Sophomore Program helps niche, unknown by most

by Cathy Wu | 2/1/07 6:00am

The College's "Sophomore Program," the brainchild of the Upperclass Deans office, the Dean of the Faculty office and the Office of Residential Life, seeks to provide advising targeted to sophomores but has seen less-than-overwhelming interest and attendance so far.

Many students don't know the program's purpose or the fact that it is open to all sophomores. Some don't even know it exists.

"What's the Sophomore Program? Is that the Sophomore Trips?" asked William Winkelman '09.

Sophomore Program is a series of advising events made available to the Class of 2009 to help with sophomore-specific issues such as deciding major and minors. The timing is set for Winter term because most sophomores must file major cards by the end of it.

While several UGAs in residences across campus have started forwarding the Sophomore Program newsletter that lists future program events, knowledge about the sophomore program is still limited.

"It really is only freshman year when people truly make the effort to fill you in on what is going on," said Jessica Bloodsaw '09.

Some even attribute their absence at Sophomore Program to weather.

"I have not gone to any [of the programs] because it's cold outside," said Jenny Jian'09.

Though the program hosts events in the Fayerweathers, Rachel Head, community director for the Fayerweathers, said that residents there are not necessarily at an advantage when it comes to advising access. The Fayerweathers were chosen as the location for most of the Sophomore Program events, she said, because it has a high percentage of sophomores.

"I would say that those residents in this pilot year, primarily Fayerweathers residents, who take advantage of the program and its available resources, have the benefit of targeted individual and group advising," she said.

For those that did attend the events, reactions to the advising are upbeat.

"I went to the bio and econ major advising meeting, which was pretty helpful, I thought. But only two other bio majors showed up, and no econ majors," said Fayerweathers resident Naari Ha '09.

Head said that for programs such as major advising involving faculty and administrators, five to 10 students show up, meaning lots of one-on-one time with the faculty adviser. Head also credited the sophomore-specific nature of the program.

"We've gotten good response because we've set it up so that we're doing advising where it's targeted to what the sophomores want to know," she said.

But it wasn't just the advising that lured students to the events, held in the basement of the Fayerweathers.

"I know people like to go down for the free food," Jiang said.

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!