Winthrop House residents have organized a petition asking the University to renew the contract of their senior tutor.
Because she does not hold an academic position and served on an interim basis, Winthrop Senior Tutor Marina C. McCarthy will be unable to continue in her position next year.
The students' petition conveyed unhappiness that McCarthy was being let go and cited her impressive dedication to the house, excellent rapport with students and ability to fulfill the role of senior tutor.
Thomas J. Livelli '99, who organized the petition, said that the petition to Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles had three purposes: "Obviously to persuade the dean to renew her tenure; to make Winthrop students aware of why she was leaving; and to be a nice gesture to her because she's served Winthrop really well."
The petition was circulated around the Winthrop dining hall and organizers collected nearly 100 signatures. In addition to Knowles, the petition, sent on Thursday, was also mailed to President Neil L. Rudenstine, Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68, McCarthy and other house tutors.
Students complained about the way McCarthy's replacement was conducted.
"I didn't think it was fair that they replaced her so quickly with no input from the students or tutors," said Daryn H. David '98. "She was a really good senior tutor. She talked to me whenever I needed help. She was friendly and she knew everybody's names."
Some students complained that the rule requiring senior tutors to hold another position in the University is unjust.
When the University announced McCarthy's replacement, Knowles commented that he felt it was important that senior tutors be involved as members of the junior faculty.
Knowles has emphasized recruiting junior faculty to serve as house senior tutors; several of the current senior tutors are graduate students. But some Winthrop students said junior faculty members often lack the time to be actively involved in student life and praised McCarthy's commitment.
"I think it's wrong," said Nicole M. Recant '96. "She's done a really good job. She's really accessible and always involved in house activities. I think the argument that they want a fully fledged professor is ridiculous. If they have a full course load and write books they won't have time to be involved to the same degree. To replace her not because she's not doing a good job but because she's not a full-time professor is ridiculous."
The petition's organizers said they are awaiting a reply from the administration