This spring, the number of D’Lion positions available for the 2012-13 academic year went down, primarily because of a decreased number of D’Lion applications received. Christine Nye, residential life area coordinator and advisor to the D’Lions, the Office of Residential Life and the e-board of the D’Lion organization made the decision.
The choice of where to cut the positions resulted from an effort to make the ratio between D’Lions, RAs and Freshman Fellows more consistent between the Residential Quad and the Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls.
“The biggest thing was making it more consistent for both the freshman areas,” Nye said.
According to Nye, there were 73 D’Lions positions offered the last three academic years and 68 hired for 2008-2009 academic school year. Only 53 D’Lions were brought on board for 2012-13. This means that there will be four D’Lions per floor on floors two through six in Sue B., as opposed to the typical eight. This means that there will be a 1:1 ratio of D’Lions to RAs, rather than 2:1 as in previous years.
There will be two RAs, two D’Lions and one freshman fellow for the two halls that make up a brother-sister pair, a set up which is similar to the current placement of D’Lions on the first floor of Sue B. The number of D’Lions working on the Quad will remain the same.
The potential for a change was discussed as early as the middle of February and the beginning of March, as applications were coming in. Incoming D’Lions were alerted in their acceptance letters.
Vice President of D’Lions and sophomore Ellie Law said that she did not understand why the adjustment was being made at first, but now sees how it will be beneficial in the long run. One benefit, she believes, is that the D’Lions will be able to forge stronger connections among themselves. Currently, some D’Lions have expressed frustration over the fact that they do not know everyone in the organization due to its large numbers — the divide is greatest between D’Lions in Sue B. and those living on the Quad. She believes that bonds between brother-sister halls in Sue B. will be strengthened as well because D’Lions will presumably look for another person to work with if they do not have a partner on their own hall.
Associate Director of Residential Life Daniel Watts agrees that downsizing is the right move.
“I think the change to have fewer D’Lions for the 2012-13 academic year represents a smart shift to right-size the D’Lion organization,” he noted.
But will not having a partner make the job more difficult?
President of D’Lions and sophomore Pantelis Antoniou, who does not currently have a partner, does not seem to think so.
“[D’Lions] are a resource for their residence hall where they are meant to instill a sense of hall, community and school spirit while helping freshmen and transfer students adjust to college life,” he said. “This goal can be achieved regardless of the ratio of D’Lions to residents.”
Other benefits that a smaller-sized organization may create, according to Watts, are that programming requirements and budget allocation will become more standard, and therefore more fair, as well make the D’Lion organization easier to manage for the executive board and its advisor. Additionally, he explained, the smaller number of D’Lions will “increase the opportunities for Residential Life to coordinate training among the D’Lions, [Freshman] Fellows and RAs” to “enhance the idea of a five-member team to focus on creating a freshman experience for their residents.”
It seems as though most current D’Lions are receptive to the change, although Law noted that some, especially those who work in Sue B.
“Although I cannot speak for each D’Lion individually, I cannot say that I have sensed any apprehension or negative feelings,” Antoniou said.
Overall, it seems as though the adjustment has been approached with a positive attitude. “All in all I believe this change will make the D’Lion organization — and by extension, the freshman experience — even stronger,” Watts noted.
Goldin is a member of the class of 2013.