With freshman housing’s shift to the Susan B. Anthony, Gilbert and Hoeing residence halls and the creation of the Freshman Fellows position, D’Lions will face many changes in the upcoming year.
The number of available D’Lion positions has increased from 46 this year to 64 for next year because freshman housing’s move off of the Residential Quad has made more rooms available.
Adviser to the D’Lions Eleanor Oi said that this year’s response was similar to that of previous years despite the increased number of positions. “We were satisfied with the quality of applicants,” she said. “We can have 64, but that doesn’t mean we will hire 64.”
The increased number of available positions led to the advertisement of open positions campus-wide using flyers and table tents, whereas advertising has been concentrated in freshman residence halls in past years. Oi said that there was no change in the application process, and the position has always been open to upperclassmen but had traditionally been filled by rising sophomores.
Oi stated that the group had been getting requests from current sophomores indicating they would like to be D’Lions next year, and the increased number of spots could be used to create more of an upperclass presence in freshman housing. A few D’Lions have chosen to return to the position next year and a small number of upperclassmen applied, but 90 to 95 percent of next year’s D’Lions will be sophomores. Oi expects that next year’s group will “not [be] a radical shift in the whole D’Lion group.”
There will be two D’Lions per floor in Gilbert and Hoeing and two per wing in Sue B., for a total of eight per floor. D’Lions in Sue B. will get singles and those on the quad will be in large doubles.
Traditionally D’Lions have lived in doubles because they work as pairs. Sophomore D’Lion Julia Sando views living in doubles as an advantage because the D’Lions see more of each other than they would if they lived in singles. The move to singles may be “a little bit of a negative, but I don’t think it will be that much of a problem,” Sando said.
Sando also believes that the move to Sue B. will centralize freshmen, integrating them into the campus community, and will allow the D’Lions to be closer to other upperclassmen who live in Towers. “I feel secluded from my upper class friends, and I think it will be a good move for the D’Lions,” Sando said.
Sophomore D’Lion Eric Schwitzer thinks that freshmen living in Sue B. may be less dependent on D’Lions because there will be a higher concentration of freshmen in the building to form a support system. “The D’Lions in Gilbert and Hoeing may have more responsibility because their freshmen will be more dependent,” Schwitzer said.
Another change brought by the new freshman housing plan that could effect the D’Lion program is the creation of the Freshman Fellows, a position to be filled by upperclassmen that are interested in connecting freshman to student activity groups.
D’Lions are a student activity group that is independent of Residential Life, while the Freshman Fellow positions are sponsored by ResLife. The announcement of the position came after D’Lion advertisements had been out, and Oi said “I’m not anticipating losing any potential D’Lions to Freshman Fellows this year, but the future is unsure.”
The Freshman Fellows position is targeted to upperclassmen, while D’Lions are still primarily sophomores. Schwitzer does not believe that Freshman Fellows will be a detriment to the D’Lion position. “D’Lions will have more closeness with students in the first week, but during the rest of the year they can branch out and see that the Freshman Fellows are there.”
Sophomore Greg Stein, president of the D’Lions said that the Freshman Fellows “will do nothing but help the D’Lions, it will help them have a greater upperclass presence on the halls.”
Oi believes that the changes associated with freshman housing’s move may modify the logistics of a D’Lions job, but not their mission. “D’Lions off a lot to the university that is not seen as much because its hidden in the residence halls.” Stein added, “It has become even more important to have upperclassmen on the halls, and D’Lions help to socialize the freshman.”
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