Source: http://simonschool.typepad.com

She wasn’t going to bend.

I’d known that going in, but, for some reason, I thought I’d get lucky this time around the administrative shit-pit.
Res Life had screwed me over — though my housing conundrum stems not from bad luck, but from the fact that I was a January admit as a freshman last year.

The University admits about 20 to 30 students to begin at UR in January every year. These students are no less qualified to attend the University, but are deferred to the spring semester because there is not enough space in the fall. Many January admits choose to attend another college prior to attending UR to make sure they don’t fall behind in the race to 128 credits. These students can easily reclassify themselves to their proper class year — in my case, 2013.

The rest of us, who did not earn college credits before we came to UR or were not able to transfer credits earned at another college or university, became the first members of the class of 2014. It may not seem that this is much cause for concern — it’s just a number after all — but there are many unexpected problems that arise because of the way the University classifies January admits.

First on my list is the housing lottery. At the end of my first semester, I was given one point, even though I’d only lived in University housing for one semester. This year, I expected that I would logically be given two points (or at least one and a half), but was disappointed to find that I’d again only received one.

After meeting with Laurel Contomanolis, Director of Residential Life and Housing Services, I learned that, since I was a member of the class of 2014 according to my credits, no exception could be made, and I would only receive one point. I understand that exceptions cannot be made in the middle of the year, but I think it is absolutely ridiculous that I am getting one point two years in a row.

I was under the impression that the logic of the system is such that a student will gain an advantage as they spend more time at the University. I have been here for a year and a half now, and I have no such advantage. In the same vein, I have also had trouble when registering for classes. Because of my standing in the class of 2014, I will be in the last group of registration for the third time this year, while other students will only be in it twice.  The fact that I can’t register with the class of 2013 this semester puts me (and my fellow January admits) at an extra disadvantage. We are vying for spaces in classes where our places should be safe, given the time we’ve spent at the University.

The last main concern that I’d like to discuss (although there are many more) is that mid-year orientation hardly holds a candle to freshman orientation in August. It is only three days long, and, in my opinion, not nearly as comprehensive as it should be.
Although we were given plenty of academic counsel, I felt we could have been supported better socially. It can be difficult to enter a new school in the middle of the year, and I think that the University needs to both recognize and address this issue. I think that an easy and viable solution to this problem would be to have events for January students after orientation is over and perhaps create a network of past January admits to help new students become acclimated.

I’m not saying there is no one here to help January admits with these issues, but the fact that we should have to jump through hoops in the first place is absurd, especially considering it was the University that put us in this situation. The University needs to accept and address the fact that there are many shades of gray in the classification system. It should also re-evaluate how it treats these students.



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