Committee seeks input on sixth college report
The committee charged with making recommendations on the composition and program for a sixth residential college is seeking feedback on its interim report.
The report, made public Feb. 7, concludes that the addition of 500 undergraduates to the student body, as approved last April by the University trustees, provides "an excellent opportunity to offer a new residential college option for third- and fourth-year students."
Currently, residential colleges are composed predominantly of first- and second-year students. Most juniors and seniors live in dormitories that are not part of a residential college and take their meals either at eating clubs or make their own dining arrangements.
After reviewing background information ranging from student surveys to data from other universities, the committee determined that a new residential life option for juniors and seniors should be offered because the current alternatives do not fit the needs of all undergraduates.
In developing the models, the committee's goals included protecting the value of the existing residential life opportunities for all undergraduates while creating the new option for juniors and seniors. For example, the committee notes that because the number (250) of juniors and seniors that will be added by the increase in class size is equal to the number of additional juniors and seniors that can be accommodated in the new residential college, the number of those students available to become members of eating clubs will stay the same as it is today.
The committee also is seeking to enhance the experience of undergraduates in the residential colleges. The report notes that one of the most common regrets cited by undergraduates at Princeton is the division the current system creates between students in their first two years and those in their last two years.
"Possibilities are now limited for friendship, mentoring and learning between relatively more experienced students and less experienced students...," the report states.
In addition, the committee is hoping to create opportunities for approximately six to 10 graduate students per college to become college residents.
"In summary, members of the committee are convinced that a new residential college option that included undergraduates from all four years (and a small number of graduate students) would provide enhanced residential opportunities, without detracting from those that now exist," the report concludes. "The creation of a new college option of this kind could make it possible for the overall residential college system to take better advantage of the enormous variety and richness of individuals and experiences that exist at Princeton."
The models the committee proposes are:
· Six colleges composed primarily of first- and second-year undergraduates with 250 additional third- and fourth-year students distributed evenly throughout them.
· Five colleges composed primarily of first-and second-year undergraduates, plus one new college that includes third- and fourth-year undergraduates.
· Four colleges composed primarily of first- and second-year undergraduates, plus two colleges that include significant numbers of third- and fourth-year undergraduates.
· Three colleges composed primarily of first- and second-year undergraduates, plus three colleges that include significant numbers of third- and fourth-year undergraduates.
While another committee is charged with selecting the site for the new college, the program committee consulted with the site committee in preparing its report.
The program committee includes six administrators, five faculty members and five students and is chaired by Vice President and Secretary Thomas Wright.