Freshmen are arguing in the Cap Bar, praying in the chapel and calling their mothers over one question this week: fall or spring Rome?
The much-anticipated application for the Rome semester opened for freshmen on Feb. 6.
Freshmen are allowed to place their semester preference on their application, though many go whichever semester their major permits.
A common theme of the talk about fall versus spring is the different atmosphere between the two.
Freshmen hear that spring Romers, or Spromers, are swept away by the Lent and Easter experience, embracing the spiritual opportunities.
The talk about fall Romers, or Fromers, revolves around immersing oneself in a rather different manner, via Oktoberfest and the tradition of smashing the grapes at harvest.
“There’s this stereotype of all the fall Romers being partiers … the spring Romers, you know, they’re all about Jesus and Easter,” freshman Cristina Goerdt said.
Junior Matteo Cina suggested that a potential reason for the stereotype of Frome partiers and Sprome uber-Catholics might lie in students’ majors.
“It’s because all the STEM people have to go in the spring, and I think those groups of people tend to be just a little more diligent,” Cina said.
However, this stereotype is anything but ironclad. For instance, freshman Rose Safranek is choosing fall based on her number one priority: academics.
“I am changing my major from a science to a humanity,” Safranek said. “So all the humanities in Rome will provide a lot of clarity, I think, so academics is the biggest priority.”
Additionally, many freshmen listed being with their friends as a highly influential factor.
Comradery is a common theme at the University of Dallas; naturally, freshmen express a desire to form closer relationships with their friends.
“First off, a lot of my friends are choosing to go fall,” freshman Teresa Linn said. “I love my friends and I want to be with them.”
Going to Rome with your best friends is ideal, but oftentimes the group ends up splitting in half, which is a problem that does not discourage freshman Alex Parkey.
“A lot of my friends are going spring,” Parkey said. “I mean I’m going to meet more people. I just really want to go fall.”
Returning Fromer Paul Zepeda encourages freshmen to meet new people.
“I made more friends over there too,” Zepeda said. “We’re super close now. Make as many friends as you can.”
Several freshmen also choose their semester based on family traditions.
Maggie Larson, Alex Parkey, Kat Christensen and Cristina Goerdt all have family ties to the fall semester.
There are, of course, other considerations, including monetary concerns. Spring Romers have more time to save money.
“Save up on your money,” junior Michael Dinielli said. “I think that’s the most important thing.”
Regardless of which semester freshmen choose, their experiences will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
However, the friendly rivalry still persists, and Zepeda couldn’t resist offering one final piece of advice to freshmen: