Opinion Asks

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 4/5/15 6:38pm

Given the implications of “Moving Dartmouth Forward,” what is the role of an undergraduate advisor? Should they be responsible for strict enforcement of new College policies, or should they prioritize other goals?

While I think that undergraduate advisors can do more to be vigilant about violations of College policy by students on their floor, they are still students. It is understandable that they would not report a friend or a very apologetic resident, particularly given the stringent consequences that can come with violating the hard alcohol ban.

Increasing the responsibility of undergraduate advisors, including requiring each to do rounds on “likely drinking nights,” may make students less likely to make risky decisions, but only if there is stronger enforcement of undergraduate advisors reporting violations.

In order to ensure that undergraduate advisors report violations of College policy, I believe that community directors or faculty oversight of residential buildings would be the most effective way forward.

— Reem Chamseddine ’17

Although this might be an unpopular opinion, I believe that undergraduate advisors should be responsible for enforcing the hard liquor ban. It is a fundamental aspect of a undergraduate advisor’s job to ensure that his or her residents are both safe and abiding by the rules set forth by the College.

As long as they do not violate anyone’s privacy, undergraduate advisors should try their best to make sure that their residents are not violating any College policies.

— Caroline Hsu ’18

I already find it strange and a bit discomfiting that students are paid to befriend other students, though this is not an undergraduate advisor’s primary job. I think the reason I am uncomfortable with this relationship that hinges on one student’s job requirements is that it seems to be a poor substitute for adequate mental health facilities at the College.

For similar reasons, I think that an undergraduate advisor’s role with regard to the new alcohol policy laid out in the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” plan would be a poor substitute for thorough monitoring — and even a sign that the policy’s implementation will be difficult.

I also think that asking undergraduate advisors to be closely involved with enforcing the more punitive aspects of “Moving Dartmouth Forward” would alienate them from their peers, which is a burden that should not fall on any student worker.

— Emily Sellers ’15

An undergraduate advisor should not be required to be the proverbial “long arm of the law.” They should not be viewed as a proxy for College authority, as an extension of Safety and Security or as drones of the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” policy.

There is a significant danger to students conflating their undergraduate advisors — who work within the bounds of a program of mutual respect and guidance that has proven effective — with College administrators. It greatly compromises the integrity and efficacy of the undergraduate advisors program.

Moreover, in many cases having undergraduate advisors police their residents could result in almost laughable situations. How is a 19-year-old sophomore undergraduate advisor, for example, supposed to be able to walk into a 21-year-old senior’s room and tell her with any sort of authority to put down an illicit handle of Jack Daniels? The younger undergraduate advisor cannot and likely will not — and the College should not expect the undergraduate advisor to do so.”

— Aylin Woodward ’15