OCS, ResLife Schedules Clash

Samantha Shea

Students across the Colgate campus have expressed concerns following the recent announcement of changes to the 2008 room selection process. Among these concerns is the question of housing for those upperclassmen planning on spending one semester off campus during the 2008-2009 academic year.

Although some worried that housing selection would take place before Off-Campus Study decisions had been made, the new changes put in place this year actually relieve this pressure.

“We moved Junior and Senior decisions to later in the first week in April so that the majority of upperclassmen will have their final Off-Campus decision before they have to apply for housing,” Director of Residential Life and Assistant Dean of the College for Residential Education Jennifer Adams said.

This later application is new to Colgate’s housing selection process.

“It used to be much earlier. In fact, in past years we tried to have almost everything done by the end of March,” Adams said.

However, thanks in part to the renovated system and to space constraints in Residence Halls, ResLife was able to push back upperclassmen housing selection by nearly a month.

“We are trying to help juniors and seniors. We know Study Abroad decisions are not made until Spring Break.”

Barbara Gorka, Director of Off-Campus Study and International Programs, seconded this sentiment.

“Students usually know by the end of January whether or not they will be participating in Colgate-run Study Groups, [but] they will not find out until the second week in March which semester they’ve been granted leave for participation in groups run by other universities,” Gorka said.

It was for this reason that Off-Campus Study and Gorka met with Enrollment Management (Housing) this year – to make sure that leave of absence decisions made before upper class room selection occurred.

While this change is certainly welcome for all juniors and seniors preparing to study off-campus, some challenges remain.

“The hard part is that we need every apartment to be filled,” Adams said. “This is the challenging part for students, because they have to find students who are going to be on campus in opposite semesters. Our new goal is helping people match up opposite semesters.”

While community-housing applications – including those for Townhouse Apartments – remain the same due to a complicated application and interview process, Adams promises flexibility with students who may not get the abroad decision they wanted.

“We understand the need for leeway in this situation,” Adams said.