Although it’s been 20 years since East Campus, I can state unequivocally that East Campus was a huge part of giving me my true sense of self, the self that was nearly impossible to uncover elsewhere.
The people at East Campus were, for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, a lot like me in outlook; they even laughed at my jokes. If you’ve never had people laugh at your jokes in your entire life, you have no idea how powerfully freeing and transformative the experience is. Not all of MIT’s undergraduate population matched me or would laugh at my jokes, but thankfully, thanks to dormitory choice, I found home.
Even now, I still believe passionately in dormitory choice, precisely because it allows young people to finally, at long last, find the few, rare people who understand them and can help them find and be themselves.