Resident Tutor Handbook
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SECTION I: RESIDENT TUTORING AT LEVERETT
Resident tutors play many teaching roles in the Leverett House community--as academics, counselors, and lively citizens. The general responsibilities of a resident tutor are as follows.
Presence and Participation
Resident tutors must cultivate good working relationships with students, to do which they must maintain a visible presence in the Dining Hall (at least once a day) and at House events--to make the House the center of their social lives, not simply the place they sleep.
Tutor Absences; How to submit requests for leave
Except for vacation periods and an occasional weekend trip, therefore, resident tutors are expected to be in residence in the House during the academic year, from the time of the first tutor meeting in mid-September, through Commencement in June. Tutor presence is particularly important during the stressful Reading and Exam periods.
However there are times when tutors need to be absent (for family emergencies, important professional travel and the like). Tutors should request permission for such trips well in advance and make arrangements to have your entryway covered during your absence. The steps to request absences has changed recently. In order to request an absence:
- Find (preferably nearby) tutors to cover your entryway during your time away.
- Send an email to
- the Faculty Dean
- the Allston-Burr Dean, and
- any tutors involved in entry coverage
- The email should contain the following information:
- the start and end dates of travel
- the reason for the absence
- your plans for entry coverage
- As soon as the absence is approved, you will receive an email approval, copied to the Allston-Burr Dean and any tutors involved in covering your entry. The dates will appear (along with other tutor absences) on the tutor absence Google calendar.
Tutors should be cheerful in their public role. The House needs no introverted creatures of the shadows. In addition, most tutors bring to the House enthusiasm for non-curricular interests that enhance the richness of House life. Students are delighted when tutors participate in intramural sports, attend language or discussion tables, or offer house-seminars or review sessions. Moreover students, like the rest of us, tend to keep doing those things that they already know or do well; a tutor closely associated with a group of students can encourage them to investigate new areas of experience or develop latent interests--in film, art, music, public affairs, travel, etc. In short, tutors should try to lift and sustain House spirit by social contact.
Being active and available, however, does not mean having no privacy. Most tutors are students themselves, and they need not be on call 24 hours a day. No tutor should feel obligated to put aside his or her own work if an undergraduate calls unexpectedly and not in an emergency, or to read a fellowship application thrust in his or her face at breakfast. It is not the intention of the College that House tutorship should impede unduly a tutor's own academic progress.
The same principles apply to meals. Tutors receive a meal allotment to encourage them to participate with students in the wonderful atmosphere of the Leverett dining hall. The dining hall is the center of House life. It is a great place to get to know students and a great place for students to get to know tutors. We do not limit the number of meals that tutors can eat with their students. Tutors should encourage students to eat with them as often as they can. There is obviously a balance here. There are times when tutors need their meal times to recharge their own batteries or to reconnect with their families and fellow tutors. That is fine occasionally, but the standard should be eating with students. Also, meals are NOT transferable. Your personal guests should pay for their own meals. But if a tutor occasionally wants to bring an interesting professional guest to lunch to eat with the students, that is great. If necessary, the tutor can swipe the guest in. Check with the Faculty Dean if you are not sure what is appropriate.
Academic Conversance and Advice
All tutors have an established specialty, usually academic and signified by membership in a department or professional school. Tutors serve as an important link between undergraduates and their areas of concentration at Harvard or their planned professional careers. Tutors should therefore know their stuff--should be on intimate terms with the academic nuances of their department, and be able to interpret departmental requirements; advise on courses, requirements, and particular teachers; and counsel students concerning their professional plans. Some tutors are asked to help students with their studies--most often in Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. Some tutors also sign study cards, and almost all tutors write letters of recommendation--for graduate and professional schools, fellowships, and jobs--and indeed should offer to write such letters, when appropriate. Occasionally, although it is ordinarily the student's responsibility to select the other letters in the file to send out with such applications, the student may ask the tutor to make the decision. NOTE: These letters are usually confidential: tutors may not discuss the contents of confidential letters with students.
Guiding and Counseling
Although tutors are not expected to be professional psychologists and should not encourage students to view them as such, as older and more experienced members of the Harvard community they can help students cope with the stresses of undergraduate years. It is crucial for tutors to establish relationships early in the Fall with students assigned to them as sophomore advisees, those living in the vicinity of a tutor's residence, and the students in the tutor's field of concentration. Without a tutor's efforts to get to know such students, there is little chance that the students will seek advice or help from them when problems arise. The tutorial art rests upon a delicate balance of proximity and distance, as one needs to work closely with students in order to understand their problems and experiences while being far enough removed to avoid being co-opted into assuming the role of a peer. Some student needs will go beyond the capacity of a tutor; in such cases, the College provides excellent resources for formal therapy and other academic and personal counseling. Tutors should familiarize themselves with in section II of the handbook, where those resources are described. The first and most important resource is the Allston Burr Dean in the House. It is very, very, VERY important to let the Allston Burr Dean and/or the Faculty Dean know early about potential problems. This can keep little problems from turning into big problems.
If a student has a problem with a rooming situation (e.g. noise, mess, smoking, sexual indiscreetness, general bitterness), tutors should encourage the student to discuss the matter with the other student or students involved. Silence breeds misunderstanding and resentment, and facing problems directly is part of growing up. If talking fails, the tutor may become involved, keeping in mind that there are a number of back-up resources: the student or students can be directed for mediation to the House Administrator in the House Office, the Allston Burr Dean, or the Bureau of Study Counsel.
If a student indicates that he or she has a more serious, personal problem, the best advice that a tutor can give is that the student speak with the Allston Burr Dean. Tutors can be of great help to the Allston Burr Dean by bringing to attention student problems of any kind. Conversations between tutors and the Allston Burr Dean or Faculty Deans pertaining to students are ordinarily confidential; exceptions are in situations where a serious threat exists, such as suicide. Since such situations do arise, don't promise students that you will keep your conversation confidential.
Finally, if a tutor sees a particular student persistently hanging out for unusually long periods with friends (or without) in the dining hall or elsewhere, or knows that a student has been spending many hours per day watching television, the tutor should either approach the student informally, if the tutor knows the student ("I've been wondering, how do you manage to get your work done?"), but in any case should mention the student to the Allston Burr Dean.
Maintaining Law and Order
Tutors have a responsibility for helping the House conform to public and University regulations. On rare occasions it may be necessary for a tutor to ask for the ID card of a student who is breaking rules--who is, for example, drunk and disorderly, or fighting, vandalizing, or harassing. (Students are required to surrender their card if the Officer properly identifies him or herself.) The card should go to the Allston Burr Dean as soon as possible, together with a description of the circumstances leading to its confiscation. If a problem arises that a tutor is not sure how to handle, he or she should call the Allston Burr Dean--or the police (5-1212).
Obviously, tutors must refuse to be present at or participate in any form of misconduct or violation of the law--e.g. smoking marijuana--and they should ask students to desist. Indeed if a tutor smells any kind of smoke coming from a student room, he or she should knock on the door and let the student know that any form of smoking in the House is illegal. In the case of marijuana, the tutor should inform the Allston Burr Dean, especially if the smell of pot smoke from that room is recurrent, and the student may receive a House Warning. If a tutor encounters evidence of students using or selling hard drugs--e.g. LSD, Ecstasy, heroin--he or she should immediately contact the Allston Burr Dean, who will initiate more serious action than a House Warning.
Tutors should be clear about College policy on two law-and-order issues that come up most frequently, alcohol and parties. As officers in Harvard College, tutors have a responsibility to apply College and Massachusetts State rules on alcohol use, even if they may not personally agree with them. Tutors should work to educate students about the law, which holds illegal not only the purveyance to or false purchase of alcohol by people under 21, but even the possession and consumption of alcohol by such people--even in a private room on a college campus. Tutors should warn any underage student they see drinking and report the incident to the Allston Burr Dean. If they see an underage student carrying alcohol (e.g. carrying a six-pack in an elevator) that clearly belongs to the student, tutors should issue the student a House Warning: they should say that the student will be receiving an official letter from the Allston Burr Dean about the incident, and that this warning puts them in jeopardy of being asked to leave the House or of disciplinary action by the Administrative Board, or both--if the student repeats the offense or compounds it by continuing to be in possession of the alcohol. In the case of a keg being transported by an underage student , the tutor should impound the keg and immediately call the supplying company (e.g. Blanchard's) to come and get it--or stand by while the student makes the call.
