Everyone who was here at UR can agree that last year’s room draw was a disaster. Over the course of the last year, Residential Life has made strides toward streamlining the process and improving campus life. Granted, the lottery process was simpler this year because it has returned to its pre-freshman housing roots. However, Residential Life has still worked to make the process less stressful, and has also worked to improve freshman housing through the creation of the Freshman Fellows program.
This program will enable upperclassmen to serve as “role models” to incoming freshmen by allowing them to live on the freshman halls. In addition to being student leaders and performing well academically, Freshman Fellows should infuse the new class with maturity.
Problems obtaining enough Freshman Fellows applicants could have occurred when potential fellows were not allowed to choose rooms. Program directors wanted students to apply primarily to help their fellow students, not for the possibility of a single. The strategy worked ? students’ interest was captured and many applied.
Not only did they have a large pool of applicants to choose from, it was composed of active, leadership-oriented students with strong GPAs. A broad range of the class years are represented, which will help to further interclass unity.
More evidence of careful planning is demonstrated through ResLife’s placement of Freshmen Fellows. They will be assigned rooms according to their involvements, so that fellows with the same interests do not end up serving the same hall. This should ensure that freshmen receive diverse guidance from a variety of easily accessible sources.
We applaud Residential Life for the promising beginning of its Freshman Fellows Program. Through its implementation, the damage to interclass unity will be at least partially remedied. Incoming freshmen will be exposed to more opportunities ? academic and social ? than before. In essence, ResLife may have discovered the catalyst to producing future student leaders.