Administration To Blame For Hilles Student Space Failure

To the editors:

The real lesson of the deserted Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH) (“Students Apply Again for Hilles Space”, news, Feb. 6, and “Earth to Hilles”, editorial, Feb. 8) is that the quick road to failure in a student-life initiative is to leave students out of planning it.

One year ago the College announced that student groups would be evicted from the Yard and packed off to Hilles, then enacted a whistle-stop mockery of soliciting student input by asking how we wanted our new Hilles offices laid out. The center’s ghost-town emptiness was predictable–and predicted, in a firestorm of student criticism.

The College forged ahead, heedless.

Maybe we can hope that the still-unrepentant Dean Paul McLoughlin, author of the present debacle, might someday learn this lesson. Our new president, or deans she appoints, might insist that he learn it–that he consult students before an important decision, not after. If not, it’s our responsibility as students and then as alumni to articulate this lesson until we have a Dean of Student Activities who does.

February 17, 2007
Cambridge, Mass.