The decision to restrict Residential Quad housing to freshmen had implications on a number of areas of River Campus life, especially special interest housing.

The D?Lions program in particular seemed to be in a peculiar limbo, because assisting freshmen is an important part of the organization?s mandate to promote community on halls, in different buildings and across campus.

However, a recent suggestion by the first-year subcommittee of the Freshman Housing Implementation Committee, may put the group on firmer ground.

Subcommittee chairs Gerald Gamm and Deborah Rossen-Knill met with D?Lions at their meeting on Sunday night to discuss the possibility of the group living in the 45 spaces still available on the Residential Quad. Gamm and Rossen-Knill will present the idea to the main body of FHIC at a future meeting.

?It?s going to change our focus? if FHIC approves the plan, said sophomore and D?Lions president Lizzy Conway.

?I feel like D?Lions is always more successful with the freshmen,? Conway continued. ?And with them all together, it just makes it easier? to plan events.

She said it could actually make the organization closer, because it would be facilitate organization of their meetings and activities.

Marcy Schumacher, D?Lions adviser and assistant area coordinator for Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls and the Graduate Living Center, also highlighted the benefits for D?Lions next year.

?It?s a great opportunity for D?Lions to really shine as an organization and to be a strong influence on the freshman class coming in,? Schumacher said.

?It confirms what people have always known ? that D?Lions are always effective,? said sophomore Romeo Galang, a D?Lion in Tiernan and member of the Freshmen Housing Implementation Committee.

Regardless of the committee?s decision, D?Lions will be a presence on campus next year, Schumacher said. Spaces have already been reserved for them in the current room draw plan.

The next step is to clarify how the D?Lions? current constitution can be adapted to fit the challenges that an all-freshman housing situation will face.

Currently, in addition to hall decorating and other responsibilities, the members serve on committees that organize community service, the blood drive, selection of the new D?Lions and fundraising.

In order to maintain one of the basic tenets of freshmen housing ?to encourage first-year students? feeling of belonging to the university and awareness of The College?s services and resources ?the D?Lions will consider ?restructuring the community responsibility to make better connections with The College,? Schumacher said.

?We don?t want them to change their roles,? Gamm said. Gamm is also chair of the Political Science Department.

?We?re asking them to keep everything that is fundamental to their organization,? said Rossen-Knill, a senior lecturer in the English Department.

The D?Lions will be meeting on Thursday night to discuss some of the issues. They will present to the first-year subcommittee on Friday.

Conway welcomes the opportunity to revamp the D?Lion constitution, which she said had provisions that don?t make sense for the workings of the group. Currently, the document details very strict attendence policies Technically, for example, D?Lions can be evicted from their rooms after missing two of the organization?s meetings ? even if they have participated in other ways.

Turnover

Conway approved of several of the suggestions posed by the first-year subcommittee, such as allowing current D?Lions to reapply for positions.

Turnover is a big problem for the group, because every year they start with a new group of people.

This means the group?s progress starts off slowly.

?They start from scratch,? Galang said.

Conway believes that returning members could improve the group?s efficacy.

?It just gets the group started on the right feet,? Conway said.

She and Galang agreed, however, that allowing any new upperclassmen to apply to the program would not benefit freshmen.

Sophomores are ?the closest in age to freshmen,? Conway said.

With sophomores, ?you have somebody who had a similar experience,? Galang said. The university has changed dramatically in recent years, and he feels people who were most recently freshmen would empathize with their issues best.

Surprisingly, the possibility of living in quad singles ? prime real estate ? didn?t appeal to some current D?Lions when asked at the meeting.

?For many D?Lions the motivation was doing it with a friend,? Schumacher said. ?By doing it with a friend ? at least it was one upperclass member that they know on the floor.?

But despite the coveted housing, Conway was concerned that perhaps the new commitments would deter applicants from considering the program.

?We thought it would be fun to be a social group. We don?t want to make it too much of a responsibility,? she said.

?It looks like they?re raising the expectations but maybe it?s a little too much,? Galang said.

D?Lions in SBA

Whether or not D?Lions should be placed in SBA is also in question. Currently, rooms are being reserved for the D?Lions.

?It would be hard to be on a sophomore or junior floor,? Conway said.

Now the concern is how to make decisions and implement them before selection of the next class of D?Lions. Applications for the 2000-01 D?Lion class were due in February.

?There is very little time between now and D?Lion selection to come up with an airtight plan,? Galang said.



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