I'm listening

Update, 12:16 pm: CSA extended the deadline to the 30th.

Students only have four days (until March 22nd) to apply to be a CSA Peer Adviser. Bwog, still a bit groggy-eyed from spring break, wanted to investigate a bit more on what exactly this Peer Adviser job entailed and whether there’d be free food involved. CCSC correspondent, Sarah Ngu and Maren Killackey took a look into the issue. 

Peer Adviser? Huh?

Like your regular adviser, the newly minted P.A. will be trained for a week before NSOP on topics ranging from the Core to financial aid.

But perhaps unlike your adviser, he or she will also “get” things like the importance of a professor’s teaching style or homework requirements and be able to guide students accordingly. Peer Advisers will hold office hours will be from Mon-Thurs 5 to 8 pm, instead of during the CSA hours, 9 am to 5 pm. An instant-messaging system is also in the works to further help students.

Change happening in one of Columbia’s more notorious departments?

We were told upon arriving at Columbia not to expect to have our hands held through college. So, this effort to make Columbia a little more friendly is welcome. In fact, all of the Ivies, except for Dartmouth and us, have a peer advising system.

How did this happen? 

Inspired by the campus discussion on wellness, Jared Odessky, CC ’15 President, wrote an op-ed for The Spectator this past November proposing a system of peer advising. A day later, he received an email from Dean Rinere, the new head of advising who coincidentally oversaw the implementation of peer advising at Harvard asking if he’d want to help her create the program. They got together a few advisers, put together a steering committee (which at the moment has a fair share of freshmen) and in a few months the program was complete.

How do the current advisors feel about this?

According to Odessky, they were “surprisingly” okay with the new peer advising program. The advisers acknowledged that students are talking to students for advice, anyway, and more is welcome.

Will this work?

More help can’t be a bad thing, and the steering committee is addressing the issue of availability (The CSA is located on the fourth floor of Lerner, not exactly the most-frequented of floors) by placing the advisers, for one day a week, in John Jay Hall for a semester.

While the mission may be admirable, the critical issue is talent (see: Resident Advisors): Will competent, awesome people apply for this position? They are deliberating whether or not to include a salary… fingers crossed that they will!

freudian via Wiki