The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 32.0°F | Fair

Pilots Explore Residential Advising

By Naveen Sunkavally

NEWS DIRECTOR

In preparation for the 2002 housing decision, two pilot programs next fall at McCormick and Random Hall will explore residence-based advising for freshmen.

In McCormick, freshmen will live with other freshmen who are in the same freshman advising seminars. Eight associate advisors for those seminars will also live in the dorm.

The pilot at Random will place three associate advisors in the dorm, although they will not necessarily be affiliated with the freshmen living there.

Elizabeth Cogliano Young, assistant dean for student academic programs, said that the pilots are meant to build freshman-advisor relationships and increase interaction with faculty.

“We want to integrate residential communities and first-year advising,” said Ricky A. Gresh, coordinator of fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.

In the McCormick pilot, faculty will also have grants available for residential programming, Gresh said.

McCormick will retain control

Last year, McCormick received about 75 freshmen and was heavily oversubscribed. Next fall, Gresh expects that about 60-65 freshmen will live there and participate in the pilot program.

How the students will be chosen and where they will along with their associate advisors will be left up to the halls in the pilot program. “We asked [the halls] rather than trying to force it upon them,” Young said.

“It’s a really good opportunity ... and to our advantage to be able to design our own program,” said McCormick Hall President Ruchi Shrivastava ’01. None of the logistics for how freshmen will be selected and where they will live has been worked out yet, she said.

Young said that the associate advisors who will live at Random and McCormick will be chosen in about three weeks through a process involving essays and interviews.

Freshman seminars for the McCormick pilot may or may not take place within the dorm, Gresh said. “It really depends on the nature of the seminar.”

Size decides pilot dorms

McCormick and Random were chosen as the sites for the pilots mainly because of their size, Young said.

Random Hall contains approximately 200 students, of which about 30 are freshmen. This program will allow Random to have three associate advisors and three graduate resident tutors.

With 50-100 people, McCormick’s size also fell within the ideal range for having the pilot, Young said. Also, McCormick has the lowest turnover rate of students.

In addition, “using McCormick minimizes the impact on FSILG rush,” Gresh said.