Tutors should also encourage students to act responsibly when hosting social gatherings. It's useful to point out that the most severe punishments for violations of the policy (e.g.: suspension or expulsion from the College) arise from serving alcohol to minors, and therefore generally are imposed on hosts of parties. By law, the College is required to prohibit any provision of liquor to individuals under 21 in private as well as public settings. Individuals are liable to legal, and hence college disciplinary action if they give or sell alcohol to underage persons. Hosts of parties are also expected to take reasonable measures to prevent underage students from obtaining alcohol at their parties. Any delivery of alcohol to the House must be registered with the House to ensure that it was made to person of legal age who takes responsibility for its proper and legal use. Alcohol delivery forms (on the reverse of the party form) are in the House Office and must be signed by the entryway tutor, who will notify the tutor on Weekend Watch, and submitted, by the students holding the party, to the House Office by 4:30 on the business day before the party.
The party form must be signed by the entryway tutor--verifying that he or she has been informed of the planned party--and submitted by students holding any gathering of more than 15 people. If they are planning to have alcohol, they should submit a form if they're expecting more than 10 people. Only the tutor for that entryway may sign the form; another tutor, even a neighboring tutor, cannot sign. Parties are allowed only on Friday and Saturday nights, and are forbidden during Exam periods; noise should not be audible outside the room after 2:00 a.m. (11:00 p.m. on weekdays). The primary responsibility of tutors is to educate students as to their responsibilities and strongly to encourage safe practices at all social gatherings. When signing party forms, tutors should always ask students if they understand the guidelines for parties and the alcohol policy--that it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors and that the hosts are responsible if their guests get drunk and have an accident. A useful handout from the College giving advice about alcohol and parties is available in the House Office (next to the party forms). Note that the G-spot is not available for parties.
A tutor should first call the hosts of a party that is excessively loud, seems out of hand, or continues audibly past 2:00 (or 11:00). If nothing changes the tutor should warn the hosts in person, knocking on the door and inviting the host or hosts into the hallway for the discussion--and informing the host or hosts that the next call will be to the police and Allston Burr Dean, in that order. Such an occurrence will likely result in the loss of party-hosting privileges. Tutors should normally not go into the party itself--mixing with the crowd can compromise their authority--unless they have reason to fear for the safety of those inside.
Finally, tutors should look out for destruction of property or potentially serious "pranks" such as setting off false alarms (an offense the Ad Board takes very seriously) or improper use of elevators, the library, or other public spaces. Such behavior should be reported to the Allston Burr Dean. A tutor who sees students, in a Towers suite, either hanging clothes from the sprinkler pipe, or actually hanging onto the pipe themselves, or sitting or standing on the radiators by the windows, should immediately call the room and tell the students to stop. If they don't, or if it happens again, the Allston Burr Dean should be informed.
Perhaps the greatest contribution that tutors can make to House order and civility is a subtle one, that of fostering mature and courteous behavior among the students. Polite behavior towards the House, dining hall, and custodial staff is particularly important; tutors should reprimand students who are rude to these people. If, again, a student forgets to clear his or tray from a table, or keeps dishes at the table long past the closing time of the kitchen, a gentle reminder from a tutor is in order. The same holds for students who take trays and dishes away from the Dining Hall, and then leave these for dining hall staff to return. Tutors should knock on the door of any suite that is collecting trays or trash or both in the hallway (outside or inside the suite).
Loud noise can also be a problem, and tutors may be asked to help suppress it. A good rule of thumb is that any noise in an entry or on a floor which disturbs a resident is too loud, and those responsible for the noise should be asked to reduce the volume of the offending instrument, appliance, or persons.
Problems of this kind, unless they are quickly corrected and do not recur, should be reported to the senior tutor and/or the Faculty Dean.
SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES OF RESIDENT TUTORS
Required and Encouraged Events
Leverett tutors are required, not only encouraged, to attend the following events:
- Tutor orientations and Monthly meetings -- in September and January there are mandatory College wide tutor orientation programs. Monthly tutors meetings in the House are usually held the first or second Thursday of each month at the Faculty Deans' residence, between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m.. Tutor are encouraged to bring their trays up from the dining hall and eat and socialize in the Faculty Deans' residence before business begins at about 7:00 p.m..
- The sophomore outing and dinner -- usually the afternoon of the last Sunday before classes begin, the outing is an important event at which to meet and have fun with your sophomore advisees. A few weeks into the first term, the advisors and advisees meet again for the sophomore dinner.
- The All-House meeting -- in the dining hall at 8:00 p.m. on the first day of classes in the fall, for introductions of tutors and house officers and a discussion of House rules.
- Entryway parties -- hosted by the tutors in their quarters immediately following the All-House meeting and then at least once a month thereafter, including at least one "study-break" during exam period--for a total of at least five parties per semester. Tutors should set the dates for these gatherings at the start of each semester, advertise them in the entryway, and also inform the AST for House Activities, so the schedule can be posted on the calendar. A few days before each party, tutors should put up posters in their entryway announcing the party; and they should invite their sophomore advisees to drop by. Along with any Non-Resident tutors assigned to the entry, tutors provide snacks and refreshment, which they buy or make themselves--and to pay for which they are allotted a certain sum by the House each year. Tutors should check with the House Administrator about the vendor initiative, which will allow them to buy food more cheeply. Finally, it's a nice idea for tutors to take photographs from these occasions and post them on their hallway bulletin-board (along with other helpful info and announcements).
- Academic advising meetings -- at 8 p.m. on the second day of classes each semester, and again at one other time in the semester, tutors gather with the students in their concentration--especially the sophomores, but also juniors and seniors to help advise them--to answer questions and discuss courses, options, etc. The first meeting takes place in the dining hall, at the table designated for that concentration; members of pre-professional committees (law, medicine, business, education) also have tables. The second meeting of the semester is planned, advertised (in the newsletter and the web calendar), and hosted by the tutor at his or her residence or in another location in the House. Tutors should try to make sure that seniors or juniors come to this meeting as well, since they can be helpful advisors. Tutors can be reimbursed for modest refreshments.
- Student dances, as chaperon -- Once or twice a semester a tutor may be asked by the House Committee to be in attendance at a dance, usually for one to two hours.
- Commencement -- tutors should try to attend the morning ceremony itself but must attend the awarding of degrees at Leverett, in the Towers courtyard, to shake the hand of graduating seniors; usually about 11:30 am to 2:00 p.m. (lunch included, along with a champagne toast in the Leverett library in honor of tutors who have just completed degrees).
Strongly Encouraged Events
- Not-Just-Sherry-Hour (NJSH) -- relaxing, weekly event on Thursdays at the Faculty Deans' residence, featuring juices and snacks for all, and sherry and wine for the 21+ crowd
- Old Library Lunches -- once a month, there is a special SCR lunch in the Emerald Library Theater beginning with a reception in the Faculty Deans' Residence. Students are invited, and tutors should attend when possible and encourage students to come with them
- Faculty Deans' open houses -- once every two weeks or so, at the Faculty Deans' Residence, usually evenings from 8:30-10 - for monkeybread and other snacks and conversation with students, sometimes music. The open houses are an excellent way to meet and touch base with students.
- Special dinners -- including the Junior dinner, the Senior Dinner, the Murdoch Lecture, and usually one or two special events, with guests, hosted by the House (e.g. the Ying Quartet dinner). Tutors may also be invited by the students to join them at the Student-Faculty dinners. Although these dinners are primarily designed to encourage students to get to know faculty that they do not already know, it is much better for the students to come with a tutor than not to come at all. Tutors should be aware of the schedule of Student-Faculty dinners and encourage their students to invite faculty, but should also be available as guests of last resort. Tutors are also welcome to attend without student invitations if there is room at the dinner (which there usually is).
Descriptions of these jobs follow below.
