The Freshman Fellows program’s first recruitment efforts appear to be a success. The program, which is designed to provide positive upperclass role models to freshmen while giving them a link to campus groups and activities, drew a strong pool of potential applicants.

Over 60 students applied to fill the program’s 44 spots. A few students who did not make the initial cut have been labeled alternates, and may fill either Freshman Fellow or D’Lion spots that become available.

While D’Lion selection has not yet been finalized, Residential Director of Residential Life and D’Lion adviser Eleanor Oi said that only one or two positions haven’t been filled. These positions and others that open up if a nominee declines selection will be filled by current D’Lions who are listed as alternates or Freshman Fellows alternates.

The applicant pool satisfied all of the application requirements, and was even more active than required. Director of Residential Life Logan Hazen said that the “quality was very good,” and that the selection committee didn’t have to drop below their original requirement of a 3.0 GPA to fill the positions. Hazen was also pleased that the applicants “volunteered a lot more than the minimum” requirements for application.

There will be a mix of classes represented in the program, even though Residential Life had initially targeted sophomores, expecting that their experiences with freshman housing would make them more eager to join the Freshman Fellows program.

Hazen described the future Fellows as a group that was eager to contribute. “There are a lot of current and ex-student leaders who really want to get involved,” Hazen said.

Freshman Class Council member Jesse Bailey said that his experiences with freshman housing played a factor in his decision to become a Freshman Fellow. “One of the biggest challenges we faced on Class Council this year was to increase upperclassman interaction in the quad,” Bailey said.

Bailey also said that he thought he would be able to “bring a sense of perspective on freshman living since many of us were freshmen this year.”

In addition to the GPA requirement, applicants needed references from one faculty member and one non-faculty member, which could be someone from Residential Life, the Writing Fellows Program, Learning Assistance Services or other student activities advisers. The screening committee was made up of Hazen, Associate Director of Res Life Laurel Contomanolis and the area coordinators.

Students who applied for the program were not given the option of choosing where they would like to live because the focus of the program is on giving to the freshman community, “not just getting a single room,” Hazen said.

Students will be placed in freshman residence halls based on their interests, so that they are evenly distributed throughout buildings. “We tried to balance the students in terms of what they had to offer,” Hazen said.

Sophomore Colin Theis said that he wanted to join the Freshman Fellows program because “I would like to meet more people on this campus and this seems like a good way to do it.”

Theis added, “I hope to help get freshmen involved in a variety of activities and show them that there is a lot more to do than study and talk on IM.”

DeSantis can be reached at

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