Gen Ed Shuffle
MOST OF THE FEATURES that once drew many students to the Quad no longer do so. Four-year housing and the one-to-one sex ratio--which effectively disappeared several years ago--have been eliminated. And the alternative offered by three Houses removed from the main campus appeals to fewer students than it did when the Quad Houses first went coed. Physical improvements in the Quad would now undoubtedly improve its popularity--most of the next year's generation of Quad residents would like to see more facilities there, to draw their Houses more into the College's academic and social life. The relocation of the Social Studies office at Hilles Library should help do that. A Quad athletic complex would also make students more amenable to Quad life, although the fund drive for the complex has received little sustained effort from the University.
The proposal from Dean Fox's office to move the General Education Office to a site near the Quad is intended to bring the Quad more into the mainstream of the College. While the idea is well-motivated, it shows little sensitivity for the Quad's real needs. Tutorials and course sections in the three Houses and Hilles bring a significant part of academic life north of the Common. But the Gen Ed Office move would bring a few courses' administrative affairs closer to Quad residents only at the expense of moving those affairs farther from the buildings where the courses are actually taught.
For freshmen, who will be using the office most of all and who will all live in the Yard next year, the move would mean the annoyance of having to go out of their way for simple matters like dropping off papers, picking up course materials, or meeting for office hours. And for Quad students it is a routine matter to stop at Faculty offices near the Yard for such matters. The Gen Ed Office must be moved to make way for a new Biochemistry lab, and the Quad does need more College activity. but the Gen Ed Office should have a more intelligent location, and the Quad should have more meaningful commitments from the Faculty than a little additional furniture.