- Senior Tutorial Staff:
- House Committee Advisors - Sasha Nikolaev, Molly Stansik
- Arts Society:
- Public Service/HAND - Judith Murciano-Goroff, Annie Spokes Frost, William Frost
- Inclusion, Diveristy and Community:
- Not-Just-Sherry-Hour Coordinator - Emily Harrison, William Frost
- Policy table - Yazan Al-Karablieh
- Vendor Initiative - JoAnn Haas
- Health/Wellness/UHS Liaison - Siri Uotila, Lena Lisitskaya
- Study Abroad - Cristina (Ortiz) Carapezza
- Disabilities - JoAnn Haas
- Culinary Society - Shervin Tabrizi, Tian Feng
- House Gym - Arjun (Raj) Manrai, Melissa Leger-Abraham, Siri Uotila
- TV in the hall - Arjun (Raj) Manrai
- Special Events:
- Sophomore Outing - Melissa Leger-Abraham, Rachna Manrai, [ex officio Molly Stansik, Katie Derzon]
- Sophomore orientation - Molly Stansik
- Senior dinner - Shervin Tabrizi, John Paul (JP) Chilazi
- Music dinner - Emily Harrison, Taylor Lane, David Allen
- Rising Rabbits Revelry - Manjinder Kandola, Eli Stein, [ex officio Sasha Nikolaev, Molly Stansik, Lena Lisitskaya]
- Pre-Medicine - Jonathan Abraham, Shervin Tabrizi, Manjinder Kandola, Jonathan D'Gama
- Pre-Law - Taylor Lane, Cristina (Ortiz) Carapezza
- Pre-Career- Siri Uotila, Rachna Manrai, Eli Stein, Tian Feng, John Paul (JP) Chilazi, Jessica Tollette
- Pre-Grad-School - Sasha Nikolaev, Melissa Leger-Abraham
- Fellowships Committee - Judith Murciano-Goroff, Jessica Tollette, [ex officio Annie Spokes Frost]
General Description of Tutor Jobs
Each resident tutor has a primary responsibility to get to know and help the students in his or her entry. This includes not just purely social contacts, but to the extent possible, being involved in or at least aware of important things going on in the students’ lives: checking in after important exams or deadlines; attending or asking about performances; visiting or sending cards to sick students; etc. Tutors should make particular efforts to connect with students flagged by the Dean for special care, and to check in on students throughout the year when requested by the Dean. In addition, each tutor accepts at least one specific job overseeing, cajoling, helping out in some student or House activity.
Below are descriptions of many of these jobs.
Senior Tutorial Staff
In addition to the specific tasks outlined below, the Allston Burr Dean may ask members of the Senior Tutorial Staff to provide ongoing extra help with particular students who are having difficulties. The work in the Senior Tutorial positions is typically both more time-consuming and more time-sensitive and critical than in other tutor jobs, so these are paid positions and the Senior Tutorial staff members meet regularly with the Allston Burr Dean or/and the Faculty Deans.
Senior Tutorial Staff – Sophomore Advising Coordinator
Works with the Advising Programs Office (APO) to administer a system of House-wide, pre-concentration advising for new sophomores and incoming transfer students. Coordinates the in-house training of the resident and non-resident tutors involved in the program and provides them on-going guidance and materials to enable them to serve as sophomore advisers. Reports regularly to the Faculty Deans and the Allston Burr Dean on the status of the program.
Senior Tutorial Staff – Advising Tutor
Assists the Allston Burr Dean in dealing with students with academic, health, and/or social issues. Assists the Faculty Deans, the Allston Burr Dean and the Fellowships committee in awarding small-scale prizes for which we are asked to recommend students, often on a short time scale.
Senior Tutorial Staff – Tutor and SCR Coordinator
Coordinates the resident and non-resident tutorial staff. Organizes social gatherings for the resident tutors and generally works to enhance tutor community. Assists the Faculty Deans in the tutor selection process. Works with the Sophomore Advising Coordinator to organize advising nights and NRT receptions. Deals with the NRT application process, and when needed, solicits applications in particular fields. Helps keep the tutor handbook up to date on tutor responsibilities, working closely with the Faculty Deans and the Allston Burr Dean.
Senior Tutorial Staff – Server / Web page / Reservations Tutor
Oversees the Leverett web page and works with the Faculty Deans and students to keep the page up to date and as useful as possible. Oversees the technical aspects of the Leverett web server and interfaces with HUIT. Maintains a description of the system. The tutor assists in hiring undergraduate web developers, and monitor's the sysadmin's performance. Oversees the Reservation system and steps in when human intervention is required (which is often). Helps keep the tutor handbook up to date on technical issues. Should be proficient in both web development and systems administration, i.e. Linux SysAdmin experience, PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, Python and/or Perl.
Senior Tutorial Staff - Fellowships and Prizes Tutor
Organizes and chairs the Fellowships Committee. Trains other fellowship tutors on the committee and assigns them specific responsibilities. Works with students and tutors by informing them about fellowships, deadlines, and special issues related to work here or abroad. Organizes and runs the committee meetings, organizes the interview sessions, runs group meetings for students, advises individual students about appropriate fellowships, edits essays, writes the individual House letters depending heavily on information from other tutors and attends regular meetings at the Office of Career Services to keep the committee and the students informed about each application process. In the spring, oversees House and University prize nominations.
Fellowships Committee members assist the Fellowships Tutor and the students being considered for fellowships and prizes. Leverett students throughout the year submit applications to approximately 109 different fellowships. A typical application process for a fellowship includes reading the student applications (one to two hours), conducting interviews or mock interviews, and discussing the candidates to identify the best candidates for a particular fellowship. Some students also request help in editing and organizing their fellowship essays. The committee also recommends students for House and University prizes. Approximately equal time is required in the fall and spring semesters.
House Committee Advisors
Duties involve facilitating communication between the House Committee, the Faculty Deans and staff, and the Junior and Senior Common Rooms. Attendance at House Committee (HoCo) meetings is expected. This is the easiest way to build trust and friendship with HoCo officers and members, as well as to disseminate information regarding House policies. The advisors also provide the Faculty Deans and tutors with up-to-date news of the HoCo's activities. Other aspects of the job will vary with each HoCo, but may include mentoring the HoCo chairs on team building and leadership, advising on party and alcohol policies, use of space, fund raising, recruiting tutor chaperons, and meeting regularly with HoCo officers.
Arts Society Emerald Library Theater (ELT) Tutor
Coordinates with the Reservations Tutor and the Faculty Deans on scheduling of major events in the ELT, and on ELT use policy, fees, etc. Maintains a handbook and coordinates with the House Administrator to oversee a paid staff of student helpers. Coordinates with the Building Manager on maintenance.
Arts Society Music Tutors
The Music advisors oversee any musical activities in the House, whether initiated by students or tutors. They organize the Conway Concerts and coordinate with the Artist in Residence (if we have one). They should get to know musically inclined students in the House. They may be asked to help in obtaining musical entertainment for special events, such as Faculty Deans' Open Houses.
Arts Society Visual Arts Tutor
Oversees the use of art room and the student art corridor. The advisor may coordinate with the House Administrator to form a committee of NRTs and a paid team of students interested in developing art classes and shows.
Arts Society Rock Scene Tutor
Responsible for giving student bands access to the practice room in the G-Tower basement, making sure that the practice room is kept safe and orderly and that practice privileges are not abused (e.g. by playing too loud, too late at night). Maintains an up-to-date Rock Room primer.
Arts Society Coffeehouse Tutors
Assists students in organizing the fall and spring coffeehouse - the House talent show.
