I-House Opens Doors to Domestic Overflow

    An unprecedented number of ERC sophomores now live in International House (pictured). Sophomores comprise 54 percent of I-House’s American residents. (Jaclyn Snow/Guardian)

    International House has long maintained a reputation as
    UCSD’s multi-cultural, ultra-social metropolis. However, that reputation may be
    threatened this year by an unlikely source — the Eleanor Roosevelt
    College
    sophomore.

    While the addition of extra bunks to triple up freshman
    dorms was able to accommodate last year’s enormous freshman class, the
    college’s apartments have not been as successful, with sophomores insured by
    housing contracts spilling over into I-House.

    The ERC Residence Life Office estimates that this year, out
    of the 146 American students living in Asante,
    Cuzco and
    Kathmandu Halls, an unprecedented 80 — more than 54 percent of the total
    American population in I-House — are sophomores.

    Although still required to complete I-House applications,
    sophomores were judged separately from juniors and were not in competition with
    each other, I-House Director Christi Gilhoi said.

    Apart from class level, this year’s I-House population has
    witnessed other demographic changes. While Gilhoi said the number of
    international and American students is kept close to 50 percent, the 103
    international students living in I-House this year comprise only 41 percent of
    its population. Last year, international students outnumbered Americans by 6
    percent.

    The decline in foreign students and increase in sophomores
    has also affected the average age of the I-House population. Generally,
    students living in I-House tend to be older than other students living on
    campus. However, the average age of current residents is 20, and a majority of
    students are 19 years old.

    “Last year all of us were 21 by the end of the year,” said
    Revelle College senior Joshua Ocegueda, who has lived in I-House for the last
    two years. “Having younger people definitely changes the atmosphere.”

    Gilhoi said the goal of I-House is to achieve a mixture of
    represented countries and ages to create a snapshot of the world.

    Despite the age disparity, she said that resident advisers
    have indicated that turnout for I-House events has almost doubled in comparison
    to last year, with the increased participation mostly coming from American
    students.

    “I would say the challenge is getting international students
    involved,” she said.

    While many international students said they attend cultural
    events, such as European Culture Night, some said the social scene has not
    lived up to their expectations.

    Revelle College junior Josephine Pheron, an exchange student
    from France, said she was disappointed not by the residents of I-House, but by
    its stricter policies.

    “Most parties are shut down by 11 [p.m.],” she said. “In the
    beginning of the year, international students who lived off campus would come
    to I-House for the social life, but now they think, ‘What’s the point?’”

    The constant presence of residential security officers this
    year is another change that may be related to the larger sophomore population,
    Gilhoi said.

    “Whenever there are more underage students, a little extra
    care is necessary,” she said.

    While Gilhoi did not know why more RSOs have been patrolling
    I-House this year, she said that some RSOs likely remember the “troublemakers”
    from freshman dorms last year, and feel obliged to “check up on them” this
    year.

    However, not everyone said they were dismayed by the
    younger, more sober I-House.

    ERC sophomore Liam Boogar, an 18-year-old American student,
    said the changes are “a step up from anywhere else on campus.”

    Gilhoi said this year’s changes are temporary.

    “We don’t expect to have large numbers of sophomores next
    year,” she said.

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