It can be hard for freshmen to meet upperclassmen, but for 21 years there has been a community of students working to change that. The InterClass Living Center has evolved over the years, but its mission of integrating the class years has been maintained since the program’s inception. Now the group, which occupies about half of the first floor of Crosby Hall, is seeking to increase its membership and become a larger program with elected positions.
“Our goal is to be a community, rather than just a dorm,” co-leader and senior Laura Cowan said.
The program has about ten members living on the Crosby floor and a few off-floor members. The arrival of freshman housing in 2001 forced the floor to change into, first, a transfer floor, and then, this year, an integrated floor for upperclassmen with its members helping freshmen — called “littles” — in Hoeing. The floor has an open door policy to foster community.
“The hall does many varied programs throughout the year such as canoeing, pumpkin and apple picking, secret valentines, Thursday night dinner and many other social and community service related programs,” Cowan said.
Before freshman housing, the floor worked to integrate freshman into the community and provide the new students with more experienced friends. Now, they serve as upperclassmen mentors. “Because we could no longer live directly with freshmen, we had to find a new niche,” she said. She is happy with the change, though.
“It allowed us to stay living in the community that is central to ICLC, while still working to integrate freshmen into the Rochester community,” Cowan said. Freshmen are contacted during the summer. That allows those few freshmen to know some upperclassmen before they even arrive on campus. Once they arrive, the floor works to integrate freshman with programs such as dinners and outdoor trips. Once they are adjusted, Cowan says they turn to more community-based programs.
The floor is looking to grow. Open houses are being held for students who may be interested in the kind of living environment the floor offers. Tonight at 7 p.m., the floor is hosting a reception in the Crosby 0 lounge. All are welcome, she said.
“We hope to expand further in Crosby,” she said. “We would like to expand farther down the hall and eventually be the entire first floor, if possible.”
The program seems to be working. Freshman Carolyn Kenline says that having a mentor made a big difference. “Coming in as a freshman was a pretty stressful time and the ICLC helped by allowing me to meet other freshmen and work with a mentor,” she said. Kenline says that having an upperclassman friend to help pick professors and give her guidance was very beneficial.
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