This panel seems a fine idea.

Come to Brooks-Rogers for a student panel discussion about the decisions that will affect your Junior Year. You’ll hear the honest testimonies of current students who were faced with the same decisions not too long ago, as well as their resposes to several thought-provoking questions from your classmates. Brought to you by The Class of 2009 Sophomore Council.

Yet I wouldn’t bother to go if I were a sophomore, nor would I recommend it to others. Panels are incredibly inefficient uses of my time. 80% of what is said does not apply to you, 15% is wrong and the few nuggets of useful commentary are not worth the 90 minute admission fee.

What would be better? Easy. An on-line Eph Advice system. Gather the best questions/comments from this and other events and place them on-line, a FAQ for Williams students. Many, many questions (about classes, housing, activities and so on) get asked and answered every year. Collect those questions and post them, along with answers. Note that there will often be no “right” answer to the questions like: Should I go abroad? or Should I be a JA? But we can all agree on the range of reasonable answers. We should supply all those answers once, and modify/improve them as time goes by.

The vast majority of the problems with advising at Williams would go away with such a system. Who will build it?

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