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Bacow mulling ideas, student responses to housing plan

Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow moved swiftly on proposals for a redesigned housing system and conducted discussions with the groups that submitted them. He received the plans on October 7, one from a coalition of student groups and the other from the Residence System Steering Committee (RSSC).

"My discussions with both groups were candid and very helpful," Chancellor Bacow said. "I learned a lot about the thinking behind each of the proposals." Drawing from both proposals and providing his own input, he will issue a written decision that will be available to the community.

The Unified Student Proposal for an MIT Residence System was drafted by the Strategic Advisory Committee to the Chancellor, the Undergraduate Association, the Dormitory Council and the Interfraternity Council.

The Unified plan, described as "the latest draft," calls for $273.5 million to be used for capital projects to be completed in three phases by the summer of 2009. In addition, the plans calls for a Student Life Council (SLC) to be formed with $25,000 to $50,000 allotted annually for student-faculty gatherings. The SLC would also act as the governing board for student life issues.

Other recommendations include placing a House Fellow in every living group and hiring half-time assistants for housemasters, creating a Student Development Program to help undergraduates develop non-classroom skills, developing a network of peer advisors, permitting senior administrators responsible for the student life system to earn bonuses, and providing subsidies for FSILGs.

"Our proposal continues to evolve, and we invite you to make recommendations involving it," the authors said in the plan's executive summary. A final draft is scheduled to be released on Friday, Oct. 22.

In addition to its amended report, the RSSC gave Chancellor Bacow minutes from feedback sessions held since its release. Details of the RSSC plan were outlined in MIT Tech Talk on September 15. The RSSC final proposal is also available on the web.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 20, 1999.

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