what’s the deal with the housing lottery?

Written by program assistant Nina Gunther-Segal 13F

IMG_3515The housing lottery is approaching, and I’ve heard lots of first-year students expressing confusion about the process (myself included). Since everyone wants to have some control over where and with whom they live next year, I’m here to explain how the housing lottery works. I spoke with Assistant Director of Residence Life Amy Parker, and received a summary of what first-years should know about figuring out housing for next year.

Most people already know that the housing lottery functions based on points. Individual students get a point for every semester enrolled (so a minimum of 1 and maximum of 11). You’ll find out how many points you have from a letter in your mailbox, which will be distributed the day before the lottery starts on April 22nd. Most first year students have 2 points. Students form groups, pooling their points and attempting to “buy” a mod. You can only try for a mod that’s the same size as your group — for instance, a group of four people can only go for a four-person mod (you can’t go for a bigger mod and hope to fill empty beds later). The housing lottery progresses from smallest to largest mods — one mod size goes up every day, from four-person, to five-person, to six-person, etc. The results of the lottery are announced the day groups submit applications, so if you don’t win the first time, your group can take the 24 hours to find a new person and re-enter. This means that strategically, it makes sense to start smaller and go bigger.

So how do these registration packets work? Everything’s done on paper in absentia, and groups get to rank their preferred mod selections. Even if you put it last, if you rank a particular mod space you are committing to living there, so if you don’t want to live somewhere, put a big X through it. Note that the most common reason that people don’t win mods is because they choose not to rank them. You win your highest rank mod that another group with more points hasn’t won. The packet of forms are due every day at 1:00 p.m. at the latest — anytime after is too late, so be sure to try and get your packets to the HOO as early as you can to avoid a stressful, last-minute rush. If you want to drop them off while the office is closed, you can use the mail slot located at knee height in the inner door.

There are also alternative ways to get housing for next year. Instead of participating in the housing lottery to try and get a mod, groups can try and get dorm halls. For dorm halls, you have to have a group of five, but no one is required to sign up for a double. You can also skip the lottery altogether and sign up for an individual dorm room; this method also gives you the option of putting yourself on the mod wait list to fill vacancies as they arise over the summer. Vacancies are very common, and last year the HOO went through everyone on the mod waitlist, so this is a viable option. Also, the mod waitlist form allows you to narrow down the parameters of the room you’d want; for instance, you can say you only want to be placed in an Enfield single (but the stricter your parameters, the harder it’ll be to get in). There are also intentional housing communities, the selection window for which has technically passed, though you can certainly email the HOO at housing@hampshire.edu for more information. There’s info about intentional housing communities here, with descriptions of all the spaces and their applications.

Still want more information? All this info and lots more is already on the Hampshire website’s housing lottery page. All first-year students have also received a housing lottery informational booklet in their mailboxes. The HOO does all of their communication with students through their Hampshire email accounts, both during the year and over the summer, so keep checking your email to stay in the loop. Students are also free to stop by the HOO, ask their interns, or write to housing@hampshire.edu with questions. And if you found this process confusing even with all of these resources, the HOO is always looking for feedback about how the process went, so they’ll send out a survey sent after the lottery.

I hope that this is helpful! Still have questions? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu!

newton’s laws: places to relax

Wondering where our NEWTOHAMP BOT has been lately? Preparing for its film debut! Check out the first installment of Newton’s Laws, exploring some of the best places to relax on campus.

Check back in the coming weeks for more of Newton’s adventures. And, as always, feel free to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any questions!

welcome to the newtohamp blog!

On behalf of the office of new student programs at Hampshire College, we’d like to welcome you to the newtohamp blog. Here you’ll find updates on academic requirements, events sponsored by the office of new student programs, tips from current students on navigating your first year at Hampshire, and posts by guest bloggers on all things new students. We don’t want you to miss a thing!

Can’t make it to one of our programs? Check back here for a post-event report with information on what you missed and how to get in touch with presenters. Looking for advice from current students? We’ll have current students posting their best pieces of wisdom from their first year experiences. Have questions, but don’t know who to ask? We’ll cover that too, by introducing the individuals that can help you to make the most of your first year at Hampshire.

