Wednesday, October 15, 2008

GXC Launches Monday, Oct. 20

The Diamondback ran my article about GoCrossCampus today in the Opinion Section of the Diamondback- make sure to check it out! GXC is an innovative way to build community on-campus and engage students in something campuses across the country are taking part in. The game has the potential to become a new tradition at the University, so make sure to tell all your friends and lobby peers to join your team!

The RHA will be hosting a pizza party for the winning team as a way to reward those dedicated to the game's launch and to allow students to interact with one another face-to-face. To get a one up on your opponents, feel free to browse the rules of the game at: Please feel free to e-mail the RHA at for any specific questions you may have about the game.

Below is the original copy of the article I submitted to the Diamondback, please note that in the Diamondback version they incorrectly changed the date's launch to say it will be happening this Saturday. Please let anyone know that the game will be launching this Monday, NOT this Saturday. Enjoy!:

It’s 3:00 and you just got back from a long day of classes. You’re too exhausted to start homework and instead decide you need some time to relax. Let’s face it, there’s nothing good on T.V. yet and stalking people on facebook can get a little old. Why not try something new?

The Residence Hall Association (RHA) will be launching the University of Maryland’s first GoCrossCampus (GXC) game this Monday, October 20. The game will last for about two months and all students are encouraged to take advantage of the pure, addictive fun the game will no doubt provide.

GXC is a massive online campus-wide and team-based game kind of like RISK but made specifically for college campuses. The goal of the game is to conquer the most territories on the custom-made University of Maryland campus map while expelling all other teams. The great draw to the game is that rather than just having one person per team, there are entire housing community’s, in addition to an off-campus team, battling against each other to take over the territories that students interact with every day.

The beauty of GXC lies in the fact that students can decide how much, or how little, time to put into it. There are no real commitments. The game does have tons of cool features for those who do become particularly engaged in the battle, such as the ability to nominate, or impeach, a commander, catch a spy, and engage in team chats, to name a few.

The RHA is extremely excited about launching the campus’s first GXC game and cannot wait to see what it does for this campus. GXC prides itself on the game’s ability to build school spirit and to create a sense of community- two things the RHA is very serious about. We see GXC as a great way to start a campus-wide tradition that has the ability to excite students about interacting with one another and uniting around a common goal.

What’s even more exciting is the prize the winning team will receive! The RHA will provide the victorious team with a pizza party as a way to reward those team members for their dedication to the University’s first GXC game. The party will serve as a chance to interact in person with fellow teammates and celebrate the success of the game.

So why not be a part of this monumental event? There is no pressure and no time commitment in order to be involved. The game has already been widely successful at schools like Yale, Harvard, Boston College, Ithaca College, the University of Massachusetts and so on. This is a great way to take part in an event that will no doubt become widely known on campus.

To join the game, on October 20th go to and create an account. The game is completely free and completely fun. For more specific questions, feel free to e-mail the RHA at or visit our website at Our blog, located at, will be discussing the game as well, so stay posted!

Alicia Hartlove
Public Relations Officer

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Parking and the DOTS Dilemma

Freshman winter was particularly cold. For me at least. I would make the half-mile trek from Somerset Hall to Lot 6 at least twice a week. The times I forgot my keys embarrasingly multiplies that number. Still, I had a car and that car gave me independence. After all, I could always leave.

Many of next year's freshmen will have no such option. An increase in demand, construction projects, and enviromental initiatives have put a defecit on parking spaces next year. As a result, it is projected that many freshmen will not be able to bring cars when they move into their new home this fall.

The Deportment of Transportation Services (DOTS) must find ways to minimize this defecit.

Faculty currently have top priority for parking followed by commuters and finally residents. DOTS has this priority order right. After all, without teachers we would not have a university. Commuters also need parking to engage in the university at a most basic level. If a shortage exists, unfortunately it is the residents that must accept that burden.

While the negative effects of the burden rightly fall on residents, DOTS must recognize that the price is not small for us. The university is our home. When a person cannot have a car at their home it impacts everyday functions in thier life. Meals and eating habits change with reduced access to grocery stores. Employment opportunities fade without access to them. Visits to family and friends also become impractical. When people cannot keep a car at home their life changes. Freshmen residents at the university are no different.

DOTS has a responsibility to reduce the parking defecit so that next year's freshmen can receive cars. This means two things. First and most importantly, DOTS must not allow empty spaces on campus to go unfilled. Secondly, Transportation Services must introduce initiatives that will encourage alternative methods of transportation.

Many options exist on the second point. David Allen, who currently serves as the director of DOTS, has already proposed a carpooling plan that would free up spaces while rewarding its participants. Encouraging local residents, especially those like myself in Courtyards and the View, should be encouraged to take public transportation instead of taking an extra space. Motorcyling and bicycling options should also be enhanced to create space. DOTS should implement these excellent ideas by next year to reduce the burden on freshmen residents.

DOTS and the administration should not underestimate the impacts that will come from lacking access to a car their freshmen year. For some it may be a luxury, but to others it is a beam in their lives. Simple initiatives can create space that will help students keep cars at their temporary homes. While commuters and faculty rightfully maintain priority, resident students should not accept and DOTS should not allow any shortage to become needlessly far-reaching.

Danny Leydorf
Student Groups and Organizations Liaison