UC Proposes Q Guide for Comps

After Undergraduate Council leaders detailed plans to create a centralized guide for student groups’ comp processes, Harvard students say they are excited about the proposal.

UC representatives began discussing a potential guide to comps last spring. During their Nov. campaign, UC President Yasmin Z. Sachee ’18 and Vice President Cameron K. Khansarinia ’18 said they were interested in centralizing information about groups’ comps—an admissions process many undergraduate organizations use to select members.

Currently, the Q Guide—the College's course and instructor evaluation system—allows students to provide feedback on classes, professors, and teaching fellows. There is presently no consolidated system that lets students share feedback on comp processes.

In an email to undergraduates Monday, Sachee and Khansarinia said they would create a separate guide to evaluate comps along several criteria.

“We’re making a Q-Guide for comps that would allow all of us to submit feedback on the comp processes in which we've partaken and our experiences with them (i.e. how many hours it took per week, how much money we spent, how we’d rate it, etc.) much like the current centralized Q-Guide for classes and professors,” the email reads.

Khansarinia said he and Sachee have already begun reaching out to student organizations, and hope to have a guide up and running in fall 2017. While it will be a UC-driven initiative, Khansarinia said the College will help with HUIT protections and security. Students' submissions to the Q Guide will remain anonymous.

“We’ve reached out to several student organizations and the ones we have reached out to have received it positively,” he said.

Several students said they are excited about the proposal, and think it would increase transparency in student group admissions.

Mary F. Broker ’20 said she thought a Q Guide for comps would help students recognize what skills different organizations look for in compers.

“I think it would be a good idea to know more about the processes and to understand what people are looking for,” she said.

Jacqueline F. Epstein ’18 echoed these sentiment. “I think it’s a great idea,” she said. “It would give prospective compers more information about what they’re getting themselves into.”


David S. H. Lim ’17 said a comp Q Guide would help freshmen in particular navigate Harvard’s extracurricular groups. Lim said that during his freshman year, he did not have any resources to explore various comps.

“I had no idea, it was just word of mouth, you know, when you were asking around what comps do,” he said. “[A Q Guide] could be useful I think.”

Others, like Devon L. Black ’19, said a system like this could help students make informed decisions about which comps are worth their time.

“I definitely think it would be helpful to weed out what comps aren't really worth the work like for my perspective for what I'm hoping to get out of the club,” she said.

While specific questions and categories for the Q Guide are yet to be determined, Black suggested asking “what the requirements for comping are,” as well as “what the social life is like inside the club.”

—Staff writer Andrew J. Zucker can be reached at andrew.zucker@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewJZucker.

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