What is a D’Lion? Most people will ask me this question whenever I proudly announce that I am part of the D’Lion Society at Rochester this year. Briefly speaking, the D’Lion Society is a freshman peer advising group on campus. Most D’Lions are sophomores and juniors, but sometimes there are a few seniors as well. We live in freshman housing and organize all sorts of activities for our residents.
Now since we are talking about D’Lion Society, I have to tell you about the unique Rochester freshman housing system. Freshmen at Rochester either live in Susan B. Anthony Hall or the Quad area. For each freshman floor, there are several upperclassmen living with them as well. This “freshman hall team” consists of resident advisors, Freshman Fellows, and D’Lions. Resident advisors are responsible for the overall businesses on the hall; they help residents unlock their doors when they get locked out, they file incident reports if needed, and they’re in charge of several other businesses. Freshman Fellows help residents with their academics by answering questions about classes and helping students with registration. As for us D’Lions, we are the fun spirit on the hall; we decorate the halls and organize all kinds of activities to help freshmen get to know and bond with each other. The whole freshman team aims to encourage freshmen to be more involved on campus and to foster a friendly residential community.
You get to decorate the freshman halls.
I am currently a D’Lion on Tiernan hall, third floor. My D’Lion partner, aka my current roommate, Beth, and I decided to decorate our hall in honor of Hayao Miyazaki. We drew animated characters from Miyazaki’s films and pasted them on the door tags for our residents, RAs, and Freshman Fellows. We also made a birthday celebration board and when it’s a resident’s birthday, we give him/her a birthday card along with a bag of candy.
You get to carry fridges.
On move-in day, the whole freshman team was out to help our residents move in. We cheered whenever a car drove in and we greeted the students and their families. We even had a fridge-carrying competition to see how many fridges we carried during each shift. It was a lot of fun to see our residents in person for the first time and share their excitement of moving in to college!
You get to tie-dye shirts.
Our D’Lion Society as a group also does a lot of fun and meaningful activities! At the beginning of fall semester, I attended the first D’Lion social tie-dye event. We all brought a white shirt and tie-dyed our shirts with colors. My shirt was a failure because it eventually turned out to be an ugly dirt color…. Well, many other D’Lions had a great turnout and we all enjoyed each other’s company!
You get to meet cool alumni.
During Meliora Weekend, a few D’Lions, including myself, helped Student Alumni Ambassadors to give a residential hall tour for the alums. We met an alumna who lived in Gilbert Hall about 30 years ago and we took a picture with her. It was a lot of fun to listen to their stories when they were students here!
You can host a blood drive.
D’Lions also help American Red Cross to hold a blood drive twice a semester. I’m on the blood drive committee so I tabled and helped with canteen both times.
You can host a movie or concert night.
Last semester, Beth and I organized two hall programs. The first one was Miyazaki Movie Night: we borrowed a projector and two speakers and played Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning piece, Spirited Away, in the lounge. Our residents brought their pillows and blankets and snuggled together while the film was playing. Beth and I also bought pretzels, chips, and soda for this activity. It was a great turnout and Beth and I were very encouraged by this success!
For our second program last semester, we bought ten Midnight Ramblers concert tickets and gave them out to our residents. We all sat in Strong Auditorium and enjoyed a great show performed by our famous a cappella group.
Beth and I are still contemplating our programs for this semester, and the biggest and most well-known event of the D’Lion Society is coming up: D’Lion Do Danforth! Our VP Elizabeth Johnson will collect recipes for Danforth chefs to cook delicious food, and various campus performance groups will be performing in the dining hall! We can’t wait for this fest to come!
You make awesome friends.
Another great thing about being a D’Lion is that I got to know a lot of freshmen and other upperclassmen. I became good friends with my roommate Beth, my residents, two freshman fellows Alice and Justina, and our RAs Tori, Dan, and Stephanie. I went to watch the Mockingjay: Part I midnight premiere with my residents and went roller skating with them as well. I am even taking an RA class with two of my residents, Shanique and Brandon.
It’s great practice for becoming an RA.
Also, being part of D’Lion Society helped me realize I am passionate about helping people and organizing activities, so it’s a great stepping stone toward being an RA in the future. I was selected to take the RA class this semester and hopefully I will become an RA next year!
I am proud, and will always be proud, to be part of this great community on campus!