USG proposes offering fall housing to spring admits

first_imgUndergraduate Student Government officials are this semester working to revamp the spring admission and housing process at USC.Instead of using a waitlist system, the university admits some students to matriculate in the spring semester. With the volume of applications reaching record numbers, spring admission has become a popular means of offering admission to students for whom there is not enough space in the fall semester.Spring admission is not a process unique to USC. Many other schools, including UC Berkeley, Brandeis University, Northeastern University and Middlebury College also admit students specifically for the spring. Once current students go abroad or graduate early, spaces in housing, classes and other aspects of campus life become available.The spring admission program at USC, however, is relatively new and underdeveloped compared to its counterparts. The administration began reviewing changes to the system after a panel of past spring admits voiced their complaints last semester, including concerns that they were not given the same opportunities to assimilate to into student life at USC.USG Vice President Rini Sampath, along with USG Director of University Affairs Jordan Fowler and Assistant Director of University Affairs Brad Streicher met with administrators this past week to discuss the possibility of giving spring admits the option to live in university housing this fall. The group of administrators included Timothy Brunold, dean of admission; Katharine Harrington, vice president of admissions and planning; and Nahid Razavi, assistant dean of student development programs.This suggestion is based upon the spring admission program at UC Berkeley, Fall Program for Freshmen. In this program, spring admits are essentially treated as fall students in terms of housing and extracurricular activities but take classes off-campus that fulfill UC Berkeley graduation requirements.“Not offering students housing in the fall draws away from undergraduate experience,” Sampath said. “Students are missing a key semester of getting acclimated.”A spring admit herself, Sampath said she experienced feelings of isolation from campus life and fellow students. She views the proposal to extend housing to these students as essential to improving their experience on campus.Other spring admits also feel that being allowed to move into on-campus housing in the fall would have made a difference in their freshman year experiences.“When I was initially accepted as a spring admit, there were little to no resources on how to spend my fall semester,” said Margo Brown, a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering. “The university offered no abroad programs or partnerships with local colleges. Having the option to live on campus during the fall would have made me feel more a part of the university.”According to Sampath, administrators were extremely receptive to the idea of offering housing to spring admits and creating other opportunities for these students during the fall. Once the construction on the new Village is completed in 2017, providing housing for spring admits will be a more viable option.Harrington has encouraged the team of student government representatives to continue researching the spring admit process. New surveys are being conducted among past and present spring admits that will provide quantifiable information regarding the experience.“Not living on campus during the fall definitely negatively impacted my freshman experience,” said Skylar Steinberg, a spring admit and sophomore majoring in health promotion and disease prevention studies. “It would have been much easier to meet fellow freshman and get involved had I been offered housing.”Though the proposal is in its early stages, USG hopes it will serve as a foundation to modifying the spring admit experience. The university hopes offering housing and other options for students will make starting school four months later than usual more attractive to prospective students.“More students will be up to the challenge of being a spring admit if they can have the ‘freshman experience,’” Sampath said. “The university should not miss out on exceptional students because there aren’t the resources.”last_img

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