By Chris Tait
Earlier this year, new Residence Director Jim Dunsdon teamed up with the Residence Students’ Association to create a new re-admission process for returning residence students. The old system, which was based on points gained by volunteering and participating in the community, has been replaced by a lottery.
The new lottery system, which features randomly drawn numbers for placement in residence, was brought forward to eliminate cheating in the process, one of the major problems arising every year with the point system. This bogged down the system, as every application had to be carefully scrutinized.
“[Dunsdon] came in in November, and told us that the process was going to change this year,” alleged RSA President Bryan West. “In general, I think the reaction was negative. The majority of us were disappointed. A lot of people get attached to residence.”
According to West, the proposed program, introduced to residence students at the RSA’s Wed., Jan. 21 meeting, came to the RSA as “bare bones” initially, so the RSA decided they had two choices. They could either fight to keep their “baby,” the point system, or try and improve the skeletal structure of the proposed new system. A vote for change moved the RSA into negotiations with Dunsdon to establish the new lottery system.
The change both the RSA and Dunsdon wanted was a consideration for high academic achievers. The result is anyone with a GPA of 3.5 or higher will be automatically accepted.
One of RSA’s major changes to Dunsdon’s original plan was the addition of 20 positions for students heavily involved in volunteering and the community.
“The addition to the process that we hadn’t originally thought of was the notion of community recognition, which the RSA brought forward,” explained Dunsdon. “This is so individuals who aren’t going to be student leaders next year, who aren’t high academic achievers, can get a guaranteed place in residence, just because they’ve been strong community leaders.”
The main drawback to the new system is that student leaders no longer have preferential treatment when it comes to getting a spot in residence. Despite this fact, West seemed satisfied with the end result.
“For the average student, it looks like they will actually have a better chance of getting back in this way,” said West.