The Freshman Advisory Committee reviewed arguments for and against moving freshman housing yesterday, and discussed the ramifications the move off the Residential Quad would have on housing for upperclassmen.

Last week the 2005 Class Council presented a recommendation to the committee to shift freshman housing from its current location on the Residential Quad to the Susan B. Anthony, Gilbert and Hoeing Residence Halls.

The discussion began with senior and Speaker of the Students’ Assocation Senate Bronwen Van Hooft outlining senate’s views on the issue.

Van Hooft reminded the committee that senate had advocated for the Sue B. model before the current model had been enacted, but said that now that freshman housing is in place, senate thinks that the plan should remain for four or five years and then be re-evaluated.

“We need to live it out,” Van Hooft said.

The direction of the meeting changed to the fact that freshman housing had created de facto sophomore class housing by placing most of the sophomore class in SBA.

Professor of Political Science Gerald Gamm said the Freshman Housing Committee had never intended to segregate sophomores, saying “What’s going on now is not what we planned, not what we had forseen.”

Director of Residential Life Logan Hazen said the original model had wanted class mixing for the sophomore, junior and senior classes.

The turmoil that occurred when last year’s housing selection placed special restrictions on the lottery caused ResLife to resort back to the traditional seniority system, and due to their low lottery numbers sophomores were mostly placed in SBA.

“Its very clear we did not intend sophomore housing,” Dean of Freshman Deborah Rossen-Knill said.

Andrew Baukney, a representative of the Sophomore Class Council, said that the council was against the change, and stated that living in Sue B. is “not necessarily a bad thing” for sophomores. He said that sophomores interact with upperclassmen through classes and extracurricular activities.

Jesse Bailey, a representative of the 2005 Class Council described an informal survey that Sophomore Greg Stein, President of the D’Lions is taking to determine RA and D’Lion reaction to the proposed changes.

Of the 40 D’Lions, 33 were surveyed and there was 2 to 1 support for the 2005 Council proposal to move freshman housing. Out of 26 RAs surveyed, 18 favored the move to Sue B.

Hazen explained that under the current system 54 percent of the sophomore class lives in Sue B. 76 percent of that building is made up of sophomores, with the remaining 24 percent being mainly made up of Residential Advisors and the Tiernan Project, which is located on the sixth floor.

If freshman housing was moved to Sue B., Hoeing and Gilbert the location with the highest concentration of sophomores would be the Residential Quad with a maximum of 35.7 percent of the class being housed there.

Dean of The College William Green stated that there is enough housing on campus to manage the change, and also stressed the point that the projected numbers of sophomores that would be housed on the residential quad are worse case scenarios. Having Sue B. comprised of 80 to 90 percent sophomores “is not a scenario, it’s a guarantee,” Green said.

If the change in freshman housing occurs and 35 percent of the sophomores are on the residential quad, the density of sophomores within the quad buildings will decrease. Hazen projected that in a worse case scenario Lovejoy would be the building with the highest density of sophomores at 87 percent, and Burton at the lowest at 46 percent. Projections are based on the assumption that every double in each building will be filled with sophomores, and all singles will be filled with upperclassmen or RAs.

One of the key points of the discussion was that the change in freshman housing would increase housing options and flexibility for upperclassmen. The housing lottery would be similar to pre-freshman housing, and the influx of upperclassmen to the singles onf the residential quad would make more suites in Towers and Hill Court available.

Suites were removed from the suite lottery last year to create random room singles that would replace the number of singles lost when the residential quad was filled with freshman.

Hazen said that he did not think the freshman move would cause any problems that programing couldn’t fix, and the freshman class would gain one third more programming space and a dining hall. While he said the freshman would definitely benefit, he believes that “the big winners are the upperclassmen.” “If you’re not harming the new program, and it will make life better for others, then do it,” Hazen said.

DeSantis can be reached at kdesantis@campustimes.org



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