The primary goal of the Public Service Advisors is to encourage and help students doing volunteer public service work during the term, paid or volunteer public service during summers, or as graduates. In the early fall, they coordinate and plan activities for the year with Leverett's Public Service Student Representative, the College Asst. Dean of Public Service, Phillips Brooks House volunteers , directors from CPIC (Careers in Public Service), IOP, Center for Public Interest Leadership and HLAB Social Entrepreneurship and Enterprise to explore opportunities for meaningful engagement with the public sector. Working together with the Public Service Representative, the Public Service Tutors will create a House-based Public Service bulletin board to distribute information and to help create community-building activities (for exa.:Leverett House night serving dinner at the Shelter or doing a workshop on first generation students in the local public school or a mini-coding session for a civic neighborhood cause—let the Mayor know how we can improve our streets and River). They attend monthly meetings with public service tutors from other Houses and the Dean of Public Service. In spring term, they arrange through the Fellowships Tutor to counsel and interview students and write recommendations for public service fellowships. They suggest names of students for college and House-based public service prizes. Experience in public service either in the domestic public interest realm, such as work with government agencies, non-profits, public health or international direct and impact work or private-public enterprises for social justice or economic development greatly benefits the resources and initiatives for supporting student opportunities.
Inclusion, Diversity and Community
By combining Race Relations, BGLTQ, SASH, and Athletics and House life under one umbrella, we hope to facilitate joint events that are well-attended by the entire community. The groups should meet at the beginning of the year and plan.
Monitor and attempt to improve race relations within the House. Encourage discussion of important race-related issues. Tutors serve as resource persons for students who are dealing with any issues involving race. The role of the tutors is broadly defined to allow for liberal interpretation according to the needs of each House. The Race Relations advisors also advise and promote students who work on issues of race relations within the House, and they attend College-wide meetings of Race Relations advisor from each House.
Serve as a resource for students wanting counseling, information, social contacts, etc. Also acts as liaison and advisor for students who are interested in or struggling with issues of sexual identity. Attend College-wide meetings of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues Advisors from each House.
Sexual Harassment (SASH)
These tutors act as a knowledgeable resource about University policies on sexual harassment. The tutors must be familiar with various mechanisms within the College that can assist students with problems. They may act as liaison between student and House officials, at student's request. They attend College-wide meetings of Sexual Harassment tutors (S.A.S.H.) from each House, and they should try to set up at least one House event to promote awareness of sexual harassment. It is useful to have a student working with the SASH tutors. [see MacKenzie’s email about OSAPR and CAARE and include student organizations
Athletics and House Life
Works with the Faculty Deans to encourage the participation of varsity athletes in House life.
Assists the Faculty Deans with Not-Just-Sherry-Hour by attending regularly, substituting for the Faculty Dean when he is unable to attend, and bringing and advertising interesting guests.
Arranges for interesting visitors such as politicians, journalists, and academics who contribute to the policy debate in the U.S. and abroad. Publicizes for the events and encourages students to attend and engage with the speakers.
Leverett Wellness Tutors work with individual students, Wellness-themed student groups, UHS and the Center for Wellness to promote the health and overall wellbeing of the Leverett community. Wellness Tutors’ responsibilities include throwing House-wide Wellness study breaks; liaising with the Center for Wellness to offer regular exercise programming (typically weekly yoga classes); maintaining the Leverett Meditation Room; coordinating with student groups to put up a House-wide Wellness Board in the dining hall; and serving as a general resource for students on issues related to health and wellness (including nutrition, exercise, sleep, time management, mental health and mindfulness).
Serves as a resource for students thinking about studying or working abroad.
Oversees the Leverett Culinary Society, the student kitchen and organizes events in the Faculty Deans’ kitchen.
The gym tutors oversee and maintain the Leverett Gym, a.k.a Rabbit Run, located on the ground floor of G-Tower. On an ongoing basis, gym tutors visit the gym regularly to re-rack weights, rearrange equipment and maintain general cleanliness; update gym signage and the gym notice board; report missing or malfunctioning equipment and liaise with the Building Manager to order new equipment and repair existing machines; and track gym inventory. In addition, gym tutors organize fitness-related events for the House, which can include, for example, visits by personal trainers, monthly gym office hours by the tutors, and one-on-one meetings with students to enable them to make the most of the gym. Most importantly, Leverett’s gym tutors serve as overall wellness and fitness resources to all members of the House community.
Checks that the special needs of disabled students in Leverett House are being met, and to help students and staff interact with the Accessible Education Office and other resources.
Oversees the program of bulk buying discounts for study breaks.
1. Sophomore Outing: These tutors organize and run the sophomore outing, usually scheduled on the afternoon of the Sunday early in the year.
2. Senior Dinner: The job of the tutors coordinating the Senior Dinner is to work with two or three selected Seniors to oversee the planning of the dinner. Planning includes setting a date in early or mid-May, and supervising the Seniors in the tasks of soliciting photos for the slideshow, and publicizing the event. A day or so before the dinner, the job entails helping to put together the slideshow and accompanying music. Obligations on the day of the event include helping to coordinate setup of the A/V system, and remaining throughout the proceedings to ensure they run as smoothly one might expect a Senior dinner to run.
3. Music Dinner: Each year, often in early spring, we have a dinner/concert with the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence. The music tutors are responsible for making sure this happens, setting a date, and helping the Faculty Dean with details.
4. Rising Rabbits Revelry: Organized around the announcement of House assignments to freshmen in March, the revelry is designed to welcome the freshmen to Leverett.
Committee members advise some 100 or so pre-medical students (sophomore, junior, seniors, and alumni/ae) on general aspects of the pre-medical curriculum at Harvard, including the meeting of the pre-med requirements for medical school admission. Premedical committee members should be available at all times of the year for any student in the House to discuss pre-medical issues either over the telephone or during a meal. Pre-med resident tutors are responsible for directly advising pre-med students on both general questions such as classes to take, research opportunities, and summer experiences, and specific application questions such as schools to which to apply, the application essay, the status of their House file, and the application process. The committee also sponsors one general pre-medical meeting per semester in order to discuss the medical school application process in detail with students (the fall meeting focuses on how to prepare for applying to medical schools in general, while the spring meeting focuses on the application process in detail and is geared towards students applying in the upcoming cycle). Perhaps most importantly, each committee member is responsible for editing 5-10 House composite letters over the summer of each application cycle, the first draft of which is written by the student’s personal pre-medical advisor (usually a non-resident tutor, but can be a resident tutor as well). This editing is done in conjunction with the Allston Burr Dean’s Office. For more information, please see the Leverett House Premedical Committee site (there is also a link the "Organizations" tab of the main Leverett website).
Committee members advise roughly 120 pre-law students (sophomore, junior, seniors, and alums) on the law school application process and careers in law more generally. Hold 2 structured introductory meetings (in the Fall and Spring) where details of the application process are described. Hold at least 4 advising sessions on specific topics (e.g., lawyering in the public interest, finding a law-related summer internship or post-graduate job, international law, financial aid, the LSAT) as well as several informal advising sessions throughout the year. Directly advise 5 students applying to law school, serving as their personal pre-law advisor. This entails meeting with them several times over the late spring, summer, and fall of the year in which they are applying; reviewing their application materials; and helping them more generally with the application process. Perhaps most importantly, pre-law tutors write the House composite letter for their advisees, working with the Allston Burr Dean's Office. Pre-law tutors are available at all times of the year for any student in the House to discuss pre-law issues over the telephone or during a meal. Tutors may also be asked to provide content for the pre-law website and help build a library of pre-law resources for students. Tutors and students should refer to the Leverett House Pre-Law Website (there is also a link the "Organizations" tab of the main Leverett website) for further details about the pre-law advising process.
The Leverett Pre-Career tutors exist to help every student in the House navigate the landscape of internships, jobs and careers for the entire gamut of careers from more traditional options (finance, consulting, technology, etc.) to less traditional options (non-profit, education, energy, etc.). We advise students in one-on-one conversations and conduct resume reviews, cover letter reviews and mock interviews. In addition, the Pre-Career committee as a whole organizes several events throughout the year, including weekly drop-in office hours in the dining hall, an introductory event at the beginning of each fall, and other events throughout the year (which in the past have included career panels, mock interview marathons, professional LinkedIn photo shoots, and networking events with Non-Resident Tutors and SCR members). In addition to being proficient and confident in general career advising, each Pre-Career tutor is expected to have specific industry and/or company expertise.
IF THERE IS SOMETHING GOING ON, IT SHOULD BE DESCRIBED HERE. IF NOT WE SHOULD ELIMINATE THE CATEGORY.
