The first time I visited East Campus was before my freshman year, when I was visiting colleges. I stayed overnight with a friend on his birthday. Around 11pm, we all gathered in the kitchen. Around 15 hallmates were crowded around a cake with lit candles in the middle of the table, and we all sang happy birthday.
I didn’t realize then, just how difficult it is to take time out of an MIT schedule to bake a cake, or how important little gestures of affection are when you are under extreme stress.
A community based in a dorm is available for support 24-hours a day, unlike a community within your major, or club, or sport. Having the freedom to form and choose living communities is not specifically an East Campus issue. However I felt more at home in East Campus for four years than I did anywhere else. I hope that the self-reliance, support, and laughter will continue for many more years.