Mooseletter – April 27, 2020

(Sorry Dunster, I’m without the masterful skills of Diana today – so your mooseletter will look more boring! Please keep her in your kindest thoughts.) (This is a lot of text, but helpful/necessary information, so please read carefully.)

From the Office of the Resident Dean, Michael Uy
Deerest Dunster, well here we are at the last three days of the Spring Semester… does the beginning of reading period mean anything anymore? I don’t know, but we’ll say that at the least, classes definitively end this Wednesday. I’d normally be sending an email at this point about being kind to your neighbors (I guess that still applies), and to remember that there are no parties through finals. But what I can hope to remind you is to quadruple check expectations for final exams, final papers, and final problem sets. Since there is no official exam schedule, it’s really important that you have a clear understanding of what you need to do to complete your courses with a satisfactory grade. If there are any issues at all, please do be in touch with me as soon as possible! It’s also critical that we’re mindful of our commitment to the Honor Code – the last thing we’d want is to trip up in this respect, either consciously or unconsciously. Reach out to your Dunster Honor Council members Allison, Taimur, and Kalos if you have any questions or concerns (and read the email that I’d forwarded to you from them). Claire and I are looking forward to this Wednesday’s Trivia Night – our last of the semester! A week and a half ago, 75+ of you participated – FOMO is real, and you want to help ensure that your graduating class comes out on top! Finally, look below this message for some more information on possible funding for Harvard Summer School and for what I’ve been advising students in terms of Leaves of Absences. I hope you’ve had a blessed beginning to Ramadan. Good effort and good luck to everyone as we finish strong together. Stay safe, wash your hands carefully, eat and drink healthily, sleep abundantly, and be well. Dunster Love <3

Office Hours: Tuesday 10.30-12noon, Thursday 2-4pm, and by appointment. Times listed EST.

Leaves of absences:
I’ve had students ask me what the process is for deciding to take a voluntary leave of absence (LOA), and whether the leave of absence policy will change for Fall 2020. As I’ve mentioned to some of you via email, I’ve not been made aware of any differences for LOAs for the Fall. The closest thing I can think of is that for students who decided to take a leave of absence for this semester (Spring 2020) after Spring Break, then we as resident deans were advised to tell them that they may not be guaranteed housing for Fall 2020. (Anyway, after the Tenth Monday, a student is not normally permitted to return from a leave for the next semester.) We have not received any guidance about Fall 2020 in terms of being prevented a return for Spring 2021, or anything of that sort.

If a student wants to take a voluntary LOA, then the process remains the same as it’s always been: I’d need an email stating something like “I would like to declare a leave of absence for Fall 2020.” Students have until the week before classes begin to declare a leave of absence, so there is not necessarily a rush to do so – I think these days, having more flexibility and seeing how the next few months go might be a good thing. If you’re certain that you want to take an LOA now (or when you decide), then after sending me the above sentence, you would also cancel housing and be in touch with your financial aid officer. There are no financial penalties from the registration/tuition point of view – all the way up to the week before classes start. But there are increasing housing cancellation penalties that start in May, through August (the max is $500). (TBD whether these cancellation fees are revised or nulled depending on what is decided for the Fall.) LOAs are granted for indefinite periods, so if you declare in the Fall, that would carry through in the Spring and onward, until you let me know you want to come back. (Same process for returns, you email me that you want to start again, sign up for housing, and let your financial aid officer know.) I would strongly advise you to talk with me first before deciding on a leave or not. In our conversation, we may discuss things that you had not considered. I hope this helps – let me know if you have any questions.

Potential scholarships for Harvard Summer School:
For students with financial need, a message will be coming out soon (possibly later today or tomorrow) from the Office of Undergraduate Education/College Digest with a link for students who wish to apply. The application will be through CARAT asking for the reasons you wish to enroll and the particular courses. The committee, made up of representatives from OUE, DSO, FAO, and HSS, will weigh financial need and academic need. Additionally, they’ll request that you reach out to me, your resident dean, with this information, and any other information that may be useful (e.g. impacts of COVID19, students behind rate, the need for concentration credit, inter alia). You can find the full list of HSS courses HERE. There may also be more scholarships available for students taking courses with an international focus (something to do with restricted endowments, etc.). The link for that list is HERE. Please be in touch with any questions after you receive the email from OUE/College Digest – I may not know the answers until then anyway.



Dr. Michael Uy

Allston Burr Resident Dean and Assistant Dean of Harvard College

Dunster House

Lecturer in the Music Department

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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!