Volume 90, Issue 95

Tuesday, March 25, 1997



OC soph selection elitist

Re: Off campus soph selection process

To the Editor:

I write this letter in protest of the poor selection process of off campus orientation sophs – run by the University Students' Council and overseen by the Purple Spur. I have spoken to many people who attended the so called assessment sessions, few of whom got an interview, and fewer still who were asked to be OC sophs. Although there were varying degrees of contentment with the whole experience, most of the candidates I spoke to agreed on a few general points:

1. The assessment process was not effective in evaluating the skills required to be an OC soph (i.e. problem solving, event planning and leadership skills). With only activities like cheer and skit writing, freestyle dancing and group discussions, no issues deeper than my first bus ride were addressed. Most agreed that enthusiasm was the only skill that could be assessed.

2. Personal appearance and connections with the evaluators seemed to carry more weight in individual assessments than did their actual performance.

3. The OC head soph, Robert St. Pierre, and his selection committee did not seem to take the evaluations very seriously. Most feel the committee had a greater interest in talking amongst themselves rather than the applicants.

This behaviour is unacceptable. Selecting orientation sophs should not be done by an elite group of the coolest people you know. It must look at all the applicants. Being an effective soph exposes one to a large variety of activities that require necessary skills and evaluations should be made by this criteria alone. Most residences have a stiff and regimented process with standardized questions for soph evaluation. Why shouldn't OC?

Although I am a Saugeen soph applicant, I was an OC frosh and truly appreciate the needs of first-year students living outside the campus community. It's so easy to isolate oneself. Of all the first-year students, OC frosh need the guidance of friendly, nurturing, non-elitist sophs the most to adjust to university life. If OC manages to recruit one soph of this quality through their inadequate evaluation process, it will be by chance alone.

Aimee Gendron
Science I

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Copyright The Gazette 1997