About ten years ago, in response to student complaints that they weren't getting enough general advising, the College asked each of the Houses to institute some system of "Non-Concentration, House-Based" advising. Various Houses have tried various approaches to this, but in the end most settled on doing something for sophomores--experience having shown that sophomores, if they make contact with tutors and other House resources early on, will be inclined to use them later on and will generally feel part of the House, whereas if they don't they may never make such contact. Leverett House, after several different attemps and versions--including pairing sophomores with Senior Common Room members--has for now settled on a system that pairs sophomores with resident tutors, who have a check-in meeting with their sophomores several times over the year. Although this is officially "Non- concentration" advising, meant to have a broader focus than advising in the departments, we nonetheless try to assign sophmores to a tutor who has some knowledge of the student's chosen field of concentration, rather than assigning students randomly, for two reasons: (1) there are lots of gaps in departmental advising, and it seems a good idea to take any opportunuties to supplement it; and (2) conversations about broader kinds of issues seem to go better, and be more likely to happen, if there is also shared academic interest and conversation. In practice, since we don't have tutors in all the 40 concentrations or even in all the biggest ones, this means that some students will be assigned to tutors who aren't squarely in their proposed field, although we try (when we read through the sophomore files) to find some point of contact (e.g. an undergrad major, a hobby, a language, a sport). It also means, since we do try to give as many sophomores as possible to a tutor in their area, that some tutors end up with more advisees than others.
In 2002, we began experimenting with using non-resident tutors as sophomore advisees. Some of these assignments were quite successful, and we may continute with this experiment.
At the start of the year, in the days before the Sophomore Outing, Leverett tutors are assigned between five and ten sophomores and new transfers each, whom they will meet and at the Sophomore Outing, invite to their entryway parties, and meet several times to discuss the student's progress and concerns in non-concentration areas: e.g. core courses, study habits, career, leave of absence, concentration change, unfulfilled requirements (QRR, language, Expos), personality clashes or harassment in a course.
After the outing, which you will spend with your sophomores, you should call them and arrange to meet with individually, over a meal or coffee. You should meet at least three times over the year: (1) once early on in this semester, if at all possible sometime before Add/Drop day, when you should find out the info required on the sophomore interview form and then get me a copy or email version of the form; (2) once sometime later on this first semester, to cement the relationship a little--though this second time can be as a group or in mini-groups if you want, no form required; and (3) at least once next semester, when you should do the form again. You will get a call from--or perhaps meet with--the Allston Burr Dean or Assistant Senior Tutor for Advising about any sophomores you have that you might need especially to keep an eye on.
Sophomore Advisers can help explain what tutors do (as opposed to proctors), and how generally House life differs from Yard life, and they can act as sounding boards for the students thoughts and feelings about things academic and non-academic. An informal list of possible topics is given below, along with a sample of the form that tutors must fill out for each of their advisees and return to the Co-ordinator of Advising as soon as possible, who will share the highlights with the Allston Burr Dean (if the adviser hasn't already done so). In addition, shortly after the start of the semester, tutors will either meet individually or in couples with the Allston Burr Dean and Co-ordinator of Advising to discuss their advisees, or at least get a call from one of these individuals about advisees who may require special watching. (Tutors will also be notified if the Allston Burr Dean receives mid-term deficiency reports, "Unsats," for any of their advisees.) Although the main function of the interviews is social--to make the new students feel that they know at least one person in the House other than their roommates, and have a person they can always turn to for conversation or advice--and the main function of the forms is to help make sure that the interviews happen and that certain things get mentioned, you should fill out an interview form for each sophomore and should also report orally any worrisome indications to the Allston Burr Dean or the Coordinator of Sophomore Advising or both. (The fact of the form, and the need to fill it out, can actually be an ironic ice-breaker.)
You can pitch the interview as a way for the House both to check in with individual students and to get input and advice from them. One of your main roles in this conversation, again, is to be a sounding board about courses the student is taking or considering--to give them a chance to see how they feel, to say how they think course x fits in with their interests or goals. You won't know all the courses in Courses of Instruction and Fields of Concentration, but you should have a copy on hand to promote chat and exploration (and you should have looked over the pertinent pages before each interview; both volumes are available in the House Office). You should also have read, at some point, the red Introduction to the Core Curriculum booklet. Some general messages to send in these interviews: take courses and a concentration that interest you (education should be fun); but, have a plan-- e.g. don't leave your cores too late; and take challenging courses and read and think hard in them (or you won't get to the fun); but, have something going on in your life besides studying; and don't be a stranger--there are lots of people around here who want to talk and help. And please drop by our entryway party next Tuesday!
Tutors may need to push a bit if a student simply answers "fine" or "OK" to every question, but should not push a student who clearly doesn't want to discuss something. Among the things to listen for in the interviews, especially if they recur in later meetings: recurring anxieties about Harvard; a tendency to get over-involved in a certain kind of extra-curricular activity; thin skin regarding certain issues (e.g. race, religion); being always on the romance roller-coaster; a tendency to isolation or to excessive partying; poor work habits; tension about, or rigidity in, rooming situations; a fear of certain kinds of courses; an unwillingness to refusal to seek help when needed, etc.); a tendency to take on too much, academically, and not realize in time; an appearance of invincibility.
Some Topics for Sophomore Interviews LEVERETT: How do you like it here so far, honestly? What aspects do you most like and dislike? What extracurriculars are you involved with or planning to be? Does it seem difficult to get involved? To meet people? Any ideas for changing things around here, or new activities, tables, facilities, etc? ROOMING: Who are your roommates? Is that working out OK? Rooming plan for next year? Problems with the room? CONCENTRATION: How did you get interested? Is it turning out to be what you thought it would? Anything disappointing about it, so far? Are you getting enough advice from your department? Have you got an adviser in the department? Have you got a rough plan for completing the requirements in the next two years? Any worries about the plan? (E.g. a dropped course that you need to make up?) Given any thought to changing concentrations? CORE: Which ones are you taking and how are they? How many courses taken so far? Would you recommend them to other students? Do you think you are avoiding a certain core area, or putting off fulfilling it? (Don't.) How do you like the idea of a "core"? Have you got a plan for taking the rest that will keep you from leaving them until the end? Particular Cores you plan to take? Why? (See the Introduction to the Core booklet.) GRADES AND STUDYING: How are you doing, generally? Better or worse than you expected? In your concentration courses? Have any Unsats last term? (Did you speak to your TF or instructor and to Catherine about it? Any idea what happened or what you can do about it?) Happy with your study habits? Notice any pattern in your approach to courses you do less well in? Roughly how much time do you spend studying each week, relative to other activities? (A couple of hours a night isn't enough.) Possible that you're over-committed in non-academic areas? Aware of the Bureau of Study Council, for tutoring or talk about work habits? TIME OFF OR STUDY ABROAD: Have you thought about either or both of these, especially if your energy or interest is sagging? Next year is a good time to do it. (Almost everybody who has thinks it was a good idea; the College approves of it, and so do graduate and pre-professional schools.) For a leave of absence, see Catherine; for study abroad or elsewhere in the country, see tutor Elena Paolini or Cathy Hutchinson at OCS (Office of Career Services). Deadlines for canceling housing, if you do go away, are late June (for the fall term) and early January (for the spring). BACK HOME: Parents happy about your concentration? Pushing you into a concentration? Could tell them if you weren't happy in what you're studying? Would they die if you took time off? WORK AND MONEY: Got a job during the term? How many hours per week? Seriously short of money? Got a summer job lined up? It is related to your career plan? Got a career plan? What do the alternatives seem to be at this point?
(Info to email or give the Assistant Senior Tutor for Advising, and cc the esident Dean)
Report of Sophomore Interview
General academic plans while at Harvard?
Probable course schedule for this semester? (And any courses you want to take next.)
Extracurriculars? (current and planned, including paricipation in House events):
Last summer's job/activities or plans for next summer?
Long-term goals, plans, ambitions?
Student's concerns (about academics, life, the House)/ tutors additional comments.
HOUSE POLICIES REGARDING TUTORS
- Appointments: Tutorial appointments are for one year, from July 1, and renewable subject to the interest of the tutor, the needs of the House, and performance as evaluated by the Allston Burr Dean and the Faculty Dean.
