonders why we let students paint on their walls, or ponders what drives someone to write a song about their dorm, or perhaps (not too long from now) when we discuss how to seed the culture in a new dormitory, we hope that this site’s contents serve to explain why we love it here.

If you’re curious, you can read the original email sent out asking for submissions, or jump into the posts directly by using the navigation menu above. We’ve selected some submissions for acclimation purposes under the Good Starting Posts menu item, but we hope you take the time to explore the site and see what people felt they could share.

Finally, if you’d like to get in touch or find out how you can contribute to similar projects in the future, don’t hesitate to contact us at opinions@mit.edu. Thanks!


The This is the East Side team