As the two new residential colleges prepare to welcome the freshman class of 2021, the planning for the inaugural freshman counselors is already underway.
Unlike FroCos at other residential colleges, those for Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray colleges will have the unique opportunity to shape the atmosphere and traditions of Yale’s newest residential colleges since 1962, when Morse and Ezra Stiles colleges opened their doors to students. Head of Franklin College Charles Bailyn said many students have already contacted him to express interest and clarify the application process. Rising seniors will have the option to apply for the position at their current college, the new colleges or both, Bailyn added.
“I think the first inaugural freshman counselors are going to play a really big role in setting the tone and creating the traditions for the new colleges,” Bailyn said. “I’m looking forward to talking to the freshman counselors in the spring — before freshmen arrive — about their views on how the college should be set up and how it should evolve.”
Applicants cannot choose between Franklin and Murray, but juniors who do not wish to submit transfer applications — which close on Dec. 9 — can still be considered for the FroCo positions in the new colleges. The timeline for the application has not yet been released.
Bailyn and Head of Pauli Murray College Tina Lu both noted that their colleges will have a freshman counselor system similar to that of Silliman and Timothy Dwight, as both freshmen and their FroCos will live in their respective residential colleges instead of on Old Campus. As a result, the perception of Silliman and TD as exceptions may change, Bailyn added.
“There are now going to be four colleges on the TD-Silliman plan, and so rather than a standard situation with two exceptions, I think we’re moving into an era where there will be two standards,” Bailyn said.
Lu said she and Bailyn will be working closely with other college heads to ensure that FroCos are selected from a variety of residential colleges.
Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway said he is optimistic that even though the FroCos will be as new to the colleges as their freshmen will be, they will work cooperatively with the heads and deans to create a positive result.
“The FroCos are the eyes and ears of the college head and dean in the freshman quarters. Also, since they are fellow Yale College students they are naturally a less intimidating first responder than a college head or dean,” Holloway said in an email to the News.
Ben Martin ’18, a rising senior in Stiles, said he plans to apply for a FroCo position in the new colleges, as the opportunity will allow him to build new communities, guide the path of the new college and serve as a leader for freshmen.
He also noted the excitement about being a member of the inaugural graduating class of a new college.
“As a FroCo, you’re a leader in terms of building the culture in the new colleges, especially with a lot of new freshmen coming in, not knowing exactly what to expect,” Martin said. “You’re in a unique position to be more influential in that role.”
However, not all potential residents in Franklin and Murray are interested in assuming the responsibility as a freshman counselor. Although Kasidet Manakongtreecheep ’18 looks forward to making history as the first graduating class of the new colleges, he is hesitant to become a FroCo due to the heavy commitment.
“The FroCos in Murray and Franklin will certainly have the unique opportunity to establish new traditions within their colleges,” current Timothy Dwight FroCo Nicholas Kelly ’17 said. “But more important than anything they can bring is the collective engagement of the transfer students and the incoming freshman class.”