Fifteen Apply to Serve as W1 Founders

Four More Late Applications Will Not Be Considered, Says Residential Life Dean

939 w1
The southeast corner of MIT’s NW35 dormitory, which will soon house about fifty undergraduates.
Martin Segado—The Tech

Fifteen applications for the W1 “founders group” were received by Tuesday’s deadline, and the group’s student membership will be selected by Friday.

The founders group, which will have about ten members, will prepare the culture and structure of the new undergraduate dormitory W1 (currently Ashdown). Four students applied late; their applications will not be considered.

Associate Dean of Residential Life Donna M. Denoncourt said that almost 40 people attended two information sessions held to tell people about the founders group. Denoncourt said that the committee will choose about ten founders group members by Friday evening.

About 50 students, including the founders group, will move into the new graduate dormitory NW35 this fall in advance of moving into W1 when it reopens in fall 2010. W1 has been the graduate dormitory Ashdown House for decades, and NW35 will be named Ashdown when it opens this fall.

Because of the high interest seen so far, founders group organizers are confident that they will be able to fill the “colony” of students moving into NW35 next year. Denoncourt said that she and the founders group will settle details for selecting co-residents in about a month.

Sarah C. Hopp ’08, the Dormitory Council’s president and a member of the committee that will select W1 founders, said that she was confident that undergraduates would be interested in moving to NW35 and that she was not worried about a shortage of applicants. She said that the option to live in NW35 and later W1 will be “heavily promoted to the freshmen through the I3 videos,” introductions to MIT dormitories recorded by residents that are sent to new students and are available online via YouTube.

Fifteen applications were received by the deadline, and another four applications were submitted late, Denoncourt said. She said that although only the on-time applications are being considered, she hopes that late applicants will consider joining the W1 “colony” in the new graduate dorm NW35 next year.

Even the “colonists” who are not in the founders group will have some input into the future of the dormitory, probably through committees, future housemasters Suzanne Flynn and Jack Carroll told The Tech last week.

The committee for selecting the students contains Denoncourt, Hopp, Flynn, Carroll, and Undergraduate Association President Martin F. Holmes ’08. The selection committee is impressed by the level of interest in the project, Denoncourt said.

“It’s looking great,” she said.