Mooseletter – September 3, 2019

Welcome from the Faculty Deans
Sean Kelly and Cheryl Chen

Welcome back to Dunster! We hope you’ve had a wonderful summer, and we are delighted about your return to the House. We can’t wait to hear about your summer adventures, and to start on an exciting new year!

As you may know, this is our third year as Faculty Deans. We are so grateful for the opportunity to use the past two year’s experiences, successes, and mistakes to make this year even better. If we haven’t met you yet, please don’t hesitate to introduce yourselves to us and our two boys, Ben (15) and Nathaniel (9). And even if we know you already, please come update us on how you’re doing!

Dunster House is a magnificent community, with about 400 students at its core, and we are honored to serve as the Faculty Deans here. But of course, the House would be a pale imitation of itself without the hard work of all our terrific staff. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to meet them if you don’t know them already. But here’s a quick rundown of some of the major figures. Joining us again this year are: Michael Uy (Resident Dean), Rachel Barbarisi (House Administrator), Diana Hovsepian (Academic Coordinator), Lucia Baldock (Building Manager), and Paul Gabbidon (Dining Hall Manager). In addition to our 16 returning Tutors, we have 5 new Tutors joining us this fall: Manon Garcia and her husband, Tamer Teker, Bushra Guenoun, Eugene Nam, and MG Prezioso. We are also aided by an amazing building management staff, a huge array of dining hall staff, and a terrific group of security guards. With all their help, you will be in very good hands! We encourage you to introduce yourself to all of the Dunster staff and Tutors. They are an essential part of what makes Dunster work. You can find out more about the Tutors and Staff on the Dunster Facebook. The Facebook also has profiles of our SCR members and Non-Resident Tutors, along with pictures of your fellow Meese.

The physical plant of Dunster House was “off-line” this summer, in order to do some upgrades and repairs. As a result, we did not host summer school students or other guests. So the House itself is excited for your return, too! The improvements we made include converting two one-room doubles into four singles, repairing and repainting over 200 window sills, installing a bike rack inside the D-gate, creating a prayer and meditation room in the hallway off the library, and installing a gas fireplace in the DHall. (We are excited for a lighting ceremony later in the fall!) We also put in a handwashing station in the servery so that you can listen to Dean Uy when he tells you to wash your hands! A huge thanks to Lucia for overseeing all of these big projects.

Dunster House is, as you know, home to many great events and traditions as well. We’re going to get the ball rolling right away this year, with our traditional Welcome Back House BBQ, which will take place on Tuesday starting at 5pm in the Courtyard. Festivities will continue past 7:00, so we hope that Dunster House athletes who are off at practice until late can join us as well. Paul and the HUDS crew have promised us a great meal, and as you’re eating it we’ll also have our annual Opening Assembly. That will start at 6:45 in the Courtyard. The Opening Assembly is the first time this year we will all come together as a House, so we strongly encourage all of you to check it out.

Other events will start up soon, too. Sometime this coming week, you will have your first residential community meeting, with your Residential Tutor and the other students in your entryway. This meeting is mandatory, so be sure to keep an eye out for further information about it. It is a great opportunity for you to meet your neighbors and discuss the ground rules for House life. You’ll also hear about other House events, including open houses in our residence, Stein Clubs and other HoCo events, Library concerts, ice cream bashes, s’mores in the courtyard, meals with faculty, and, of course, the Goat+Roast. We look forward to sharing these traditions with all of you, and we are always open to starting new traditions as well.

In closing, we want to recognize that many of you returning to Dunster are missing Sandip Nirmel ‘21, who passed away after a serious illness last May. Please know that we, along with Michael Uy and the rest of the House staff and tutors, are here for you if you would like to talk as you continue to process this loss. Also know that the Chaplains’ Office (617-495-5529) is open Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and counselors are also available at Harvard University Health Services (617-495-5711). Now that everyone is back, we will be working with some of Sandip’s closest friends to determine the best way for the House to honor his memory. If you would like to be involved in these discussions, please let us know. It will be difficult for many of us to start the year knowing of Sandip’s absence. But we know, too, that we will come together as a community to help those who are most in need. That is the strength, and the promise, of Dunster House.

Welcome from the Resident Dean
Michael Uy

Hello Dunster! Welcome back from the summer! As you hopefully know, my name is Michael Uy and I am excited to begin my third [!] year as your Resident Dean. As your Dean, I am entrusted with your overall academic progress and personal wellbeing. As a voting member on the Administrative Board, I represent Dunster students in any petitions that you need to present. I teach in the Music Department with a focus on social engagement, sociology, and philanthropy. In the spring I will reprise Music 1: From Bach to Beyonce! A little about my personal life: I am the son of immigrants, I was a first-generation college student, I enjoy the sports of rowing, running, and indoor rockclimbing, I am a practicing Catholic, and I am an openly proud member of the BGLTQ community.