Stay tuned!

packing up and moving out

NEWTOHAMP BOT SuitcaseThe end of the spring semester is finally upon us, which means it’s time to start packing up your room and getting ready to move out for the summer. Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve compiled some tips to help you get it done quickly and easily.

Residence Closing Information

As soon as your work is complete for the semester and you have checked in with your advisor for portfolio review week, you are free to go. Some students will leave shortly after classes are over, others will stay longer to finish up final work. All students are welcome to stay until Commencement, which will be held on Saturday, May 18. All students must have vacated their rooms and returned their keys to the Housing Operations Office no later than 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 19, and no one is permitted to stay past that point: no exceptions.

Prior to your departure, you will receive a key return envelope from the housing operations office. Keys must be returned in those envelopes to the HOO. If you are leaving after business hours you may drop your keys through the mail slot. When leaving, make sure your room and common spaces have been cleaned (cleaning supplies available at your house office), that your doors have been locked, and that all furniture is present and accounted for. You will be billed for any damages to your room.

When you are ready to leave, you may formally to check out of your room with housing operations staff Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Once all items have been removed from your room, HOO staff will compare the initial room contract you completed against current room conditions to determine if you will be billed for any damages. If you are unable to fully empty your room during business hours you can ask a staff member to look at your room. They will review a check list with you to give you an idea of what you have done and what you still need to do in order to avoid damage and/or cleaning charges. You can return your keys via the mail slot in the HOO alcove during non-business hours. Do not return your keys until you are ready to leave campus!

Pack It!
Don’t pay for boxes–you can find free boxes at all sorts of places. The easiest place to check is Atkins Farms; they leave free boxes by the cash registers daily, so you can help yourself. The dining commons also will often leave free boxes by Roberta’s desk at the end of year as well. Grocery and liquor stores are also good places to inquire about boxes; they’re often glad to have someone take them away. Try checking at Duplications (library ground floor) as well.

Store It!
Students may store up to three boxes on campus. Storage policies can be found on the residence life website, as well as information about where you will store your items (based on where you are living next year). Contact your house office for storage hours. For students who will be living off-campus, there is no summer storage space available.

If you are looking for local storage options to accommodate more items, check our comprehensive list of over fifteen local storage facilities. If storage is too pricey, consider sharing a storage unit with a group of friends. Sign up for off-campus storage facilities soon, as they tend to fill quickly.

Please be advised that no bicycles or cars may be left on campus for the summer, and may be removed if they are.

And don’t forget — the Housing Operations Office has supplied this great booklet on How to Move Out Gracefully. Check it out for lots of great information.

Best of luck as you pack and move out, and enjoy your summer. We’ll miss you!

Questions? Contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’re happy to help!

win this week’s care package!

Care Package FrontAre you ready? It’s time for our weekly care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before midnight TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow morning. Got it? Good!

If you could choose the person who would play you in a movie about your life, who would you choose?

the top ten reasons to be an orientation leader

photoThinking of applying to be an orientation leader, but feeling unsure about making the commitment? Have you started your application, but get so excited every time you think about orientation that you can’t keep your mind on anything else? Great news:

You’ve come to the right place!

We asked current and past orientation leaders to compile a top ten list to describe the experiences they’ve had with the new student orientation program, to give you a better idea of what you can expect as a member of the orientation staff. They think you should apply to be a leader, and so do we! Here’s why:

10. Campus resources! As an Orientation Leader, you’ll likely learn more about the Hampshire campus and campus resources than you have in your first year at Hampshire. A big part of orientation training is learning about these resources so that you can be more informed when working with new first year and transfer students. The information you receive preparing for orientation will undoubtedly benefit you as you continue to navigate your Hampshire experience, and you’ll be super helpful to your orientees.

