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Senate committee working to make advising accessible

TSG senator will distribute surveys to assess students needs.

After years of student dissatisfaction with advising, TSG Sen. Kylie Patterson has formed a committee to address these longtime issues.

“We want students to think that advisers have the students’ best interests at heart,” said Patterson, a senator from the College of Liberal Arts and the chair of the university affairs committee. “Hopefully, the end result is to have students not look at advisers as the enemies but as friends.”

Patterson said she started the committee because of her poor experiences with advising. After having difficulties declaring her second major and talking to some of her peers, Patterson decided advising is a serious issue that TSG should address. She proposed the creation of the advising ad-hoc committee at the first TSG Senate meeting.

The committee will consist of 12 to 16 members with Patterson as the chair. Any school with a representing senator will have its advising program investigated. The committee will go to the schools’ advising centers, talk with the advisers, and find out the adviser to advisee ratio.

The suggested average for this ratio is 250 advisees to one adviser with an advising session of 30 minutes. This ratio is only suggested for the first week before and after registration.

Within the next month, Patterson plans to conduct surveys to evaluate students’ advising experiences. The survey will ask students about their schools’ advising centers, the misinformation they might have received and the length of time they wait for advisers.

“I want to focus on creating equality for all the schools,” Patterson said. “It’s important that everyone be able to have a good experience.”

Most students expressed issues with advising, but the problems varied depending on the college.
“They always give me a different answer. I don’t go to see them much. I just follow my DARS,” said Daniel Bickart, a senior geography and urban studies major.

Senior Irina Bugariu said she never had a bad advising experience.

“They tell you the same information that you already know, but it’s still good to reinforce things,” the tourism and hospitality management major said. “I honestly don’t have any bad stories.”

Other students suggest how advising centers improve their services to students.

“They need a more central system and to give the same correct information, especially about grad schools,” said Gina Livanos, a sophomore chemistry major.

Sophomore Danielle Renson said students should try and keep the same adviser.

“If you keep the same adviser every year you can form a relationship with them and be able to communicate with them,” said Renson, who is an elementary education major.

Patterson said she expects to see changes in advising by the Spring semester. After gathering all the information, the committee will create a summation report that it will submit to the administration. The report is expected to be used to get more funding to the centers or possibly make more advising centers available.

Patterson encourages all students concerned with advising to attend the advising committee meetings. Times and locations for the meetings will be posted on the TSG Web site.

“If Temple sees that students want this, they’ll make it happen,” Patterson said. “Students do have power. This is their school.”

Rebecca Hale can be reached at rebecca.hale@temple.edu.

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