Student Life Archives (2001-2008)

Upperclassmen groan about living with freshmen

Emily Dowden is a sophomore among freshman, and she is not entirely pleased about it.

“The college experience is so much different as a freshman than as a sophomore, so at first it was just really weird living on a freshman floor,” said Dowden, who lives in University House, a predominantly freshman dorm. “Living in the freshman dorm makes it very hard to meet upperclassmen.”

Dowden and about 50 other upperclassmen and transfer students live in University House, the newest dorm on the South 40.

Todd Foley, the U. House residential college director, said that the dorm was originally slated as a mixed dorm, housing upperclassmen as well as freshmen.

“Almost all of the sophomore and junior transfer students are in a suite with four singles,” said Foley. “So when they moved in, they were already with three other transfer students.”

Dowden said that her first friends were her suitemates.

“I came to this school knowing absolutely no one,” said Dowden, who transferred from Miami University of Ohio. “I’m definitely glad to be housed with three other transfers, because we understand each other’s situations.”

The third floor of U. House, where Dowden lives, has the largest mix of transfer students and upperclassmen. Junior David Rogier, a residential advisor on the third floor, said that there are around 10 transfer students, 10 upperclassmen and 30 freshmen living on the third floor.

“At the beginning of the year, we made our floor meetings optional to the transfers because most of them already did the orientation thing at their previous college,” said Rogier. “They were welcome to come, though, and most of them showed up anyway.”

Rogier said that the third floor is different from all-freshman floors because of the mix of older students.

“[It's] a lot calmer,” said Rogier. “The upperclassmen show the freshman a different aspect [of things]. They’re more experienced at college.”

Sarah Chatellier, a sophomore transfer student living on the second floor of U. House, said that the freshmen on her floor have closer bonds. The second floor of U. House has only eight transfer students and no upperclassmen.

“I feel like the freshmen have a tighter community than the transfers do coming in,” said Chatellier, who also lives with three other transfers.

“At the beginning there wasn’t much interaction between the freshmen and the sophomores, but recently there’s been a lot more interaction,” said Chatellier.

Before she transferred, Chatellier already knew some University students from high school.

“Having friends here helped a lot, because outside of my suite I haven’t met many people from my floor,” said Chatellier.

Junior Brett Mendel, a second floor resident advisor, said that the suite set-up for transfers isn’t conducive to socializing.

“It’s strange, because we have all our transfers in singles, which kind of hampers the socialization,” said Mendel. “They can hide out in their rooms because in singles, you’re not always around everyone, having to socialize.”

Even though Dowden has had difficulty meeting upperclassmen, she has adjusted to her floor.

“It would be so different if we lived in sophomore housing, because it would be much easier to meet people our own age,” said Dowden. “Regardless, we hang out with the freshmen a lot…we don’t seem to notice the age difference.”

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