Students in Gov. Dept. Consider Improvements
Students on the Government Department's Undergraduate Affairs Committee say they will suggest increasing the number of women concentrators, and instituting measures to make the department less "intimidating" at next month's meeting of the student-faculty group.
In addition to calling for increased diversity among concentrators, the committee plans to propose establishing a "mentor program" between senior faculty and undergraduates, allowing concentrators to bypass more than two of the four required introductory courses, and finding a means of evaluating departmental offerings not covered by the CUE guide.
While the department did not have figures on the gender distribution among concentrators, the size of the department and its reputation as a highly competitve concentration are scaring many students--particularly women--away, according to students on the committee.
"Our main concern is solving the image problem of the department," said Daivd Gillis '89, the Lowell Houise representative to the committee. "We want to make the department less intimidating."
The "mentor program," which would resemble the one currently in place in the History department, would assign a limited number of students to senior members in the department willing to volunteer.
The faculty would be available to advise students about issues "other than what courses a student should take," said Gregory R. Schwartz '89, Leverett House representative to the committee. "There are a lot of opportunities at Harvard and [one] has to think why there isn't more student-faculty contact."
The committee, chaired by Government Head Tutor Mark A. Peterson, meets regularly with senior faculty members, including Government Chairman Robert D. Putnam.