9. Skills! The skills you’ll learn in orientation training will be useful to you beyond orientation. The leadership skills that you’ll acquire through being an orientation leader will help you to make a positive impact in your community, on and off campus. You’ll also gain facilitation skills by working with your co-leader, you orientation group, and by leading an interest day activity. You’ll build your resume while making a difference in the lives of new students. Sounds good to us!

8. Learning from your peers! As an orientation leader, you’ll be in training sessions with students from all different divisions and backgrounds. Listening to the opinions and experiences of other students when discussing their time at Hampshire can be a great learning experience, and can further expand your understanding of the Hampshire community on the whole.

7. Positive change! Didn’t enjoy your own orientation group experience? As an orientation leader, you’ll have the opportunity to create positive change and help us to improve the new student orientation program. Take what didn’t work for you when you were a first year and make it better for the new students — they’ll thank you!

6. Repeat performances! Can’t get enough Micia Mosely? Love the welcome ceremony? Want to help introduce students to the climbing wall? Looking forward to a new common reading discussion? You can do it all again, and help us to make it even better!

5. Relationship building! You’ll make a lot of new friends during orientation, both with your fellow leaders and the new students coming in. The people you meet could become lifelong friends, all because of the bond you made during the orientation program. (This happens ALL the time!) As an orientation leader, you’ll also become a part of a unique community of orientation staff, a bond that you can carry with you throughout your time at Hampshire.

4. Perks! As an orientation leader, you’ll get to return to campus early, be fed by the orientation program, wear a fancy orientation leader t-shirt, AND receive a $300 stipend. Starting out the year with $300 is a great thing. Who knows, you may even get a chance to take a ride on the orientation golf cart with Josiah Litant and Jessica Ortiz. What’s not to love?

3. Representing Hampshire! Orientation leaders are chosen to be representatives of Hampshire during one of the most important times of the year. As an orientation leader, you’ll represent Hampshire to the community of new students and families, and will have the opportunity to share your experiences with these individuals. It’s an honor to be chosen to represent Hampshire at this crucial time, and something that our leaders are very proud of!

2. It’s fun! Orientation is such a fun time of year, and the positive energy on campus is palpable. It’s warm, it’s sunny, you’re outside, and you’re at Hampshire! Sounds good to us.

1. You know you want to! Seriously, you know you want to, so what are you waiting for? Start your application today by visiting the application website. Learn more about what’s required, the selection timeline, and more! Don’t wait — applications are due on Wednesday, March 6!

Still have questions? Come to an information session to learn more about the orientation leader position. Sessions will be held on Thursday, February 28 at 4PM and Friday, March 1 at 2:30PM, both in the Merrill Living Room. Meet Jessica Ortiz and get your questions answered.

In the meantime, feel free to e-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information.

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

Are you ready? It’s time for our weekly care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before midnight TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow afternoon. Got it? Good!

If you could share a meal with anyone from any period in history, who would you choose?

people you should know: your campus police liaison officers!

Did you know that each housing area has its own Campus Police liaison officer? Wondering what that means? You’ve come to the right place!

What’s a liaison officer?
The liaison officer is a resource that is available to the Hampshire College community to help address issues of concern that involve public safety, crime prevention, and conflict resolution. You can contact your liaison officer anytime to address any concerns that you may have. Together, you can work to understand the issue at hand, and your officer can work to provide some meaningful solutions to problems. The campus police department offers programs that can be arranged with your liaison officer for your residential area. By coming to you, Campus Police strives to make these programs as accessible as possible.

What programs can the liaison officer provide?

  • Alcohol Awareness:  A presentation on the effects of alcohol and the laws and consequences. Fatal Vision Goggles are used as part of this program.
  • S.A.F.E. (Self-Defense workshop): Offered as a 1 hour self-defense program to educate and share vital information about personal safety to the community. The S.A.F.E. program is an introduction to a more advanced self-defense training program. Your liaison officer can assist you in arranging for an instructor to come to your housing area.
  • Dorm Talks: Social gatherings where residents can ask questions and build a working relationship with the department.

Who is my liaison officer?
Great question! Here’s a list of liaison officers, by area.

