I thought our society had overwhelmingly decided that social engineering was a bad idea. I was under the assumption that everyone understood that it is a terrible idea to try to design a community, not only because it wouldn’t work, but also because it is wrong for one person or any group of people to impose their idea of what is “right,” “equal,” or “diverse” on others. Then I read the CUL proposal.
Even if the CUL and the Williams administration want to fool themselves into thinking that this proposal has any type of popular support (it doesn’t; I’d estimate that 90 percent or more of the student body is vehemently opposed to it), I can’t believe that such intelligent people can fail to see the ridiculousness of what they are proposing. Here at Williams, we are always trying to ready ourselves for the “real world” that awaits us in just a few years. Let’s imagine for a minute that the current CUL proposal applied to the “real world.”
To start out, everyone’s family would have to split up and join members of other families to form more diverse households, because I bet many families enjoy playing tennis or singing together, and we simply can’t have houses with members who all play the same sport or all participate in music. Now that I think of it, my own household is a hotbed for history majors, and the CUL clearly recognizes the danger there. I don’t even know how I’ve survived 22 years with all the Keegan and Erickson being quoted around the house. We clearly need to break apart and join new families whose members play golf and study physics.
What’s that, your family happens to have entirely different interests, so you think you’re OK? Well, if you are a boy, what about your two brothers? Clearly, you are in violation of the 60/40 gender rule, the foundation of any successful housing group; looks like you’ll have to put up not one but BOTH of your brothers for adoption. Sorry. I have two sisters, so maybe we can make a trade. A special sorry to all those who have large nuclear families because only Mom, Pop, brother, and sister can live under the same roof due to everyone’s favorite four person rule. You get to choose your three favorite family members, and the rest have to move out. Those are the breaks.
But you know what, at least when you grow up and leave your house you get to make sure that you live around people who will/won’t blast music at 3 a.m., will/won’t enjoy talking to you about your job, will/won’t play basketball with you on the weekend, depending on your preference. Oh wait, I forgot, you’re not allowed to find out who lives in your building until after you move in. Allergic to dogs? Would rather not live next to an apartment that makes Bourbon Street look like a peaceful paradise? Sorry, the blind selection of your new housing clearly helps you to expand your mind and allows you to learn what it’s like to sneeze yourself to sleep through what sounds like a World War II air raid next door.
What about if the CUL proposal was applied here at Williams to the faculty and administration? As the saying goes, what’s good for the geese is good for the gander. Most faculty apartments would have to be reorganized immediately, as those professors who feel more comfortable living with other profs of the same sex (or just happen to be doing so by chance) must be forced to live with those of the opposite sex. And what about profs living near other members of their department? Well, that won’t happen anymore. We simply can’t have too many biology professors living within a one-block radius; it’s pure madness. Oh, and what about faculty and staff with families? Too bad for those unlucky enough to have an unbalanced collection of kids in terms of gender â€“ you violate the 60/40 rule. Maybe we can organize a faculty child swap out on Baxter lawn.
Does this all sound ridiculous to you? It should. Trying to apply these same misguided, arbitrary rules to the students of this college is no less ridiculous. The CUL proposal is clearly despised by the vast majority of the student body, but even more importantly, it is full of terrible ideas that simply have no place in the “real world”, which is what we’re gearing ourselves up to survive and thrive in anyways, right?