- Residence: Tutors are expected to be in residence throughout the academic year unless the Faculty Dean has approved a request for absence. See Presence and Participation for instructions on how to make the request.
- Suites: Tutors are responsible for the condition of their suites and the College/House furniture in them. The Superintendent has been instructed by the Dean's Office to include tutors' rooms in routine inspections and to charge tutors for maintenance and repairs occasioned by other than normal "wear and tear."
- Furniture: No furniture may be removed from a tutor's suite without prior permission from the Superintendent.
- Visitors: All visitors in the House for more then a week should be introduced to the Faculty Deans and Allston Burr Dean. Tutors may not sublet their suites while they themselves are not in residence.
- Meals: The meal allotment for tutors exists to encourage you to participate with students in the wonderful atmosphere of the Leverett dining hall. This is a great place to get to know students and a great place for students to get to know you. This is the basic principle. So when you eat in the dining hall, you should encourage students to eat with you. It is also fun and very useful to sit down with students you don't know and get to know them. This is part of a tutor's job. There is obviously a balance here. There are times when you need the meal times to recharge your own batteries or to reconnect with your family. That is fine. Getting to know students won't do anyone any good if you drive yourself crazy. But this should be the exception rather than the rule. Ordinarily, tutors should eat with students. Also, meals are NOT transferable. Your personal guests should pay for their own meals. But if a tutor occasionally wants to bring an interesting professional guest to eat with the students, that is great. If necessary, by all means use your card to swipe in your guest. Check with the Faculty Dean if you are unsure. Except in extraordinary circumstances, tutors should not ask for a bag lunch, because the point of your meals is to eat in the dining hall with students.
- Romance: Not only must tutors avoid any romantic involvement with Harvard students in Leverett House or any other House; they must avoid even the appearance of romantic involvement with students. A tutor who becomes involved with an undergraduate in any House must resign, because of possible conflicts of interest in scholarship and other recommendations. This is a firm Harvard College rule.
- Fees: The normal Senior Common Room dues are waived for Resident Tutors.
- Offices: Although there is some office space in the library building available for tutors who need an office, such space cannot be guaranteed. See the House Administrators. Priority will be given to those tutors who will use these offices to remain around the House during the day. It is not intended as storage space.
- Storage: Space for storage in the House is in short supply and tutors should bear that in mind before moving in with things that they will not use. The superintendent will try to accommodate reasonable requests for small amounts of storage space. The halls outside tutor suites must absolutely not be used for storage of any kind, because such storage poses a fire hazard.
- Leaving: The departure date for a tutor giving up residence in the House is June 30. If plans make it necessary for you to leave earlier or later, arrangements must be made at least one month in advance with the House Administrators and with the new, incoming tutors, who must be willing to move in later. No guarantees can be made of staying longer, but we will do our best.
SECTION II: ADVISING INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
The AB degree at Harvard
The degree requires 32 semester-length courses, taken over eight terms of residence. Courses are normally taken in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, but it's possible to "cross-register" in the other Harvard schools, such as Education and the Kennedy School, and even at MIT. Up to four of the 32 courses may be taken abroad or otherwise out-of-residence. Courses may also be taken at the Harvard Summer School, but these don't count in the eight terms of residence. (These terms need not be consecutive, and in fact around 15% of Harvard students take at least one semester off, to work or travel.) The usual course-load is four per semester, but students may take up to six, and occasionally they take three or even two, if they have been sick or withdraw from a course late in the semester. In any case, however quickly or slowly they finish, Harvard students are guaranteed eight semesters of housing, and must pay at least eight semesters of tuition, to get their degree.
About half the 32 courses must go to meet the requirements of a particular field of concentration, a quarter of the courses meet the "core" requirement, and another quarter are electives. Students declare a field of concentration early, at the end of their freshman year, but may change until their junior year (and many do, though the longer they leave it the fewer their electives). The concentration requirement is 12 to 17 courses, depending on the Department, and on whether the student takes "honors" in the concentration. Students who take honors take more concentration courses, must take a special small-group tutorial in one or both semesters of each year after the first (in most departments), and must write a senior thesis. (The degree requires only fewer courses and terms if the student takes "Advanced Standing" for work done before college--and thus leaps from Freshmen year to Junior--or arrives as a transfer from another college.)
Three of the four non-concentration requirements must be taken completed in the student's first year: (1) Expository Writing, in which all students must pass a one-semester writing course in the fall or spring of their first year; (2) a Foreign Language, which can be satisfied by a full-year course in any language with a written literature for which a competent examination can be given at Harvard, or by scoring 560 or better on a College Board Achievement Test score or a Harvard Placement Test, or a 3 or better on an Advanced Placement Test.
The third and largest non-concentration requirement is the Core Curriculum, which requires a passing grade in 8 special Core courses--one each in 8 of 11 core areas including Foreign Cultures; Historical Study A (broad) and B (focused); Literature and Arts A (literary), B (art and music), and C (cultural moments); Moral Reasoning; Science A (physical sciences) and B (biological-environmental systems); Social Analysis, and Quantitative Reasoning. Each concentration is exempt from 3 of these 11 areas. In a few cases--Science A and B, Foreign Cultures, Moral Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning--certain departmental courses be substituted for core courses. Tutors should read the Introduction to the Core booklet for ideas on how students should approach the Core.
In the Harvard grading system, A, B, and C are satisfactory grades; D is unsatisfactory but passing. E is failing. Some courses are graded SAT/UNSAT, where SAT is a C or better; some courses may be taken PASS/FAIL, where PASS is anything above an E. But to graduate a student must pass at least 21 semester-courses taken for letter grades (24 for honors). Instructors send mid-term "unsat" reports to the Allston Burr Dean of any student who is working at an unsatisfactory level (C- level or lower) to try to prevent failures. Students who nonetheless do get a final grade below C- in any course will be placed on academic probation for an unsatisfactory record. Students who have two such terms in a row will likely be required to withdraw from the College for two terms, and to work at a job away from Cambridge for at least six months, before being allowed to return. Students who have more than one failing grade in a semester, or a failing grade in one course accompanied one or more grades below C-, or who do not have at least two satisfactory grades (one of which must be a letter grade) will have failed to meet "minimum requirements" and will be required to withdraw for a year, with the same conditions.
Crunch times for students
- Between Registration and Study Card day (dates can be found in the Academic Calendar): This is the first of several times of the semester when students are apt to be more anxious, so tutors should be more aware and sympathetic--and ready to listen or advise. Preparing for course selection is the most obvious reason for anxiety here, and for discussion with a tutor. Registration and the "shopping" period are an important time, especially for sophomores, and particularly in the Fall as they begin the transition to life in the House, meet new roommates and friends, as well as decide on courses. In the spring, this is a good time to take stock of the first term and make adjustments in course, and possibly concentration, plans.
- During sophomore year especially, many students are testing their recently-chosen concentration. They are unlikely to be familiar with their department, and will need encouragement and guidance in the art of getting advice and finding their way. Some students will be wondering if they made the right choice, and tutors should be prepared to help students weigh alternative possibilities. Many students will have questions about courses and professors; tutors should also be prepared to discuss concentration requirements, Core requirements, and pre-professional preparation. Useful resources to have on hand during this period, therefore, include the Handbook for Students, course catalog, CUE Guide, the Unofficial Guide to Life at Harvard, and the Leverett House facebook. What you or the student do not have can be borrowed from the Allston Burr Dean's office.
- Add/Drop and Withdraw Deadlines are the second and third important dates for students. The Add/Drop and change of grade status deadline is the fifth Monday of the term; the Withdraw deadline is the seventh Monday of the term. After the first deadline, students are not allowed to add or drop courses, nor change their grading status to or from pass/fail without special exception granted by the Administrative Board. After the withdrawal deadline, students are obliged to complete the courses in which they are enrolled, except by vote of the Ad Board. Students may have misgivings about a particular course, the overall balance of time commitments, and/or the appropriateness of concentration choice. This could be a difficult time when you are needed for support and guidance that can be extremely helpful in anticipating and preventing future academic problems. It is essential to inform students about their options before these deadlines.
