By Chris Tait
Council Chambers were packed with anxious students at the Residence Students’ Association’s bi-weekly meeting Wed., Jan. 21. The turnout was larger than usual due to the anticipated major changes for students returning to residence next year.
The new Residence Director Jim Dunsdon created the new program; he spearheaded a similar program at the University of Toronto in the past. It was mentioned, however, that the U of T system was eventually withdrawn because of incompatibility with the residences there. Due to differences between the populations at the universities in Toronto and Calgary, Dunsdon felt confident the system would be acceptable in this case.
The new system will be based on a lottery system, where all students applying for residence spaces will be given a number and picked randomly via a computer system. Exceptions to this lottery include international students, transfer students and graduate students, for whom there are already systems in place securing spaces for them. Students with a 3.5 GPA or higher will also be assured a space. All students who met the criteria in the Fall 2003 semeseter will also be included.
"Hopefully we can make these students academic role models," explained Dunsdon.
In the past, there was a point system introduced to calculate a student’s worthiness relative to other students with regards to reapplication. This point system factored in the student’s participation in extracurricular activities, such as Safewalk, Dinos athletics, and other volunteer involvement.
"The process overall was really open to us," said RSA President Bryan West. "The RSA regretted the loss of the point system, it was our baby. There’s a bit of hesitation, but I think it will ultimately be more fair."
According to Dunsdon, the final system should be completed by the end of next week.