Proctors Evaluate students

Many First-Years Not Told of Rating

Many first-years say they have not been told of written evaluations their proctors must submit to the Freshman Dean's Office (FDO) at the end of their first year at the College.

A number of students say they would prefer to have been told about the reports at the beginning of the year.

"I didn't know about the report and I think they should tell us about it at the start of the year," Fareed N. Fareed '97 says.

Lorri A. McDaniel, administrative assistant to the dean of freshmen, saysproctors are instructed to discuss the evaluationswith their first-years while they write them, shesaid.

The reports--which are sent to the students'prospective houses over the summer--are helpfulfor future advising, McDaniel says.

"For example, if one of my [advisees] wasn'tsure about the concentration they put on theirPlan of Study, their house should know aboutthat," she says.It is especially useful for seniortutors to know about any troubles that occurredduring the first year, she says.

"[A senior tutor] can call a student in andsay, 'we should be talking," McDaniel says.

Alexandra L. Barcus, seniro tutor in LowellHouse, says she finds the evaluations useful.

"If a student is not feeling as strong as theymight be, or worrying about inadequacy, I know toencourage them," she says. "When all I have is thefacebook and list of addresses, it is helpful toknow about doubts about concentrations or problemsthat cropped up during the year."

The only person who has access to theevaluation is the senior tutor of the student'shouse, McDaniel says.

Future employers see the evaluations only if astudent signs a waiver form. Students sometimeswaive their entire student file when they apply tothe army and government agencies like the FBI,McDaniel adds.

Although the report would not be used when astudent applies for a Harvard job or Harvardprize, senior tutors may, in some cases, recommendstudents for prizes based partly on the contentsof their files.

Some students say they would have acteddifferently towards their proctors if they hadbeen aware of the evaluations.

"I am pretty upset," one first-year says. "Icompletely blew off my proctor and I wouldn't havedone that if I'd known she was going to writeabout me."

But McDaniel says that if a proctor were towrite a report that was unfairly tainted by a badrelationship between student and proctor, the FDOwould ask the proctor to rewrite the evaluation.

"We would tell that person that we neededsomething in a different direction," she say. Somefirst-years say they have discovered that theirFreshman Seminar leaders also evaluate them.

"I had no idea that [My seminar professor] wasrequired to write a comment about me," anotherfirst-year says. "I only found out at the end ofthe seminar, and then I wished I had been morepolite and hadn't slept in section."

"I am kind of upset that my performance inthere was recorded--I thought it was unguarded,"he says.

Calls to the Freshman Seminar Office wentunreturned