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Anchor housing

1,761 bytes added, 01:04, March 9, 2006
History: Etymology: tried to give "Clusterfuck" the context it needs not to be a total non-sequiter
Anchor housing was first proposed by the 1999-2000 [[Committee on Undergraduate Life]] (CUL) under the leadership of Professor Charles Dew, a Williams alum from the time when College housing was based around fraternities. The proposed system was abandoned by the 2002 CUL in favor of making discrete changes to room draw procedures: decreasing the size of pick groups from 7 to 4, implementing a blind room draw, and instituting gender caps on individual houses. There are a number of reasons given for this change: 2005 CUL members claimed that the Committee of 2000 wanted to give their changes time to work, and allow time to see how the new [[House Coordinator]] system was faring; students who were on campus in 1999-2000 suggest that the student body protested the idea of anchor housing strongly enough to convince the CUL to back down; and some student members of the 2000 CUL claim that it was their objections to anchor housing that kept the system from being implemented in spring 2003.
In Winter Study 2004, 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]]. Each Freshman [[entry]] would be associated with a cluster, and rising sophomores would join the cluster of their entry. In the [ second article] breaking the story, [[Morton Owen Schapiro|Morty]] was quoted as saying, "It’s in the interests of the students, ultimately. The challenge is to explain why."
Shortly thereafter, commentary surfaced in the ''Record'', saturated [[WSO Blogs]], and continued for some time after the initial announcement. Most of the commentary from students was very critical of the proposed change. 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 two of their founding members.
In April 2005, College Council submitted a [ letter of opposition] to clusters to the adminsitration. The letter makes explicit the point that anchor housing cannot be successful without support from the students.
A suggestion by Dean [[Nancy Roseman ]] took both the CUL and student body by surprise in December 2005. Dean Roseman believed that there might not be enough dedicated students to fill the number of leadership positions needed in a five-cluster system. The new idea reduced the number of clusters to four and changed the distribution of dorms within clusters. In an effort to make each cluster's dorm space more equitable, the new plan turned [[Morgan]], [[Lehman]], [[East]], and [[FayFayerweather]] into upper-class (likely sophomore) housing, and moved the freshman entries previously located in those dorms to [[Mission Park]]. The former first-year dorms would recieve renovations to bolster the number of singles and availability of [[common room|common space]]. In general, students were encouraged by the reduction in number of clusters, but opinion on the relocation of freshmen was mixed. When students returned from [[Dead Week]] 2006, they recieved letters signed by President Schapiro and Dean Roseman announcing that this four-cluster plan will would be adopted in fall 2006, and students would enter it through the Spring 2006 [[room draw]].
== Etymology == Over the years, the system pushed forward to replace free agency has had many names, depending on the year and the discoursing parties. In its first years, 2001-3, Anchor Housing or Anchor Affiliation was the name given the proposed system by the CUL and used by all discussants.  When the CUL of 2004-5 gave the system a serious revision it decided to push new names for it as well. In Spring 2005, Professor Will Dudley, CUL chair, discussed the system under the name Cluster Housing or Cluster Affiliation in his visit then to [[College Council]]. He believed that the old name was part of what held back student acceptance of the system, that it carried the poor connotation of dead weight and being "tied down." The CUL report in late Spring of that year would refer to the system as "The Williams House System," but while "Cluster Housing" had been adopted somewhat by the community at large, "Williams House System" never entered common parlance. When the movement to affiliated housing and the debate over it resumed with the next academic year, the 2005-6 CUL began referring to clusters as "Neighborhoods." Helped in part by [[Anchors Away]], whose members refused to use the updated monikers probably partly due to counter-campaigning of their own, many students continued to use the original name, "Anchor Housing." ''Record'' news articles covering the system used the official up-to-date terms as they arose, while usually also including old ones. In contrast, some disgruntled students went a step in the other direction and termed the residential system by derogatory names, one of the most widely caught-on being ''Clusterfuck (Military Slang)A '' -- from military slang, a disastrous situation that results from the cumulative errors of several people or groups. In Also known as Charlie Foxtrot, in semi-polite company this is referred to as a Charlie Foxtrot.
==Student Opinion==