The implementation of the current freshman housing model resulted in more than a simple change in location. The Office for Residential Life also created a new position ? the freshman fellow.

“It’s been a very successful program so far,” Susan B. Anthony Area Coordinator and head of the freshman fellows program Koren Bakkegard said. “I believe that the fellows are making a visible and significant contribution to the freshman housing program.”

According to the “freshmen fellow description,” which was distributed last semester, “the freshmen fellows program was developed to infuse more upper-class role model students and experiences into freshman housing.”

Sophomore freshman fellow Jesse Bailey thinks the new program would have benefited the Class of 2005 last year. “[We had] great D’Lions and RAs, [but] it would’ve been nice to have another person [around],” said Bailey.

Bailey and sophomore Sona Simran Kaur Rai are two of 44 students who were accepted into the program. While 26 of the freshman fellows are members of the Class of 2005, there are also 13 juniors and five senior participants.

Requirements for the position include student leader status, high academic standing and involvement in groups or activities on campus. The current fellows are members of various multicultural, religious, musical, athletic and academic groups.

As a means of enticing such well-rounded students, the Office for Residential Life offered several incentives. In addition to the individual satisfaction of gaining leadership experience and meeting the newest members of the university community, fellows have the opportunity to recruit new members to various activities.

“There seems to be a notably increased level of campus involvement on the part of our first-year students this year,” Bakkegard said, attributing the program to increased participation in activities around campus.

Prospective fellows were also promised single rooms in the new freshman housing area.

“Living with freshmen is an interesting experience,” said freshman fellow Matthew Lyons, a sophomore, who currently lives in Gilbert Hall.

Along with such incentives come responsibilities as well. While the freshman fellows’ main responsibility is simply to be a positive presence in their living area, they must also attend three hall social events per semester and be available to answer general questions about academic issues and campus opportunities.

According to Lyons, his residents have asked him for academic advice, but have not sought his assistance concerning personal matters.

On the other hand, Jessica Williams, a Sue B. resident, praises her freshman fellow Effuah Alleyne for always being there for her. “[She’s] always friendly [and] her door [is] always open.”

Freshman Diana Ramos also speaks highly of Alleyne. “She is the coolest person on my entire hall.”

“I’m pleased with the accomplishments so far, and I’m optimistic about the program’s prospects for the future” Bakkegard said.

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