Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Midyears and upperclassmen share Village residence quad

Published: January 29, 2010
Section: News

The midyear class of 2013 moved into the Village Residence Quad earlier this month, making it the first time ever first-years are living in direct proximity to upperclassmen.

Up until last year, the university housed midyears in dorms in the traditionally first-year North and Massell Quads. The university would choose one building a year to renovate during fall semester and to house Midyears in the spring, according to Senior Director of Community Living Jeremy Leiferman.

Because the class of 2013 is approximately 100 students larger than previous first-year classes–part of an effort by the university to increase revenue–this year North and Massell Quads were entirely filled during fall semester, leaving no room for the midyears to house with their classmates. Instead, the majority of midyears class of 2013 live in the Village, which last semester housed students preparing to study abroad in the spring, with most midyears living in House C and a smaller group living in the adjacent House B building.

That’s right next door to the upperclassmen living in the Village House A, who include transfer students and juniors who have returned from abroad with a few seniors.

“We wanted to choose housing for both groups that would meet their needs,” Leiferman said.

Since Brandeis’ first midyear class enrolled in 2004, Leiferman believes there has been a lot of improvement in their transition to college.

“The university has gotten better at preparing them to come in. So I think we’ve learned a lot about what we can provide them before they even get here in January,” he said.

Lieferman explained that unlike the students who enrolled in the fall, many midyears spent last semester studying abroad or participating in other educational programs. He said that their experiences helped them become more independent and comfortable living with older students.

“They’re coming in with a completely different set of experiences that have them well prepared for college,” Leiferman said, adding, “The upper-year students that are living in the Village have been very welcoming to the midyears.”

The midyear students participated in a smaller, but similar orientation program to the one the rest of the class of 2013 experienced in August. One of the main goals of this process was to allow the midyears to become more comfortable and sociable with each other before meeting the rest of the student body.

“Right now, we are focused on building a community within the midyear group,” Leiferman said.

In addition, Leiferman said, he hopes to see more interaction and communication between all members of the class of 2013.

“We have our little group [of friends] and we really don’t think about the fact that we’re not with the other freshman. Most of the time when you tell someone you’re a midyear, they get really excited,” midyear Emma McAfee-Hahn ’13 said. “We’re going to be dispersed among everyone else and we only get four months to live together.”

So far, the upperclassmen don’t have any complaints.

“It’s different. We [upperclassmen] can show them around and show them what college is all about,” Ezra Bernstein ’11 said.

Next year’s housing assignments for the incoming midyears will be very similar to 2010, with the exception that sophomores, rather than juniors and seniors, will be living near them in Village House A.