- Mid-Term Exams and Papers are the fourth stressful times of the term. Aside from the pressure of competition and deadlines, some students may receive mid-term unsatisfactory reports or grades in one or more courses, which are sent to the Allston Burr Dean. More that one unsat report signals a serious problem in the academic life of the student: this is an important sign of the possible need for time off, change in concentration, or for a concerted effort to deal with poor time management, over-commitment, or personal difficulties.
- When students receive unsat reports, they are notified by, and encouraged to meet with, the Allston Burr Dean, who may enlist your help at this time. We encourage you to check in with any advisee whose performance gives cause for concern. They may talk more easily with you than with the Allston Burr Dean, and will usually appreciate your interest in how they are doing. Students may have problems arising from the course itself or from unrelated problems; tutors can offer students valuable insight into how to better plan their studies, how to improve in particular classes, and where to find help with academic or personal problems. Resources to keep in mind include the Bureau of Study Counsel, the Writing Center, and University Health Services (see part C of this section).
- Reading and Exam Period, in January and May, is the fifth and final important landmark of the academic term. Exams and papers loom, intensifying ongoing difficulties with course material, procrastination, time management, and stress. In January there are the added stresses of post-holiday blues and the need to plan for next semester. Students may be too busy to take the time to meet with you, but it is important to gauge how they- - and especially your advisees--are faring and volunteer help where needed. Students can benefit from advice on how to approach a long paper or narrow down a topic, how to plan a work schedule, or how to organize a paper's ideas or argument. If they foresee problems with competing deadlines, urge them to talk to the relevant instructor(s) now. Students should be reminded, however, that only the Ad Board can grant extensions past the last day of exam period, and undergraduates are not allowed to receive an "incomplete" for a course.
- Students may also need help learning how to study for an exam. Encourage them to plan the allocation of their time carefully, attend review sessions, and check out previous exams in the course, available in the Leverett Library and at other Harvard College libraries.
- Illness Before an Exam: Students sometimes wonder whether they should "sick-out" of an exam. If the student is very ill and feels his or her performance will suffer as a result, a medical make-up is obviously appropriate: the student needs to go to UHS on the day of the exam and before the exam begins in order to obtain the UHS form allowing them a make-up. If a student feels he or she might recover, he or she can be admitted to UHS and be permitted to wait and take the exam, in the Stillman Infirmary, when the illness passes. A 24 hour recovery period is allowed. If a student still feels ill, he or she can obtain a medical make-up by getting the appropriate form filled out by a nurse and then bringing it to the Allston Burr Dean's office within 24 hours. The student who feels ill the night before an exam should also go to Stillman; if the illness passes within a 24 hour period the student can be allowed to take the exam in the infirmary.
- But if the sick-out is due to poor knowledge rather than poor health, always advise against it. Delayed exams hang over the student's head for several months; a student's grasp of the course material tends to weaken, not strengthen; and the make-up comes during the next semester's mid-terms (and is often harder: instructors do not like to give or grade make-ups). A sick-out is often a panic response on the part of the student; helping a student become calm and form a study plan and a way to deal with stress is the best assistance you can offer.
- Inadvertently Missing an Exam: A student who has slept through an exam should go to the Allston Burr Dean as soon as possible, to inquire about taking the one "inadvertence" make up that a student may be allowed, if the course instructor assents (this is not automatic: consult the Handbook for Students on this topic). A student who wakes up late and misses some of the exam should go to the examination room (if before 9:45 or 2:45) or to Room 112 in the Science Center if more than 45 minutes have been missed.
- The Spring Term brings a few new wrinkles to advising tasks. You should help students, especially your advisees, to assess their performance during the past Fall, their feelings about their concentration, and their goals for the next semester(s). One additional topic you may want to raise is summer planning. Jobs, internships and fellowships become available, and deadlines for many of these opportunities begin even in early February. A second topic that may arise is the possibility of a leave of absence in the next year or term. Sources for information include the Office of Career Services and the House Fellowships tutor. Although some students do take time off after the Fall semester, many students decide to take time off starting in the fall term. Any student planning to leave must see the Allston Burr Dean; if they are thinking of getting credit for study elsewhere they must also see the Director of Study Out of Residence at the Office of Career Services (495-2595).
- IMPORTANT NOTE: The deadline for canceling housing for the next academic year is the end of June! Cancellations must be received in person or by registered mail in the Housing Office in University Hall by that date or students are charged a large late fee. The deadline for cancellations for the spring term is the first week of January.
Counseling and advising resources at Harvard
Harvard University offers many services and resources to which students can go for assistance with concerns about their academic programs and personal life. Tutors should familiarize themselves with the resources of the University by referring to the handbooks available from the Allston Burr Deans's Office, among these the Handbook for Students and Fields of Concentration, CUE Guide, and the Unofficial Guide to Life at Harvard.
The Administrative Board of Harvard/Radcliffe is described briefly in the Handbook for Students. It is wise to have a general idea of how the Ad Board works so that when students ask related questions, you are able to answer them. For more detailed information, students should consult the User's Manual to the Administrative Board, copies of which are available in the Allston Burr Dean's office; or they should consult the Allston Burr Dean, who participates in the weekly Board meetings on Tuesday afternoons.
For students seeking academic assistance, the Bureau of Study Counsel (495-2581) provides a broad range of psychological and consultative services. Academic services are available to improve students' study skills, learning skills, concentration, time management, note taking, and preparation for examinations. Students are charged for some of these services, which include peer counseling and the Harvard Course in Reading Strategies ($50 for undergraduates; financial aid is available when needed). The office also has volumes of past final examinations which are available to students. The Bureau offers psychological services in the areas of study counseling, general counseling, and psychotherapy. These services are available without charge. In addition, the Bureau provides orientation, training, and supervision of peer tutors, peer counseling groups, and issue-focused peer education programs.
Students interested in investigating careers, fellowships, summer jobs, or off-campus learning will find Harvard's Office of Career Services (495-2595) to be an essential resource. OCS provides career planning for Harvard students and affiliates by offering information and guidance in the areas of career planning and job hunting; graduate education; international travel, employment and internships; public service internships and employment; and study abroad programs. OCS publishes a weekly newsletter which is available each Friday in the House Office and on the OCS website. The OCS Career Library contains catalogs of domestic and foreign graduate and professional schools, descriptions of corporate management training programs, foreign newspapers, and fellowship and grant information.
The Student Employment Office (495-2585), located in Byerly Hall Basement, is a resource for undergraduates seeking term-time and summer employment. The office lists on and off-campus jobs in labs, offices, dining halls, libraries, social service agencies, hospitals, and many other sites. There are also temporary short-term listings, child care listings, listings for translators, musicians, typists, etc.
Radcliffe Career Services (495-8631) emphasizes and addresses women's work issues, and offers individual career counseling, free, to senior women undergraduates.
Students with questions concerning financial aid should speak to a staff member of the Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid (495-1581), located in Byerly Hall. Financial aid awards, loans, and scholarships, are given annually on the basis of need by the Committee. Students must file an application each year in order to renew financial aid. They should also contact a staff member if their financial situation suddenly changes, and they confront unexpected budget problems during the course of the school year. Written materials containing information about obtaining awards is also available at the Financial Aid Office.
Harvard students provide a number of valuable peer counseling groups for both general and specialized concerns. Among these are Room 13--the most general peer counseling service (495-4969); Project ADD (Alcohol and Drug Dialogue, 495-9629); AIDS Education and Outreach (495-0404); Peer Contraceptive Counselors (495-7561); RESPONSE - the sexual harassment and assault hot line (495-9600); Eating Concerns Hotline and Outreach (495-8200); CONTACT (495-8111); Life Raft--the hotline for dealing with illness and death of loved ones (547-2620 or 495-2070); the AIDS Support Group (495-2070); and the Student Health Advisory Council (495-7583).
