Deerest Dunster – and here we are in May and “Reading Period” with the official beginning of final exams on Thursday – wow!
Please do quadruple check your faculty’s expectations for final exams, final papers, and final problem sets. It’s critical 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! I’m also here to remind you of our commitment to the Honor Code – we are so close and let’s not let a semester’s amount of work be jeopardized because of a conscious or unconscious mistake. Reach out to your Dunster Honor Council members Allison, Taimur, and Kalos if you have any questions or concerns.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021 for winning Trivia Night, beating out 45+ competitors! The Juniors were spearheaded by the valiant efforts of Shera, Drew, Bella (three-peat WOW!), Caroline, Gretchen (Happy birthday!), Ibby, Ellie, and Adelle! It certainly was a nail biter, up until the very bitter end, with strong showings from the SCR (tied until the last round, even with the nosebleed – no foul), the seniors (just one point behind), and the freshmen (most number of participants!). The sophomores had perhaps the strongest international participation with an 8am call in from Hong Kong J Even despite a slight fumble in the second quarter, I have nothing but praise for my co-host, Claire Fridkin!! ❤
Since last week, there have been no updates or changes to the Leave of Absence policy or to the Harvard Summer School Scholarship application. We’re including them below again.
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 ❤
Michael’s Office Hours
Tuesday 10.30-12noon, Thursday 2:30 -4pm, and by appointment. Times listed EST. https://harvard.zoom.us/j/4954454494
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 came out 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 have read the email from OUE/College Digest.
Dunster House Senior Prizes
You are invited to nominate your Senior friends for the Dunster House Senior Prizes!!! By filling out this form by next Friday, May 8th, you can nominate one student to each of the following four prizes:
Dunster House Athlete of the Year Award
Karel and Hetty Liem Prize
Jon Pomeroy Award
Courtney S. Blair Award
You will find the detailed descriptions of these prizes on the form. If you choose to nominate a student for a prize, make sure that you explain your reasons for this nomination in the appropriate section, and give us concrete examples to illustrate why you think that this student best deserves this prize. The more details you give us, the more you help us make the best possible choice! Also, while self-nominations could be accepted, we would appreciate if you might nominate your peers.
Academic Resource Center services are available online via Zoom
The ARC is offering Zoom one-on-one appointments for Academic Coaching and Peer Tutoring as well as Zoom Workshops, Power Hours, and Accountability Groups. The ARC also continues to support ELL Peer Conversations via Zoom. A range of services are available from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time to accommodate various time zones. We are also open on Sundays!