Dakin & Merrill Houses:
Sergeant Bruno Duarte

E-mail
: bduarte@mtholyoke.edu | Campus Police: 413-559-5424

 

Greenwich & Enfield Houses:
Officer Sergei Skorupa
E-mail
: sskorupa@mtholyoke.edu | Campus Police: 413-559-5424

 

Prescott House:
Officer Irma Lopez
E-mail: ilopez@hampshire.edu | Campus Police: 413-559-5424

 

What other services can Campus Police provide?

  • Operation ID: Engraving your personal property in case of theft. We also encourage students not to leave items unattended.
  • Bicycle Registration: Registering your bike with the campus police department helps to identify and recover it in case of theft.
  • Ride-Along Program: Participants are authorized to ride in patrol vehicles in a passenger/observer capacity only. Participants are not permitted to take any law enforcement action, assist in conducting investigations, or perform any law enforcement task or function. All persons must wear civilian clothes when participating in the ride-along program. Participants are assigned to ride with a uniformed patrol officer only. If a situation arises that would expose the participant to undue danger, the officer will exercise discretion and may temporarily leave the passenger at a suitable location while responding to a call.
  • RAD (Rape Aggression Defense): Program instructors provide participants with information, tactics, and considerations which we believe may be useful for various types of abductive encounters perpetrated against women.
  • Child Seat Inspection & Installation: The College Campus Police Department offers Child Passenger Car Seat Inspections. Open to College community members only, our certified technician will thoroughly inspect child passenger seats for wear and effectiveness and install them properly to assure the safest ride for our children.

Want to learn more? Meet Campus Police at the Campus Police Meet and Greet, Wednesday, October 10 from 4-6:30 p.m. in the FPH Faculty Lounge. Want a copy of this information for yourself? Click here for a PDF of the liaison officers guide.

Questions? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu!

understanding the cel-1 requirement

If you’ve begun your advisor questionnaire on TheHub, you’ve likely encountered a question about what types of campus service learning activities you’d be interested in during your first year at Hampshire (and if you haven’t, you should get started on the form — it’s due on August 15!). In addition to the seven courses you must complete in Division I, all first-year students are also asked to fulfill the Campus Engaged Learning requirement, affectionately referred to as CEL-1, in order to pass Division I and move on to Division II. You cannot sign up for CEL-1 activities until after you’ve arrived on campus, but for those of you who can’t wait to learn more, read on for lots of great information!

What is CEL-1?
CEL-1 is a Division I requirement that asks you to engage in 40 hours of collaborative work/projects/learning outside of the traditional classroom during your first year. CEL-1 activities thus take place on campus and/or enhance campus life. With an emphasis on mindful participation, documentation and reflection, CEL-1 activities provoke observations about the meaning of community and the relationship between your coursework and your other pursuits. The requirement allows you to weave together multiple experiences (i.e. you can take more than one CEL-1!) throughout the year that build a dynamic, comprehensive Division I experience.

How does it work?
CEL-1 activities are offered by the Hampshire community and take on several different forms. Sponsors include the array of community members on campus, including campus program staff, Hampshire faculty, Division II and III students and student group leaders.  You are welcome to craft your own CEL-1 activity, provided that it meet the guidelines and has a non-Division I sponsor. You’ll be asked to document this work as you go so that you’re better equipped to write about it in your final Division I Portfolio and Retrospective Essay. Documentation can take many forms as well: journal entries, photography, collection of materials, video, artwork, etc.

What counts?
Past CEL-1 activities run the gamut of experiences, including various arts-based projects, design/build work, outdoor adventure and leadership, food/farm/sustainability initiatives, identity-based groups, student-run courses, social justice organizing, event planning, and so so much more! Membership in an recognized student group, completion of an Outdoors Program/Recreational Athletics (OPRA) course, and completion of an Experimental Program in Education & Community (EPEC) course can all count towards your CEL-1 hours, so there are countless ways for you to complete the requirement.