Some students are most responsive to pastoral help. Tutors or students may call the following numbers for information about counseling:
- United Ministry 5-5529
- Hillel 5-4696
- Catholic 868-6586
- Baptist 864-8068, kelly_monroe@harvard
- Hindu (Vedanta Soc.) 536-5320
- Muslim (D. Mitten) mitten@fas
- Quaker 876-6883
- Buddhist williams9@fas
- Mormon 547-6188
- Lutheran 876-3256
Tutors can play a valuable role in suggesting these resources to students, if they perceive a need. Tutors can also themselves call the hotlines, to discuss anonymously a student about whom they have concerns (e.g. whom they suspect has an eating disorder). The counselors can often suggest ways to help the student (how to bring up the subject, whom to refer them to for help). Tutors should also keep in mind the peer counseling hotline for graduate students, In Common--as a resource for themselves, when talking about the pressures of graduate studies and tutoring to a sympathetic ear might be helpful. For more information on peer counseling services, consult the Student Handbook under "Health Services," or the Unofficial Guide to Life at Harvard.
Victims of rape or sexual assault may call Security for transportation to Health Services without necessarily reporting the incident to the Harvard Police, regardless of whether or not one intends to press charges. A rape victim may also report an incident anonymously, by contacting a member of the Sensitive Crime Unit of the Harvard Police, 495-1212, or by relaying the information through a counselor at the University Health Services: 495-2070. (Beth Israel Hospital also has an excellent rape hotline that you can call.) Rape and sexual assault are dealt with in the Handbook for Students (from which this material has been excerpted), and additional information, including a very useful handbook on issues surrounding rape, may be obtained from the University Health Services. Should a tutor want confidential advice regarding a student who has approached him or her concerning a rape or assault, the tutor should call Karen Avery, the Assistant dean for co-education, at 496-1589.
The same office can advise students and tutors regarding both harassment and discrimination, as can the Allston Burr Dean and the sexual harassment tutors in the House. Students who feel that they have suffered from discrimination or harassment in any form on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability, should seek help. The Handbook for Students outlines procedures for responding to incidents of discrimination or harassment of students, and contains the Faculty Council's statement about harassment on the basis of sexual orientation (p. 305-6).
The Accessible Education Office (496-8707) is the central campus resource for students with documented physical and learning disabilities.
Glossary of Harvard and Leverett lingo
- "Ad Board": the Administrative Board of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, made up of the Allston Burr Deans and selected Deans, which meets on Tuesday afternoons to decide on student petitions to waive particular rules and deadlines, to consider academic and disciplinary infractions and decide on appropriate sanctions, and to make policy. To be "ad-boarded" is to be called before this board.
- "Advanced (Sophomore) Standing": status of a student who has sufficiently high scores in enough high-school AP (Advanced Placement) courses to complete a Harvard degree in only three years. Eligible students declare advanced standing or not during their freshman year, but may reconsider later (though only once). Sophomores who arrive in the House with Advanced Standing have often taken their concentration's sophomore tutorial in their first year, or will take sophomore and junior tutorials in their second year, and because of their shortened timetable may have fewer electives than other students.
- "Bag": to "bag" a course is to give up on it--to stop going to classes and not to attend the final exam--after the deadline has passed for withdrawing from courses. The student receives a grade of "ABS" (absent from the exam) for a bagged course. This is a failing grade, equivalent to an "E" in GPA terms, but it doesn't look quite so bad as an "E."
- "BAT Team": a Beverage Authorization Team is a group of three or four graduate-students, working for the College, charged with checking student ID's at large parties or dances held in public space, where alcohol is to be served and there are expected to be more than 100 guests. Students hosting such events must arrange and pay for a BAT team.
- "Core": see II.A above.
- "Donut Bash": a gathering in the Leverett dining hall, at abut 10:30 on the night before the first day of final exams, at which students rapidly consume dozens of donuts provided by the Faculty Deans.
- "HAND": the Harvard and Neighborhood Development program--a student organization (resident in each house, though Leverett's is the largest) that organizes and staffs public-service neighborhood outreach projects, such as tutoring in local schools, Big Sibling, etc.
- "House Warning": a letter of admonishment to a student from the Faculty Deans and Allston Burr Dean-- for local offenses such as drunkenness or possession of drugs, underage drinking, excessive noise, or damage to House property--warning the student that any further offense of the kind will result in loss of housing privileges in the House.
- "JCR": the Junior Common Room, technically the body of Leverett undergrads, but also, in more common parlance the large common space, adjacent to the dining hall in the D-entry, that exits for the common use of this body--though it may be reserved by tutors for House events.
- "House-Based, Non-Concentration Advising": Advising by resident tutors about courses and matters besides those related to a student's concentration. This kind of advising, strongly encouraged by recent Deans for Undergraduate Education as a complement to concentration advising, in most Houses focuses on sophomores.
- "Non-Resident Tutor": a graduate-student at Harvard who doesn't live in the House but who eats here up to five meals a week, participates in House activities (including some entryway parties), and offers advice in his or her field or (in the case of pre-law and pre-med NRT's) writes letters of recommendation. Leverett usually has about 25 NRT's active at any one time.
- "Old-Library Lunch": a lunch for Senior Common Room members, students and guests, held one Wednesday per month, now usually in the JCR. These lunches used to be held in the Old Library (now used mostly for theatrical productions) -- hence the name. Tutors should attend whenever possible.
- "PBH": Phillips Brooks House, the major public-service organization at Harvard, located in the Yard.
- "Probation": a sanction imposed by the Ad Board, in academic cases for one semester--notifying the student that another consecutive semester of unsatisfactory grades will result in the student's being required to withdraw for a year; in disciplinary cases a notification that any further fractions
- "SCR": the Senior Common Room, both a group--composed of all Leverett tutors and a large group of Leverett-affiliated professors and other professionals--and the room in D-entry where members of this group meet for discussion on Wednesdays at noon and casually, to read the magazines and recreate themselves.
- "The Primal Scream": a campus-wide release of tension that may be heard (since student screamers scream out their open windows) around midnight before the first day of exams each semester. At Leverett, energy for "the scream" comes from the fare at the donut bash earlier in the evening.
- "Sick out": to miss a final exam because of a sickness, which is "verified" by a visit to UHS within 24 hours of the exam, enabling the student to take a make-up exam the following March or October. Not to be encouraged except in cases of real sickness.
- "Study Break": an informal gathering, during mid-term, reading, final-exam period, during which students consume large quantities of goodies provided by a tutor, or the House, or the House Committee.
- "Transfers": Students who have transferred to Harvard after starting their degree at another institution. An "Inter-House transfer" (vs. an "Intercollegiate") has transferred into Leverett from another Harvard House.
- "Tutor": a catch-all Harvard title whose holders only sometimes "tutor" students in the ordinary sense of the word, but rather are proctors and advisors in the Houses (in the case of "Resident Tutors"), or departmental advisors and administrators (in the case of a "Head Tutors"), or Allston Burr Deans in the Houses (in the case of "Allston Burr Deans").
- "UHS": University Health Services in Holyoke Center, the subject of many jokes and horror stories among students (occasionally justified) but an important community resource.
- "University Hall": a metonymic phrase that usually means "the Deans of the College and their administrators, whose offices are in University Hall"--as in "that odd rule comes straight from University Hall."
- "Unsat": a report from a course instructor to a Allston Burr Dean at mid-term indicating that a student in the House is doing D or E work in that course. (The lowest satisfactory grade is a C-, although students can get credit for courses with anything above an E.) On receiving such a report, the Allston Burr Dean invites the student in to discuss his or her performance in and plans for the course. An unsat semester is a semester in which a student gets one or more unsat grades (below C-) or has no letter-graded course in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences or in a course taken by cross registration and taken for concentration or UTEP requirements. Two consecutive unsat semesters make a student eligible to be required to withdraw for a year.
- "UTEP": Undergraduate Teacher Education Program, a program of courses and practical training that is taken as a complement to a concentration and that certifies a student to teach in middle and secondary public schools in Massachusetts and other states with which Massachusetts has reciprocity.
SECTION III: ABOUT THE HOUSE
The most up-to-date information about the House can be found on the Leverett web page. Note particularly the House Info section, containing General Information , People , and History .
The House Office contain forms and other information about rules.