Daniel O?Connor/Photo Editor Construction workers work on new buildings in Newing College. Residential Life has designated 17 larger rooms in Newing College as part of their Newing College Leadership Assistant program.

Residential Life has created the Newing College Leadership Assistant program in the hopes of fairly distributing rooms in Newing College’s Broome, Delaware and Endicott halls, which are currently under construction.

There are 17 rooms in Newing College with larger hotel-style doubles that are paired with a private bathroom. The leadership program gives an opportunity for juniors and seniors, who have paid their on-campus housing deposit and have at least a 3.2 GPA, to live in these particular rooms.

The application requires a co-curricular transcript that gives proof of extracurricular activities, as well as a brief essay on leadership experience and how the experience can benefit the Newing College community.

The program is a yearlong commitment and requires assistants to plan one event during the academic year in conjunction with the Newing College Residential Life staff.

“It seemed like a good idea to give the ‘perk’ of a private bathroom to upperclassmen rather than a new student,” said Grace Hoefner, senior associate director of Residential Life.

In addition, the program has been started to promote more upperclassmen living on campus, who can be helpful due to experience, in residential communities. It is also a way to encourage current student leaders to continue being involved in their community, according to Hoefner.

“Overall I see this as a great solution to what could have been a disastrous problem. It seems the best way to allocate the bathrooms and promote upperclassmen activity on campus,” said Jessica Franklin, president of the Newing College Council.

Franklin said she feels the program is important in promoting involvement in the community.

“The more you do on campus and more you can connect with your school, the happier you will be,” she said.

Franklin also said she sees upperclassmen as a great resource for other residents in the halls.

“It’s a little bit of enticement to keep upperclassmen on campus,” she said. “Not as much to say keep them from moving Downtown, but usually they are better resources for freshmen and sophomores in their building. They are also a resource aside from a residential assistant and it diversifies the hall.”

The program, however, has generated some doubt regarding its effectiveness.

According to Travis Rochon, a sophomore majoring in economics and a Student Association representative of Newing Community, it will not be easy to fill rooms with upperclassmen.

“I believe that these more desirable rooms will not attract more upperclassmen to stay on campus,” Rochon said. “People move off campus for three main reasons: to save money, to be closer to the Downtown area and to rid themselves of roommates. Nicer rooms in Newing will solve none of these issues.”

In addition to attracting upperclassmen, the essential goal of the leadership program is to fairly allocate doubles containing significant benefits over the other rooms in the new halls.

“Who do you give these doubles to? It needs to be divided fairly. It should go to those who make a difference in the Binghamton community and the process provides a fair way to make these types of selections,” Franklin added.

There are currently 17 available rooms, meaning 34 Newing College leaders will reside in the hotel-style doubles.

Applications are due in the Office of Residential Life, which is located in room 213 of the Tuscarora office Building in College-in-the-Woods, by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, though the applications are not yet available.