After a day of trading e-mails and trying to sync up schedules with numerous colleagues at my college I’ve decided that we have it all backwards.
The students should live in our houses. We should live (together) in the dorms.
Here are 6 reasons why higher ed people like you and me should live together in campus residential housing:
Reason #1 - Less E-Mail: Having a colleague in a single down the hall means less need to send that e-mail. Everyone in college housing seems to have those little erasable boards on their doors. We could write each other messages. Or say whatever needs to be said over over popcorn and Netflix at 1:00am. Even if you don’t buy reasons 2 through 6, less e-mail is reason enough to move back to the dorm.
Reason #2 - The Meal Plan: Think how much work time we lose by all the shopping and dinner cooking. Not to mention the lawn mowing. They give you a meal card with your dorm key. I think nowadays it may be the same key! An ID for all your needs. We could hold department meetings over late night pizzas and ramen. Weekly team meetings at breakfast while we ate our Captain Crunch.
Reason #3 - Our Students Could Help Our Kids With Their Homework: I seem to be able to help my high school age kids with their homework about 5% of the time. And even when I can help I’m usually just making things up and hoping nobody notices. Really - we had this work about a million years a ago. Everyone knows that getting a terminal degree clears the mind of anything learned in high school. But if our college students swapped with us and lived in our houses they could help our kids with homework. It was only a couple of years ago when they had this material.
Reason #4 - Awesome Bandwidth: Who doesn’t need the Web to their jobs? Who has the best home Internet? College students. Dorm dwellers. Super fast Wi-Fi is everywhere. No more dealing with the balky DSL modem, slowed to crawl by the iPhones and Roku’s and whatever else my kids try to hook on to the network. Living in the dorm will bring new levels of 24/7 productivity to our work.
Reason #5 - Colleague Bonding: Everyone knows that the intense social experience is a key aspect of a residential education. Who doesn’t remember their college roommates? As work become more collaborative we need to find ways to replicate the social bonding of freshman year. Nothing incentivizes closer working relations than sharing a triple with your colleagues.
Reason #6 - Parents Weekend: I think that if we moved our work teams into the dorms that we’d really get a lot out of parents weekend. The parents amongst us could have our kids visit for the weekend. Our own parents could also come and visit us. We would not have to go anywhere. Less travel equals more work productivity.
What would you add to this list of reasons to move back, with your colleagues, to the dorm?
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