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The Senior Advisor system, as now practiced in the University, has proved of undoubted value, and has been of much benefit to Freshmen. Nevertheless, certain faults exist; and until these are removed, it is useless to hope for the best results.
This year, there was unfortunately a considerable delay in the inauguration of the advisory system. As a rule, it is during the first month of the college year that a student stands most in need of assistance; yet this is the very period when the advisory system is most disorganized. Under present conditions, the list of Seniors who are to serve as advisors is tentatively compiled during the spring of the Junior year; but no definite assignments of advisees are made until the fall. And even after these assignments have been made, there is always a further delay in arranging for interviews.
Complete advance arrangements are of course impossible. We recommend, however, that assignments of advisees be made, when possible, from the list of sub-Freshmen during the summer, instead of in the fall. In all possible cases, the Senior advisor should communicate with his prospective charge before the end of the summer vacation. In some cases, this may be accomplished by a personal interview, when both Freshman and Senior are from the same neighborhood. In most cases, however, a letter will suffice. In this way, preliminary advice of great value can be given; and plans can be made for further consultations at the very beginning of the college term.
It would be preferable, moreover, if the list of advisees on any individual's list be kept as small as possible. A Senior's advice can be of far greater value if he has only two or three Freshmen under his charge, instead of six or seven that are now assigned to him. In case the list of Senior advisors is inadequate, it can be filled quite as well with Juniors, or even, in some cases, with Sophomores.
We realize, of course, that the list of sub-Freshmen is rarely complete until the last moment, and that a final assignment of advisors is consequently difficult. The minority of undecided cases, however, can be cared for, as at present, after the fall registration. When sub-Freshmen have satisfied all the requirements, and are sure of admission, there is no reason why they should be compelled to wait for the assignment of advisors, whose advice is of greatest value when soonest given, and of no value at all if given too late.
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