UVM to expand peer advising

A new peer-mentor program and new Advising Center located on the first floor of the Davis Center are examples of initiatives being taken by the University in order to create a more positive advising experience for students on campus. 

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If you don’t have your own stories of less than ideal interactions with your assigned faculty adviser, then you probably have heard through the grapevine that some students have struggled to get the answers and help that the need from the person that they are told is prepared to advise them.

The new peer-mentor program will cost $102,000 to implement in the 2016-2017 academic year, according to the official SGA bill titled the “Peer Advising for Learning Success Act.”

This budget will be used to pay the salaries of the student mentors, who for the first year, are business, biology and math majors. SGA President Jason Maulucci said that although the program is currently only accessible to three departments, the end goal is to have every first-year paired with an upperclassmen mentor within the next three years.

The ideology and principle of this initiative are certainly benign at their roots; students mentoring fellow students at a central location easily accessible on campus. However; in order for it to reach its full potential, the Cynic believes the departments represented need to increase and represent a broader scope of majors.

Also, even with the addition of peer advisers, there needs to be a continued focus and priority on making sure that faculty advisers are held accountable for being accessible to students, and provide them with the guidance that they need.

The four years that students spend in college are undeniably formative and vital in discovering likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and ultimately a career path. As students, we look up to our professors who are publishing breakthrough research, traveling the world and have decades of experiences in fields ranging from ecology to English.

So we ask you to take a small chunk out of time out of your busy schedules to bestow some of your knowledge, wisdom and advice onto us, and help us make decisions that will ultimately help us decide who we want to be.