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ResLife discusses Ridgewood possibilites

Published: October 1, 2007
Section: News


Following their monthly departmental meeting, the Department of Residence Life revealed potential plans for determining housing selection once construction of Ridgewood Quad is completed in Spring 2009.

Were at the point that we have to talk about who will go into the new Ridgewood building once its online, said Director of Resident Life Rich DeCapua. It was a meeting of ideas, not conclusions.

According to DeCapua, the questions of how to select the first residents of the renovated Ridgewood are tied to two factors: further renovations on campus, and the size of that semesters midyear class. The first thing to think of is whats going to be renovated next year so we can find out how much housing we have, said DeCapua.

Amongst the potential solutions deliberated by Residence Life, said DeCapua were moving the midyear class into Ridgewood or designating Ridgewood to folks coming back from abroad or holding a special election in the fall. He also mentioned a possible policy of reversing the lottery from this years housing situation and giving the person with the worst number the first shot at living there.

DeCapua said that while Residence Life guaranteed housing for first-year and sophomore students, he was also taking into consideration the living situations of rising juniors and seniors: We dont want to have so few options that the majority of those classes are off-campus.

Reactions among sophomore students, who will be directly affected by the proposed plans, were mixed. One thing which all students asked agreed on was their opinion against giving the Ridgewood housing to midyears.

Giving Ridgewood to the midyears is the worst idea because midyears will benefit the most from being in close proximity to other freshmen [in North or Massell Quads], which will make it easier for them to make friends, upon beginning at Brandeis, wrote Steven Sasmor 10 in an e-mail to The Hoot.
Lilah Rogoff 10, stated in an e-mail that the university should renovate a freshman dorm anyway, and putting the mid years in Ridgewood would only seclude them more from the rest of the class.

Regarding giving the new housing to students returning from abroad, Andy Lewis 10 believed that this was probably not the most practical idea due to the fact that along with those returning, there are also a large number of students who will study abroad.

Opinions were mixed regarding the call for a special lottery in the Fall. Lewis believes that this doesnt really seem like a good idea if Ridgewood is set to open after the Fall semester because he thinks there would be an influx of people signing up. He added, who wouldnt want to live in a brand new building?

Eric Engelstein, 10, however, believed the special lottery could work if it included people who are abroad for the Fall, therefore giving everyone a chance at it.

Sasmor agreed, and believes that the special lottery is the best idea because it makes sense to offer housing to people who would otherwise be disappointed with where they would be living.

Sophomores were divided on the option of reversing the housing lottery. Lewis deemed this the best option, referencing fairness and hypothesizing if you had a low number and got a great choice of housing, why not give someone else the opportunity? Engelstein, however, was adamant against the choice, writing a lottery is a lottery, so I am fully against [it].

DeCapua said that my goal is to offer as many undergraduate beds as possible without compromising renovations on campus. He added that weve taken all [these ideas] and well discuss it with the Residence Life Advisory Board, a committee which he believed would be assembled in several weeks by Student Union President Shreeya Sinha 09. But this is all really contingent on how much construction goes this year. None of this is set in stoneits all very theoretical.