Bewildered, hallmates wake up and leave their rooms to the piercing sound of fire alarms. They make their way their halls and out into the frigid November air.

Standing there is a group of sleepy men and women brought together from many different backgrounds, standing cold in their pajamas ? all of them angry and waiting for the fire alarm to stop ringing.

All of these people have one thing in common ? they are all freshmen. They all live in the same dorm, they were all woken up by the same fire alarm and they will all remember this experience.

In last week’s CT, some student leaders criticized the effects of freshman housing for reducing participation in some student groups. Some student leaders claim the this policy, which has put all of the class of 2005 within a three-minute walk of one another, has made it harder for them to get information to freshman.

They say that there are no upperclassmen on the quad, and then claim that this alienates the freshmen from various groups that freshmen would have come into contact with in the past. These complaints all come from upperclassman.

The freshman class has no trouble speaking for itself. We are intelligent, motivated, active on campus and cohesive. Much of this cohesiveness comes from experiences such as late night fire drills or playing wiffleball with our halls or the other crazy antics that occur during the year on a freshman hallway.

Bringing the class of 2005 together in the quad has already accomplished its goal of developing a sense of community and camaraderie. The quad has become a special place, not only for this new class but also for every class of the future.

The quad does not lack upperclass leadership at all. The quad is filled with upperclass Residential Assistants and D’lions who spend a lot of time advertising for various student groups as well as interacting with freshmen. In addition, many freshmen have assumed class leadership roles.

Due to the vision of Students’ Association President John LaBoda and the support of the Freshmen Advisory Committee, we have the Freshmen Class Council. This is a group of elected and non-elected individuals who are motivated and involved on campus.

This governing council has set out to create a sense of community through social events, and it has plans of to build a freshman commons with a TV and a coffee shop. The claim that freshman are hard to find is outrageous.

Keith Rosenberg, a freshman from the fourth floor of Gilbert, says, “If any group wants to reach freshmen it wouldn’t be hard because we are all so close together.”

If a student group is worried about freshman motivation and participation in groups, then people in these groups can easily turn to the RAs, D’lions, and the FCC. If student groups need help recruiting or informing freshmen, these channels are great ways to get to freshmen.

At an institution as committed to scholarship as the UR, it is asinine to attack the effects of freshmen housing without asking a single freshman what he or she thinks.

The quad has helped to develop a common bond between all freshmen. Whether you are walking down the hall in Gilbert 4 or Lovejoy Basement you can knock on any door and the door will probably be opened by some student frustrated by their pre-med requirements.

Or, if you’re lucky, the door will be opened by a happy student who is enjoying his experience at the university. But, in either case, the face will be the face of a freshman.

Francis is a freshman and can be reached at pfrancis@campustimes.org.



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