Hopefully you are all moved in by now and getting ready for classes. The beginning of the year is an exciting time. I know it may also be a difficult time with the passing of friends and loved ones over the summer. Sandip, who would have been a rising junior, is particularly on my mind. Please know that I am here to talk with you, about anything difficult that you may be going through. We can meet over a meal, in my office, or for a stroll around the river. I do my best to learn every student’s name, so please say hello!

There are also several structural changes to the house that happened over the summer. You’ll frequently hear me reminding you to wash your hands throughout the year and now you have no excuse because we have a new handwashing station inside the servery! In the next week, I’ll also be detailing the rules/guidelines for hosting parties/gatherings in the “fun pod” common room on the fifth floor. We are trying to support social life in the house and the “fun pod” is hopefully a step in that direction. Finally, look out soon for more information on our meditation room, adjacent to the library.

I’m happy to meet with you during formal office hours, and by individual appointment. Please reach out to Dunster’s Academic Coordinator Diana Hovsepian to schedule a time. I said it last year, but I’ll say it again: I firmly believe that this will be the year that Dunster wins the Strauss Cup for IMs!

Finally, please remember to “check-in” on my.harvard – today is the deadline. The course registration deadline is next week on September 9th.

Michael’s Office Hours
Tuesday, 9/3: 10 am-12 noon
Thursday, 9/5: 2-4 pm
Friday, 9/6: 2-4 pm

Please feel free to drop in during office hours indicated above. To schedule an appointment or for alternate times, please email Diana at My office is at E303H.

Fall Cross-Registration Deadline: October 7, 2019

FAS students may cross-register into courses at other Harvard faculties and approved non-Harvard institutions. The courses taken must cover subjects not available under this faculty. Information regarding the course offerings at other Harvard faculties is available via my.harvard. Students are not officially enrolled in the course(s) until it appears on their record on my.harvard and are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate approvals are obtained.

To petition to receive concentration credit for a course please complete this petition signed off by your department and submit to the Registrar’s Office on the fourth floor of the Smith Center, 1350 Mass. Ave, by the 5th Monday of the term in which you are taking the course. If you have not yet declared your concentration you may petition for concentration credit retroactively by the fifth Monday of your fourth term in residence.

Visit the course search in my.harvard to view the cross-registration credit conversion tool. Look for the button titled “Credit Conversion” below the search bar.

Tutor on Call
September 2-9, the tutor on call is Rahima Bensaid. In the event of an emergency, she can be reached at 617-851-8419.

Opening Assembly and House BBQ
TONIGHT! September 3, Tuesday
5-7:15 pm, Dunster House Courtyard

Dunster Dining Hall Closed for Dinner Friday, September 6
All Dining Halls will be closed for dinner on Friday, September 6, except for Currier and Mather. HUDS will be serving dinner in the Yard that night as part of Crimson Jam. If you’re not attending the event, please feel free to dine next door in Mather House!

Important Dates
September 3, Tuesday
Fall Full Term begins, Classes start.

Last day for all undergraduates to Check-In online

Course Registration opens to allow enrolling in courses

Fall Session 1 begins

September 9, Monday
Fall Full Term Course Registration for all students due

Students must submit enrollments for their minimum course load – typically 16 credits. Students who do not submit enrollments by this time will be charged a fee.

After this date students must obtain permission from all instructors to enroll in courses.

Last day upon which undergraduates may check-in/register late for the fall term in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Fall Session 1 Course Registration Deadline

September 16, Monday
Make-up Examinations for spring 2019 term begin

Diana G. Hovsepian
Dunster House Academic Coordinator
Harvard College
945 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02138

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About hovsep

Hi everyone, my name is Diana Hovsepian and I am the academic coordinator in Dunster House. I have been working here since 2009: helping with your academic questions and issues, managing student records, organizing and helping with House events and Commencement. I also am here to aid you in coordinating your medical school application process and getting your recommendations in order, so please visit me if you have any questions. I also serve as a sophomore academic adviser in the House. Every Monday, I publish the Mooseletter in the dining hall and in your inboxes with news from our offices, which include academic deadlines, upcoming House events, and information from the Registrar’s office. If you find that you have any questions about academics, need to get in contact with the Resident Dean or just want to chat, please email me or stop by my office at E303A! When I am not in Dunster, I am spending time with my husband, our children, and our Boston Terrier in Bedford, MA. I love traveling, reading, watching movies, and I am always on the lookout for recommendations if you have any. Let’s have another great year in Dunster!