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Dormcon Finds Violations at New Rush Parties

By Eun J. Lee

As dormitory rush comes to a close with today’s deadline for freshmen entry into the housing adjustment lottery, it is apparent that the system is still under modification in the second year of housing all freshmen on campus.

A dispute between Dormitory Council and the Interfraternity Council occurred during Sunday night’s “Island in the Sun” party in the Zesiger Center.

“Dormcon is a little disappointed with the IFC’s lack of cooperation in honoring our rules,” said Dormcon President Emily E. Cofer ’04.

Members of Dormcon’s judicial committee heard reports of upperclassmen fraternity members at the event asking freshmen to go back to their houses or leave with them before the official end time of the party.

“Dormcon feels this was against the spirit of the event,” Cofer said.

Issues also arose with violations of previously agreed upon attendance levels of fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups. According to the rules, all upperclassmen must wear shirts identifying the living group they represent. Only five FSILG members per group were invited to Friday’s party, and they were required to wear badges. However, Dormcon’s Judicial Committee reportedly identified fraternity members posing as freshmen, wearing neither their identifying shirts nor badges, and also in shirts without badges.

David B. Gottlieb ’04, IFC Judicial Committee chair, asserts that fraternity members did not pressure freshmen to leave the party with them, but merely invited freshmen already planning on leaving to go with them.

“Fraternity people are really good about following the rules. I didn’t see any [instances of] anyone breaking the rule,” Gottlieb said. “The problem was not widespread at all.”

The IFC and Dormcon have been discussing Sunday’s events and detailing their joint goals for dormitory rush.

“This will all be worked out in the next couple of weeks and into fall term. Hopefully we’ll be able to invite the IFC back to our events next year,” Cofer said.

“I don’t really anticipate any [future] problems,” Gottlieb said. “This is all a totally new process [for everyone]. We’re trying to work some issues out, but I think we’re still heading in the right direction.”

Dorm rush strategies differ

Organizers hail dormitory rush as successful in getting freshmen out to meet people from other dormitories and informing them of how the system works.

“It’s pretty cool to get a chance to change dormitories and look at places to stay because most other colleges don’t let you do that,” said Dennis R. Miaw ’07.

Two large Dormcon events, Sunday night’s party in the Z-Center and Monday night’s Red Sector A party at East Campus, were well-attended.

“Speaking for the east side of campus, we seem to have a lot of people who are really excited to live in EC or move here from the west side of campus,” Cofer said. “[We’ve been] better at getting the name out there, and letting people know what we’re all about. Since last year, EC has done a better job.”

On the other side of campus at Next House, the strategy of dormitory rush was a little different because of its residence-based advising program.

“We have less people who are free to move around ... I’ve talked to a lot of people who want to move into Next, but it’s hard to judge if people are going to get in or not,” said Christopher C. Hemond ’03.

Freshmen contemplate moving

“I’m still sort of looking at other dormitories,” said Miaw, who is considering entering the readjustment lottery. He feels that dormitory rush events will be essential in helping him make an informed decision on where to live.

“All the students and staff are really helpful in helping you get all the information you need and get the feel of each dorm,” he said.

Despite the seemingly successful events of this year’s dormitory rush, some freshmen do not plan to enter the lottery today.

“I chose not to really participate in dorm rush because I like [where I’m living],” said Alissa R. Kerner ’07. “Maybe if I didn’t like it, I’d try more to explore other dormitories, but there was no need. Plus, I didn’t feel like moving all my stuff.”

Crowding may affect lottery

The decision to have dormitory crowding may have an affect on the number of students who choose to participate in today’s readjustment lottery.

“Last year we didn’t have to deal with [crowding] at all. I think it could definitely play a major role in how many people sign up for the readjustment lottery and get reassigned,” said Denise A. Vallay, assistant director for undergraduate housing.

It is hard to predict how participation in this year’s lottery will compare with last year, when only one out of seven freshmen requested transfers. Out of 140 requests, only 84 students were able to move.

“I think that the fact that last year there was no crowding at all probably had something to do with [the low number of lottery entrants],” said Anthony E. Gray PhD ’01 of the housing office who is a consultant for this year’s lottery.

A goal for this year’s Orientation has been to raise awareness about the residence selection process and encourage more people to enter the readjustment lottery.

“The more people that enter [the readjustment lottery], the more people that we can move,” Vallay said. “So we hope more people enter.”

Changes in this year’s lottery

Three major changes have been made from last year, which was the first year that all freshmen were required to live on campus. The housing office has made concerted efforts this year to improve the quality and informativeness of the guide to first year residences.

“We tried to make it clear and explain as best as possible the purpose and reason for the adjustment lottery,” Vallay said.

This year, changes have also been made to the online adjustment lottery Web site to encourage increased participation in the lottery. The adjustment lottery form has an additional fourth choice of dormitory to switch into, and it is also on the same Web site as the housing confirmation form.

“The housing office has been really great in working with us to get out all the information freshmen need to make [an] intelligent decision given time and info they have,” Cofer said.

“One thing that is definitely important to keep in mind is that every year one of the things the designers of the lottery look at is the number of places student indicate as preferences,” Gray said. “The greater the number of preferences, the more likely you are to get a reassignment.”

This is based on the assumption that a student who enters four alternative dormitories is more dissatisfied with her current assignment than somebody who enters only one alternative.

Lottery results not final

“If all else fails and a student is unable to be reassigned, it’s important to keep in mind that this is not the last opportunity for change,” Vallay said.

Students who do not get their desired reassignment can still sign up to go on residence hall waiting lists after the adjustment lottery has closed. Also, students in crowded dormitories may find that their situations change.

“My expectation is that dormitories that are crowded now will not stay crowded for the year,” Vallay said, emphasizing that the housing assignments change constantly throughout the year.

The online housing adjustment lottery will close today at 5 p.m. New housing assignments will be available tomorrow at 6 p.m.