The Community Living and Learning Center launched a pilot program this fall designed to train sophomores as community facilitators in GW residence halls.
Assistant Dean of Students Mark Levine said CLLC needed to expand its pool of CF applicants because housing options increased on campus when the University turned the former Premier Hotel into the Hall on Virginia Avenue. As a result, CLLC administrators turned to “stellar sophomores” who already had taken leadership roles in the Residence Hall Association or hall offices, Levine said.
The sophomore CFs said their CFs from freshman year inspired them to apply for the job.
Alyssa Fleischman, a sophomore CF in Mitchell Hall, said she wanted to give back to the community that had given her so much.
Laura Langone, a sophomore CF in Fulbright Hall, agreed and said the number one reason she applied for the job was because her CF had soothed her during times of tremendous homesickness.
The CFs said the benefits of having a sophomore CF outweigh the negatives.
Fleischman said the freshman experience is still fresh in her mind, so she can tend more easily to the needs of Mitchell Hall residents. Pam Doron, a sophomore CF in Fulbright, said she can relate to the academic and social concerns of her peers and cited choosing a major as a typical example.
“The programming we can offer our residents will benefit us too,” Doron said.
But some students who live on floors with sophomore CFs said toeing the line between peer and disciplinarian might be trickier for sophomores.
“I don’t think it makes a difference as long as she’s not friends with any of us because it’s hard to see your friend as an authority figure,” said Lia Kravet, a sophomore living in Fulbright Hall.
Langone said she understood why students might be a bit uncomfortable but said CFs have certain responsibilities.
“We want to be friends, but we all have to follow the same rules, and we have to enforce them,” she said. “It’s our job. It’s what we’re paid to do.”
One Fulbright resident said he was happy to find out his CF was a sophomore like himself.
“We respect her as a classmate and don’t want to do anything against her,” sophomore Dan Varon said.
The sophomore CFs were given the same training as other CFs who were new to the CLLC system, Fleischman said.
Fleischman said any lack of experience sophomores might have was made up for during extensive training.
The sophomore CFs said they already have plans to distinguish themselves as competent figures in the residence halls.
Langone said she knows what fellow sophomores want out of their living experiences. She and Doron are planning a rooftop luau, she said.
Fleischman said her most important task will be to ensure freshmen living in Mitchell Hall singles build a close-knit community.
Doron said the opportunity to help students and plan events is an honor.
“I think this is my opportunity to shine and stand out in the GW community,” Doron said.