Scores of Bowdoin students were left disappointed this week when College House decisions were mailed out on Monday. In a year that saw a record number of applicants, the Office of Residential Life had the hard task of choosing from over 300 applications for only 206 spots.
Assistant Director of Residential Life Chris Rossi explained why application numbers were so much higher than in previous years.
"The houses this year have been across-the-board wonderful," he said. "There is a serious commitment from the house officers this year that I'm not sure is always there."
"I think we also did a good job marketing them" this year, he added.
Rossi also noted that the volume of applications led to many unanswered questions from rejected applicants.
"There are a lot of people who want feedback on the application, about why they didn't make it," said Rossi. "It's totally understandable that people want to know. I try to make the process as transparent as possible."
Rossi also noted that the strength of the applicant pool this year made the selection process more competitive.
"People who were applying to College Houses had an idea that a lot of people were applying to College Houses. It pushed people to submit better applications," he said.
"Our applicant pool was really, really strong," added Rossi. "There were very good people it just didn't work out for."
Students who were accepted to College Houses are looking forward to new experiences next year. Robert Cumby '14, who was accepted to Reed House, said he felt relieved upon receiving his acceptance letter.
"I was set on living in Reed from the start of the year," said Cumby. "I was probably more afraid of not getting in than excited about getting in."
Joe Sise '14, who was also accepted to Reed House, looks forward to his house duties next year.
"I'm most excited to help our affiliate first years get accustomed to college life and to host campus-wide events," he said.
As in past years, suggestions for improvement of the College House application and interview system have followed the decisions.
Alexi Robbins '14, who was not accepted to a house, said he thought more current house members should be included in the decision process.
"I think that the application process as a whole could be better tailored toward establishing houses with good group dynamics," said Robbins. "This could mean interviews conducted in house-specific groups, and more input from the social house members who actually know the applicants."
Transparency in the application process is an important issue for ResLife. Rossi discussed how generating interest in the specifics of the application process is difficult.
"It seems like there is confusion about it every year," said Rossi. "I ran two info sessions this year and I feel like that information is out there if people are interested."
"[However,] I feel like people aren't interested unless they don't get into a house," he added.