When it comes down to it....

One of the experiences at Williams that I will value most is the opportunity to be the person at the other end of the hiring table. Our student body is filled with huge numbers of leaders, and one of the more difficult tasks is sometimes discerning who is to take our place in the coming years.

The great revelation, which can be applied to national politics, is that there is a huge, and even insurmountable, difference between those who are hiring, and those who are being hired. My goal in helping to select those to ring the Thompson bells is to get the best group possible; complete equity isn't nearly as much of a priority as getting the best group.

That doesn't mean that I won't do this fairly (indeed, I'll be reading the applications blind), but it does mean that  I'll know a lot more about the other side of the interviewing table the next time I want a job. That's experience that I can truly value.

More on Susie....

Per Jr. Mom's request:

The map at right is an excerpt of an actual map of campus. There aren't too many of them, but unfortunately, the website's map isn't exactly to scale. You can see the President's house at the top, just over Route 2, and proceeding south from there, one goes over West, the Science Center, Morley Circle (home of the MCC, BSU, QSU, etc), Doughty co-op, and finally, at the very bottom, to Susie Hopkins house.

That it's a little off the beaten path is a bit of an understatement, but with a campus as small as Williams's, that means Paresky is less than a 1/2 mile away by foot. In addition, you're very close to Tunnel City and Spring Street. It's nothing difficult, especially by bike, and although the contour lines are hard to see, Susie's on a nice little hill with a great view up campus.

The real genius of Susie, however, is all found in the floor plan (PDF). As you can see, the whole house holds but 9 residents, and there's a giant kitchen with a breakfast nook, and a magnificent pantry.

An added bonus is in our good pick # and the rooms my group got. I'll almost certainly be in 201, which has a real closet (gasp), access to the private porch/balcony that looks out over the woods, and might also be in the Top 10 list for largest rooms on campus.

Add in a large living/common room, a working fireplace w/ mantle, a nice staircase, two fridges (maybe we'll unplug one and save energy?), great housemates, and lots of friends coming to cook without the interruptions in dorms, and you have a great place to spend your last year. How's that do it?

PS: One interesting pattern I noticed: Last year, Susie had at least two folks who were at WEPO my freshman year, and this year, there are also two WEPOers living in Susie (at least). Next year, I have two WEPOers living with me in the house. The chances of this happening have to be absolutely minuscule, but that's life, I suppose.

Getting Closer to Star Wars.....

Williams Housing

In tromping all over campus yesterday, checking out various housing options, it occurred to me that we unappreciated how great our housing situation is at Williams. While our dorms our completely unsuited to any sort of organization, they do have wonderful rooms.

Think about it: our freshmen get to live in mostly single rooms, and sophomore doubles are almost always of a fair size. Juniors and Seniors get promised singles (and most students only have a roommate one year), as well as gorgeous houses.

We don't live in towers, and we don't live in triples or quads. We're pretty blessed by the situation, and in visiting Milham, Doughty, Chadbourne, Woodbridge, Lambert, and Susie over the past two days, I saw just how great the Cream-of-the-Crop is. Milham: beautiful, especially the mantelpieces. Susie: luxuriously large. Woodbridge: a true home. Lambert: a small house with big rooms. Doughty: just plain old gorgeous, with a piano in the huge common room. Chadbourne: cozy, with a great location. While I'm so so so grateful for my great pick #, I'm also glad to have been able to live in all of my rooms on campus. I lucked out.

Now, if I was only able to clean the room I have now.....

EDIT @ 3:11 PM (partially for Ephblog visitors)

It would be an understatement to say that the co-op draw had a few more people entering than beds. I don't think Williams will ever be able to really satisfy the demand. You can see on the co-op page that there are at least 52 groups in the draw, and that group 21 has 130ish people in front of it, so you can do the math.

Because the final few rooms in a co-op aren't usually so big, the most important factor when picking into them are one's housemates. So in that sense, there's a self-correcting mechanism to make sure that the 2 people ending up in Milham are compatible with the 7 who are picking in. (and indeed, that will be the case this year)

I'm also amazed at how even the people in group 8 are going to be forced to choose between poker and doubles, if everything works out as I expect. These are a small number of small houses.

Housing is Wonderful, aka I have a great pick #

Followup to this post from Ephblog.

Housing, for me, has never really been that important. Granted, where I live and who I live with has a huge effect on my life, but it would be folly to say I've given pick groups and such too much mind. I still remember the beginning of sophomore year, when I was approached by several people exploring off-campus housing options, and being utterly amazed that someone would really think in so much detail about something so far in the future.

In any case, my travels through Williams housing have been haphazard. A last-minute pick group freshman year split between Morgan, West, and Brooks. While I ultimately made friends in Morgan (I got the last single in the building), and I'm glad to have been on that hall and in that location, it wasn't ideal.

Likewise last year, with another haphazard pick group that split between sides of Mark Hopkins. Considering I had a worse pick last year than the year before, I think I made out very well in my senior single.

This year, it's much more important, because of all of the amazing housing opportunities seniors get. Many of my friends are going "off-campus" (an ironic name, since most off-campus housing is closer to the center of campus than on-campus housing, but I digress), and I formed another pick group, but one I was really happy with. We made a SMALL group for co-op draw, under the logic that it would increase our chances of being able to get into a partially filled house or suite.

Well, lo and behold, we have pick #2, and now I'm getting lots of very kind e-mails and phone calls ever-so-politely inquiring as to where I might choose to live this coming Wednesday.

To which I say: I have no freaking clue. I have at least 5 houses to visit beforehand, so tomorrow will be busy, but right now, I'm in love with Williams. It's a pity the reason is so arbitrary.

"Plans rolling to reopen the Log"

From the Berkshire Eagle, by Scott Stafford:
Klass said that while the proposal seems well-prepared and the concept sound, "it would require the college to increase its staffing when we’ve been cutting back."

There are also a number of "complex legalities and risk management factors" that must be studied before any decision is made, he noted.

But it is the most complete proposal he has seen coming from the student body.

"There’s really nothing substantial they neglected -- it’s just a little incomplete. And [the students] have been great to work with," Klass said.

He said the process of considering all the impacts would take a few weeks.