A new dorm was created this year at Wyoming Catholic College. Wow, you might be thinking. I want to check it out. New digs. Are they nice?
Well, not exactly. Actually, no new territory was acquired. WCC merely split up an existing dorm into two smaller dorms (districts).
Ok, you think. Maybe the first dorm was too large. Maybe it just made more sense to divide up a large dorm (district) and allow two smaller dorms (districts) to take its place, to allow the people better access to their leaders (prefects), to make the leaders (prefects) closer and more accountable to those they rule.
But rather than following obvious geographical boundaries when determining the extent of these new dormitories (districts), the WCC Student Life Office (Tammany Hall) and its Assistant Director of District Design and Donut Fine Accounting Boss Tweed did something quite different…
They deliberately drew the district boundaries to minimize the voting power of freshmen rooms (precincts) by spreading them between districts, even if crazy, unnatural borders had to be defined to do so as shown below.
Now what did this achieve politically?
First of all, we need to compare the achieved results with the inefficient illogical borders with those which would have been achieved with more natural ones:
Achieved (Gerrymandered) Results
Under the chosen plan freshmen constitute 6 out of the 15 members of St. Gerards and 4 out of the 15 members of St. Isaac’s. All of the St. Gerard’s freshmen are isolated from the rest of their district by a brutally cold 100-foot walk past a loud construction zone and two stairways. Politically isolated, they are incapable of forming strong bonds with upperclassmen or the rest of “their” dorm, they are mere feet away from the “foreigners” of St. Isaac’s, and are liable to be attacked or invaded at any time.
Worse, in neither dorm do freshmen constitute a powerful voting block all to themselves. A mere two classes uniting together against them (or in St. Isaac’s case) merely the juniors, instantly outnumbers them. Lost, politically powerless, and outnumbered, we see the freshmen as easily being manipulated and at extreme risk of losing even basic freedoms (such as the right to a fair trial for accusations of being late to curfew).
In short democracy under this plan is dead.
Under a more natural plan such as the one shown here, however, freshmen would have constituted the largest voting block in St. Isaac’s and would have easily been capable of making their voices heard. Each dormitory (district) would have followed natural geographical borders and residents of St. Gerard’s, including their prefect, would be spared the often dangerous 100-foot walk to join the rest of their dorm.
Further, the injustice of it being legal (but difficult) for members of Rooms 109 and 111 to be able to walk a hundred feet to Rooms 214 and 314 after curfew to meet the rest of their dorm but not to be able to go a mere 10 feet above them would be eliminated as well.
And, so, to summarize, the current situation of dorm boundaries is classist behavior obviously meant to reduce the political power of freshmen.
It’s too late to stop this problem this year, but associates of former IIT and future WCC president Everett Polinski hope he could investigate and address this issue when and if he takes power in 2024. Put your name here to support this cause.