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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Does Carleton care more about alumni than current students?

< the Carleton Community:

I am one of the few students who decided to spend their wonderful summer here in Northfield. While we, summer students, don’t represent a majority of Carleton’s population, maybe our story indicates something interesting for the student body at large. Why should you care? Well, firstly, you are a Carl and probably care about things that are completely irrelevant to you. Secondly, and more chiefly, I think that this story teaches an import lesson about how Carleton weighs you against an alumnus.

I was supposed to live in a gorgeous Rice house over this summer and I will … but a week later than I am supposed to. I will live in Musser during the Reunion week. You might ask, why? Alumni Affairs, who holds priority over Residential Life for the week of Reunion, decided that it is more important to use Rice and Hill houses to host the alumni for three days than letting the actual summer residents to move in, when they have a right to do so.

I decided to go to the Alumni Affairs in order to understand the reasoning behind this decision. Unfortunately my visit did not provide any fruitful results. I was told that Rice and Hill houses were always used for the Reunion and the Alumni Affairs office cannot do anything about it. There are clearly two incorrect statements right there. First, I stayed at Carleton two summers ago, and they did not use Rice for this purpose. Second, no, they can do something about it. They are in chief position for housing during that week, as reported to me by Residential Life. For example, they can use Musser for the alumni (which has been used in the past to house certain alumni groups at the time, in addition to students) instead of forcing summer residents to move there for only one week.

Let’s analyze their decision: 

Summer residents of both houses need to move twice at the end of the year under their current plan, often with great effort in the middle of June. Alumni would not have to move in either situation. There is absolutely no difference for them between living in Musser versus Rice or Hill over three days. Therefore, student accommodations are compromised largely without justification and without our consent. 

Now you may think “What is the big deal? Just move twice – end of the story!” The logistics of that aside, for me, it’s an indication of how the college views us, the students. If the needs of alumni a­re more important than current students, what conclusions should we make?

-Inara Makhumdova is a fourth-year student.

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