Group Advisor Meetings: Effective or Excessive?

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Photo Credit: Freya Rich '20

This year, Loomis has decided to make monthly group advisor meetings a reality and by doing so has created a lot of controversy over the matter. Advisors are a great resource for students who are thinking about dropping a class, wondering what after-school activity to choose, or need guidance on how to ask teacher about getting extra help. They are truly there for you to support your endeavors at Loomis and to keep your best interest at heart.

          Photo Credit: Freya Rich ’20

However, advisors vary and so do advisees, and therefore the number of times they need to actually meet face to face fluctuates. For boarding students, your advisor must be affiliated with your dorm, so they are “on-duty” in the dorm typically once a week or at least every other week. This way if you have a question or concern you can just ask them during a check-in time or after study hall. For day students however, your advisor is a faculty member who is not affiliated with any dorm and you might not see them around unless you have a scheduled meeting. In this regard the monthly advisor meetings are somewhat justified for day students.

Some people, like boarding Sophomore Anna, appreciate the weekly advisor meetings. “I like that it’s not too time-consuming, but a good way to check in with not only your advisor but also your fellow classmates to see how they are doing… especially if you a new freshman it is a good way to meet people because you have something in common and for the returning students it is a good opportunity to be a resource to the new students,” she comments. In addition to the group meetings, Anna says, “We [her advisor and herself] set up a time for individual meetings”.

In a mini-interview, Mr. and Mrs. Cardwell, advisors and residents in Cutler dorm, share their thoughts on the new system of advisor meetings. Mrs. Cardwell comments on the group meetings, “[They are] Valuable, because I rarely met with the whole group last year and this gives us the opportunity to do so… I’d like to use it as good down time. Something fun to recharge”. She mentions how she is still setting up individual meetings with her advisees and how this is just a supplement to those meetings, a more communal time. Mr. Cardwell chimes in, “[Since they meetings are] Not even a full hour… It’s not supposed to be individual time, it’s supposed to be group time… time for snacks, games, like team building; built in time for the advisees to get to know each other”. Mrs. Cardwell drives her point home with the remark, “students are better at explaining things to one another… and can use each other to ask questions and bond with each other”.

A sophomore day student, who wished to remain anonymous, also shares their thoughts on the matter. They say, “I guess it’s different, last year I only met my [whole adviser] group once… I think as I get older I don’t need to meet with her [my advisor] as often. It would be good if they let the students initiate meetings more, rather than the advisor”.

Both sides have valid points on the issue and Loomis should consider re-evaluating the system and possibly changing the mindset of students to inform them the true purpose of these advisor meetings. Is the intent to enrich our community through small sections of the population? Or are they to create a stronger bond with you and your advisor? The next group advisor meeting is scheduled for October 23rd and hopefully by then more light will be shed on this new policy.

Photo Credit: Freya Rich ’20