MIT provides more opportunities than students can possibly take advantage of in their time here as undergraduates. Some people choose to take 7 classes, others push themselves in research aiming for a publication, and still others get involved with campus activities or are varsity athletes. Similarly, some spend a lot of time on these “out-of-dorm” commitments, but other students choose to spend a lot of their time around the dorm.
Those who live in East Side dorms are no different. In particular, at Senior House, I’m one of those people that takes a full load of classes and is also very passionate about research. As a result, I’m often super busy and primarily asleep in my dorm. But even for me, it is so important that when I do hang out, or work on psets late into the night, I feel comfortable with the people around me.
As a pre-frosh at CPW, I stayed in Burton-Connor and was hosted by a Course 6 sophomore, who showed me around BC and even brought me to a meeting with her UROP supervisor. All the people I met in BC were cool and I had a lot in common with them. But I had always heard from MIT admissions that each dorm was different and there was an optimal place for each student. Even though I thought this sounded a bit corny, I was determined to explore other dorms, and make a well-informed decision. After the bouncy-ball drop and a magnificent tour of a painted fun haus, I knew that Senior House was the place for me. It wasn’t that BC was bad, but that SH was better for me.
If East Side dorms and cultures are removed in favor of traditional dorm experiences with standard student rooms, meal plans, and tight security, then there will be a group of East Side students living in a place sub-optimal for them. Just imagine the opposite: what if everyone at MIT was forced to live in a place with East Side Culture? Would that be optimal for everyone? Would it allow students who want East Side Culture to live with the most comfort and freedom? And what about those who fit into something completely different?
So please, MIT, for the sake of every single wonderful student that you’ve brought here, don’t ruin the East Side Culture.