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Though students thought that anchor housing had disappeared, it turned up again, suddenly, in fall 2004, when news was leaked to the Williams ''[[Record]]'' that the 2004-2005 CUL (led by Professor Will Dudley, an alum from the days when students were affiliated with one house throughout their upperclass years) was going to propose the system again. The proposed system involved creating six clusters, with houses in each cluster scattered across campus but united by a centrally located [[anchor house]]. Which freshman [[Entry]] a student belongs to determines which cluster the student would be assigned to as a rising sophomore. In the original article breaking the story, [[Morty]] was quoted as saying that anchor housing was in the student body's best interest, and the only trick would be to convince them.
The immediate student reaction was strong opposition. Commentary saturated the ''Record'' and [[WSO blogs]] for some time after the initial announcement. A group of students dedicated to preventing the implementation of anchor housing and maintaining free agency housing formed the group [[Anchors Away]]. These students conducted surveys of students (in one case, they collected written opinions from almost 200 Williams students opposed to anchor housing), wrote letters to the CUL, ''Record'', and [[Trustees]], and compiled documents detailing student objections to the anchor housing proposal. Their efforts culminated in a failed campaign for the [[College Council]] co-presidency by
Brian Hirschman '06 and Amarnath Santhanam '07.
In January 2005, the Committee on Undergraduate Life made a series of substiantial changes to the anchor housing proposal. Entries were detatched from clusters in favor of randomly assigning rising sophomores. This was generally regarded as an improvement by students. Additionally, the CUL determined that larger clusters would be more conducive to forming so-called genuine communities and decreased the number of clusters to five. The cluster boundaries were also redrawn to be geographically localized; each cluster, instead of comprising houses from all areas of campus, would consist of nearby houses. Also, the CUL began to refer to the new housing proposal by the name ''cluster housing'' instead of ''anchor housing'', because they felt that "anchor housing" gave too much of an impression that students would be stuck to something in their residential lives. Finally, the date of implementation was pushed back from fall 2005 to fall 2006. This move was highly regarded by the student body.