How should I begin?
Appropriate CEL-1 activities will be ones that you discuss and decide on with your tutorial advisor, but you are welcome to start brainstorming and getting involved in projects as soon as you arrive on campus and the semester begins! The CEL-1 website will guide you through completion of the CEL-1 process, and will provide an overview of the available activities once classes start. This website is where sponsors can upload information about activities they are offering, and where Division I students can learn more details, browse opportunities, and register for activities. To browse available opportunities from last year (and get a sense of what you might be interested in), click ‘Old/Past’ in the Status toolbar on the Browse tab of the site.

When should I begin?
Because this is campus-based engagement, the expectation is for you to get here and familiarize yourself with the opportunities available to you. You will be updated about the CEL-1 process during and after orientation, and will be asked to sign up for activities after you’ve arrived on campus. You’ll be advised to begin this process early in your Division I, and will receive lots more information after classes begin.

Where can I find more information?
You’ll be receiving more information during orientation and after you arrive, but in the meantime, you can read more about the requirement on the CEL-1 website and the Center for Academic Support and Advising’s CEL-1 page. Have a burning question that can’t wait? E-mail cel1@hampshire.edu for more information. They’re happy to help!

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any questions about new student orientation, your arrival, or your first year at Hampshire. We’d love to hear from you.

what’s the deal with work study?

Great question. We’re glad you asked!

If you’re an incoming student with a work study award as part of your financial aid package, you’re probably wondering how (and when) to get started on the process of securing work study employment on or off campus. All work study-eligible students will receive correspondence in their Hampshire email accounts from Janel Johnson, Hampshire’s student employment coordinator, in mid-August, with more information about securing a work study position. But if you can’t wait to start thinking about employment opportunities, here are a few tips and FAQs to help you get started before you arrive!

Where can I view the available work study positions?
Available on and off campus work study positions are listed on the student employment intranet site, and will be updated more fully in mid-to-late August. These listings are as current as possible for this moment, but will certainly be updated as we move towards the semester. To get a sense of what’s available, you can browse the following sites. (Note: you will need your HampNet username and password to log on to the Intranet.)

When can I begin contacting potential employers?
The student employment office generally recommends that students wait until August to begin contacting campus offices. Many Hampshire offices are closed during the summer, while others operate with limited staffing, so you’re more likely to get in touch with offices once their full staffs have returned for the start of the fall semester (which generally happens around August 1). We’ve heard some stories about students contacting offices sooner than this and having success in doing so, but most offices don’t expect to hear from you until August.

How should I contact potential employers?
Once you’ve identified a few potential opportunities in which you’re interested, you can begin contacting these offices to express your interest, see if the position is still available, and schedule an interview for early in the semester. Email is preferred by most offices, as it is easier to keep track of communication, potential candidates, and interview scheduling. Some listings will indicate how best to contact the office, so feel free to use this as a guide. If you cannot find contact information on a listing, feel free to contact the student employment office for more information.

How many positions should I pursue?
The student employment office suggests that students pick up to five positions of interest. Many students have a work study awards as part of their financial aid package, and the more opportunities you pursue, the more likely you are to secure a position.

Are there any forms that I need to fill out?
Once you have interviewed and acquired a job, you will need to fill out a work contract, I-9, W4 and M4 tax forms before you before will be able to be paid for your work. You can obtain the work contract through either the employer or the student employment offices. All work study-eligible students are required to attend the student employment meeting, which takes place on Tuesday, September 4, at which point you’ll fill out your tax forms and learn more about policies and procedures for student employment. More information about this meeting will be available in the new student orientation schedule. Please note that you’ll need to have two forms of identification with you in the form of 1) a passport (current or expired), a social security card, or a certified birth certificate, and 2) either your Hampshire ID or a driver’s license. Please keep this in mind when packing for Hampshire!

Where can I find more information?
Visit the student employment office page on the Intranet for lots of great links, including information on contracts and a list of FAQs. Janel Johnson, the student employment coordinator, will return to the office in mid-August, but you can certainly contact Financial Aid at financialaid@hampshire.edu or 413.559.5484 with any pressing questions. They’re happy to help.

Still have questions? Curious about anything new student related? Feel free to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’d love to hear from you!