The Claremont McKenna College Dean of Students Office will make the student sponsor position a yearlong commitment beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.
“We are asking sponsors to be year-long mentors in addition to just orientation leaders,” wrote Kristin Weyman, the associate dean of first- and second-year students, in an email to TSL. “This is something that many Sponsors have done in recent years anyway, we are
just making it a formal part of the position.”
Sean Sakaguchi CM ’16, one of the head sponsors for the coming school year, said that sponsors will meet before the summer to begin preparing for next year, and that he hopes to see “more long-term active involvement between the sponsors and the freshmen.”
“In previous years, most sponsors just feel like the job is over when orientation ends,” Sakaguchi said. “We really hope that this program can be more than just a job, but actually a method of helping the freshmen make friends with the other classes.”
Tricia Wang CM ’15, a head sponsor this school year, agreed that sponsorship should be a yearlong commitment.
“Lots of students believe that the sponsors are only there to help them during orientation week when in actuality they should be providing guidance throughout the year,” she wrote in a message to TSL.
Sakaguchi said that the selection of sponsors will take into account their living arrangements, favoring students who will be living in residence halls inhabited predominantly by first-years.
“We are trying this
year to adjust a little bit more so that the sponsors are housed in the dorms
that they are sponsoring,” he said.
Sakaguchi said that he hopes the change will make sponsors more accessible to first-year students.
“What happened in
the past was that, say, Marks is a big freshman dorm, but most of the sponsors
we chose will live in Green or Appleby,” Sakaguchi said. “Then the problem was that the sponsors
hired had to put a lot of extra effort to try to go see their freshmen at
Marks. They just couldn’t be there all the time.”