The competition for freshman counselor positions has gotten a little steeper.
This year 270 people applied for the positions, up from 229, but short of the all-time high, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said.
“In the past, we’ve been up to over 300,” Trachtenberg said. “Over the years it just goes up and down. We certainly have enough people to choose counselors from.”
Freshman counselors from Berkeley, Morse and Ezra Stiles colleges will live in Swing Space next year while Vanderbilt Hall is being renovated. Berkeley Dean George Levesque said in an e-mail that there was no change in Berkeley applications from last year, but applicants were not aware of the housing change when they applied.
“The announcement about Berkeley housing came after the deadline for applications, so there is no way to know how the number was affected by the Swing Space decision,” Levesque said. “I e-mailed all the applicants as soon as I heard the housing announcement, and for what it’s worth, no applicant withdrew his or her application.”
Freshman counselors will be the only upperclassmen in Swing Space, and will work to create a freshman community for students from Berkeley, Morse and Stiles.
“I think most of us are simply trying to imagine what it will be like to have a satellite of Old Campus in Swing Space,” Levesque said. “The big challenge, of course, will be to help the freshmen in Swing Space not feel isolated, but I think having three colleges together will provide a significant sense of community.”
Current freshman counselor Olivia Wang ’02 said being a freshman counselor was a good way for her to be involved with the college.
“I had a really great freshman counselor, so it was a way for me to give back,” Wang said. “You get a great perspective. After being here for three years, it’s refreshing the way the freshman see it.”
Applicant Ben Klay ’03 said he wants to be a freshman counselor because it offers an opportunity to break out of a social mode.
“As you get older, you get your established college life, but it’s nice to be in an environment with lots of new people,” Klay said.
Applicant Kyle Dunn ’03 said there are many benefits to being a freshman counselor but added that there are some potential drawbacks.
“You are definitely removed from your college,” Dunn said. “You don’t get to see your friends in the halls of your college. It’s also a pretty big responsibility.”
But Joshua Klein ’02, a freshman counselor in Branford College, said that he does not feel disconnected from his college and that being a freshman counselor gives him a new perspective.
“I think that you get a whole different take on the Yale experience and it comes full circle,” Klein said. “I still have time to see my friends.”