Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Residential Life to keep Peer Mentor program for 2012-2013

By Collegian News Staff

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Peer mentors will still have a place in some first-year dormitories next year, according to an email sent to current peer mentors and apartment living assistants by Assistant Director for Learning Communities Anjali Cadena.

There will be 34 to 38 positions available in residence halls to be determined by Residential Life, according to the email — a decrease from the 54 employed as of December this year.

Not all first-year dorms will have peer mentors, according to Working Group of Student Success [WGSS] member and Student Government Association President Yevin Roh. Residential Life has not yet made the decision of which dorms will have them and which dorms will pilot new programs.

“The current PM position will be part of a larger 1-year Pilot Program to examine support programs and services for first-year students in residence halls,” wrote Cadena in the email. The email goes on to state that all such services will be assessed during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Roh said the group hopes to use the Pilot Program to gather some empirical data. Up until this point, the group has relied on anecdotal data, said Roh.

Current peer mentors will be given preference for hiring, and those who have already accepted Residential Assistant positions for next year will have the option to work as peer mentors instead.

The peer mentor program was to be eliminated as part of a set of housing changes announced Nov. 30 by Residential Life. The proposal also eliminated the Apartment Living Assistant position, but no mention of ALAs was made in the email.

The WGSS was formed by the University administration to review the changes following outcry by peer mentors, ALAs and student government officials over the cuts. The group, which included both student representatives and administrators, made its proposal several weeks ago, according to Roh.

University Executive Director of News and Media Relations Ed Blaguszewski said that he could not confirm that the program had been preserved; however, the Collegian obtained a copy of the email sent by Residential Life stating the details of the changes.

– Collegian News Staff

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