Advisors Seek Out Help

A bevy of advising bodies have been put in place to help steer Rinere

Even advising experts need advisers. Associate Dean of Advising Programs Monique Rinere will steer forward the overhaul of Harvard’s advising system this year, flanked by a bevy of advising bodies.

In addition to counsel from the year-old Student Advisory Board, the dean will receive student input from “community fellows”—representatives of the Peer Advising Fellows (PAF) program who will attend monthly meetings with Rinere’s office, according to an e-mail from the program’s manager, Brooks Lambert-Sluder ’05.

There will be one community fellow from each “dorm community”—the largest organizational advising division, composed of a portion of a dorm or the consolidation of neighboring dorms.

Under the PAF Program, fellows are matched with a group of around 10 freshmen, who come from a pool of 80 to 150 students in a “single larger dorm or group of smaller dorms,” according to a College website.

The Curricular Review’s faculty Standing Committee on Advising and Counseling will also advise Rinere.

The Student Advisory Board, which was instrumental in designing the PAF Program, is accepting students to replace recent graduates and undergrads who have left the board.

The board will have seven subcommittees this year, including one that focuses specifically on communications. “There will be cross-pollination,” Rinere said of the advisory boards. And in particular, she emphasized, the student board “will be an invaluable source of information for the sub-committees of the Advising and Counseling committee.”

While community fellows and the Student Advisory Board’s peer advising sub-committee—which will be made up of PAFs—will continue to “tweak the present program,” this year’s big advising questions “come out of the faculty legislation on the shift in the time of concentration choice,” Rinere said.

This legislation charged Rinere’s office with establishing a system of “advising conversation,” of which each freshman must have at least one by the end of second semester.

“We’re going around to each department to ask them what forums and what venues they consider to qualify as advising conversations,” Rinere said.

Rinere’s office has also established a pre-concentration advisory system for sophomore fall.

Student Advisory Board member Christina Dahlman ’07 said that while the PAF program’s launch was successful, “there [were] definitely some kinks to be worked out.”

One issue that some PAFs have had with the system so far is that most of their advisees are not in a single entryway.

“My situation is that I’m in Grays and I have eight advisees, eight live in Grays Middle and one in East and I have study breaks with East,” Liana H. Fixell ’09 said.

—Staff writer Nina L. Vizcarrondo can be reached at


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