I was under the impression that inspiration hits us best at the oddest, most unpredictable times, or at least that it cannot be forced. However, the ASSU disagrees. Today the ASSU unveils its new great achievement- transforming a Suites house into Stanford’s newest focus house- specifically, an entrepreneurship-themed residence blandly (and incorrectly) dubbed “eDorm.”As we wait to see how this residence performs, I have a few objections from the outset. Saving you the trouble of having to read a massive article, I’ll respect brevity as much as possible.
- **Purpose. **To foster an environment where people can be inspired to start initiatives? I don’t agree that lumping 50 or so students together in closed-quarters living does a great job at sparking innovative ideas.
- **Activities. **The only useful element of this dorm would be the intimate business seminars, of which residents have to attend at least 75%. However, this is an unnecessary narrowing down of the Stanford community- the better model would be to simply have an event series open to everybody, but with limited slots. This way, for entire academic years, everybody will be able to participate in these events, and not just a select few and their friends. Furthermore, the duty of entrepreneurship education should be to get Stanford students excited about****the world of entrepreneurship, and not simply help those who already know that this is what they want.
- **Pre-assignment bias. **If you’re pre-assigning for the French house, your case is much easier to make- how much are you invested in French culture? But given that most Stanford students do not already have an entrepreneurship idea, or belong to a start-up group, how would the pre-assignment process decide who exactly is “dedicated” to entrepreneurship? This process would be biased against those who could benefit from the activities mentioned above, simply because they do not have anything but the argument that “I want to start a company” in their favor.
Let’s see how this house pans out, but unless these concerns can be met by the ASSU, an entrepreneurship dorm just seems like a reflection of the hubristic, superficial idea that seems to drive our current student government- that Silicon Valley culture is king.