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Starting this semester, a new space on the second floor of J. Walter Wilson, known as Advising Central, is available weekday afternoons for students seeking advice from faculty and deans without prior appointments.

The project, an extension of the Faculty Advising Fellows Program, brings together different advising resources in one space where students and faculty can have informal conversations, according to Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron.

Advising Central is aimed at students who have important — but not "burning" — questions to work out, Bergeron said. Students can discuss academic plans, campus life and other subjects with Faculty Advising Fellows, Randall Advisors, deans, Graduate Advising Fellows or Meiklejohn Peer Advisors.

Peter Vail '13 recently ran into trouble registering for a history class and visited Advising Central's open house last week. A history professor on duty gave him the advice he needed.

"It's conducive for students looking for help," he said.

Bergeron said the center is also available for students to talk to Faculty Advising Fellows, a group of advisers with interests that span the curriculum, if undergraduates are unable to get enough information from their first-year, sophomore or concentration advisors.

In the past, the fellows hosted activities in their on-campus homes. But attendance was often low, Bergeron said. "Students felt a little hampered about having to go into somebody's house, where they might have felt a little bit trapped," she said.

One of the fellows thought of creating "a drop-in place" easily accessible to students, Bergeron said.

As one of the central campus locations, J. Walter Wilson was an obvious choice. "Students are flowing through that building for all kinds of reasons already," Bergeron said. Rooms are available for private conversations.

Victoria Hsu '10, who was also at an open house for Advising Central last week, said the project is a good idea, especially given that "advising at Brown has always been sort of shoddy."

The space, consisting of a hallway and a few rooms, will have certain days dedicated to specific subject areas, Bergeron said, on which faculty members in the given subjects will be available to speak with students.

The Advising Central operates from 1 to 6 p.m. Monday though Thursday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. Deans' Open Hours at the center are from 1 to 4 p.m. on weekdays.


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