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The Meiklejohn Peer Advising Program had a 38 percent increase in the number of applicants, from 375 in 2009 to 517 this spring. The Meiklejohn leadership made a concerted effort to publicize the program, holding three information sessions and advertising at a table at J. Walter Wilson, said Ann Gaylin, associate dean of the College for first year and sophomore studies.

Although there was also an increase in the number of rising juniors and seniors who applied, 213 rising sophomores applied to be Meiklejohns, Gaylin said. She speculated that a potential reason for the increase in applications is because rising sophomores are very happy with the program.

Despite the increase in numbers, the application deadline was extended from Feb. 23 to 26. Noura Choudhury '11, one of 12 Meiklejohn leaders, said the reason for the extension was that many people who might have wanted to apply were away for the long weekend.

Gaylin said the extension brought in a few more applicants, but the program already had more than enough applications before extending the deadline. First-time applicant Rachel Zolno '13 mentioned that although she completed her application before the deadline was extended, she had a few friends who applied after they learned of the extension.

Zolno said she applied for the program because she had a "good experience" with her own Meiklejohn. She said she believes that without a core curriculum, Brown can be overwhelming for freshmen. She also said that peer advisers can be more helpful and accessible than faculty advisers because Meiklejohns have been through the same experiences as incoming freshmen.

About 350 Meiklejohns will be selected to advise the class of 2014, Choudhury said. Gaylin said some of the key qualities they are looking for in applicants are active listening, openness to intellectual and cultural differences and a willingness to help first-years make the transition from high school to college.

Choudhury added that the "drive to advise" and the ability to relate to first-years are also important. She said that given the "really incredible set of applicants," anyone who doesn't get selected should reapply next year.

Although no drastic changes have been made to the program, Gaylin said the leadership has been trying to develop a "tighter organizational structure," including making the expectations and responsibilities of Meiklejohns clearer to applicants before they are selected. She said she is delighted to be working with the Meiklejohn program and views the increase in the number of applications as a "sign that people are noticing our energy and enthusiasm."

Applicants will be notified if they have been accepted to the program before spring break, Choudhury said.



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