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All are invited to residence-system IAP event

The entire MIT community -- faculty, staff, students, alumni/ae, parents and members of the Corporation -- are encouraged to take part in a two-week IAP session that aims to produce a design for the new approach to residential life and learning at MIT.

The new approach will address issues such as how freshmen houses are selected by incoming students and the timing of rush for dorms and fraternities, sororities and independent living groups as well as the bigger picture of how faculty and students interact overall.

The IAP session called "A Community Shapes Its Future: Designing the New Residence System at MIT" will be held January 19-29. Participants will divide into teams to propose designs for the system. The teams, which can be any size, can be pre-formed by participants or created after the session is under way. While not every participant has to attend every design and discussion session, each team must be represented at each of these sessions.

During the first five days, many students, faculty and staff members will lead discussion sessions and provide expertise. The teams will tackle the design work over the following five days, presenting their final plans on January 29. Each plan should address the enhanced role the residence system is expected to play within the MIT educational experience, as called for in the Report of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning.

Outstanding designs will be identified at the conclusion of the two-week experience, and will serve as the foundation for community discussion throughout the spring semester. These, in turn, will ultimately help define the system accepted by the chancellor for adoption and implementation by MIT.

"The Task Force Report on Student Life and Learning set forth some wonderful ideas on what community can mean in the undergraduate experience," said Kirk Kolenbrander, associate dean in the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education. "The decision to house freshmen in the dorms in fall 2001 gives us the opportunity to think about some changes for the residence system. The chancellor has invited the entire community to participate in the design of the new residential experience.

"We think this is the perfect IAP experience. We would really like to see people from all dimensions of the community come together and be a part of this," Dr. Kolenbrander said.

The Residence System Steering Committee, chaired by William J. Hecht, executive vice president of the Alumni Association, including four students, four faculty members and two alumni/ae, will direct the IAP session.

No pre-registration is necessary. See the web site at for more details.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 16, 1998.

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