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October 21, 1987 - Image 54

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-21

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specialized equipment spaces, including a
film-editing room, a darkroom and an au-
dio studio.
For students who want a communal so-
cial life, Northwestern's colleges are a pop-
ular alternative to Greek organizations.
"It's sort of like a coed fraternity as far as
closeness goes-with lots of academic and
social events," says Andy Isenberg, ajunior
who lives in the Commerce and Industry
house. Faculty frequently dine with the
students and help attract prominent alum-
ni or other visitors to Chicago for weekly
fireside chats and receptions. In the highly
competitive admissions process, North-
western students submit to a committee
composed of the master and a group of
house members essays explaining why
they prefer life in the residential college.
To earn the right to remain another year,
members must earn points by, among other
things, pitching in on such chores as shop-
ping, cleaning and setting up for parties.
Even the staunchest supporters admit
that life in a residential college is not for
everybody. "Students can choose their lev-
el of commitment more easily in a dorm,"
says Jim Carleton, Northwestern's vice
president for student affairs. Lisa Piejak, a
Miami senior, thinks residential colleges
can cost students their individuality. Be-
cause she felt obligated to attend the pro-
grams, Piejak says, she felt guilty about
letting the college down when she could
not. Other students, says NU's Carleton,
"simply don't like to interact with faculty
any more than they have to."
Broader education: Yet for many, the advan-
tages far outweigh the disadvantages.
Some like the broader education they get
from living with faculty members and their
families. At Wooster, for instance, senior
Cyndi Green regularly baby-sat for six-
year-old Cory LaSala, who lived in Doug-
lass Hall with his mother, Sue, and his
father, Jerry, a professor of physics. Green
says her extended family life in the aca-
demic setting helped her feel more secure
and better prepared for big-job interviews
last spring. "It gets you to look beyond
school," Green says, adding that after deal-
ing with a six-year-old, she "wasn't intimi-
dated when I interviewed with five vice
presidents." Green is now with the Bank of
New York.
More universities are considering com-
munities of interest. According to James
Grubb of the Association of College and
University Housing Officers, "Schools are
trying to find more effective ways to relate
out-of-class living with the in-class work-
ings of a university." And they are finding
that modern adaptations of an ancient idea
are the-best way to make dormitories serve
more as learning centers than as barracks.
CONNIE LESLIE Eith ROBERT WEISS
in Evanston, PATRICE MCCREERY in Miami and
JIM Zo o Kin Chapel Hill

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