No Question Is Off Limits: Undercover at the UVM Advising Center

Have you ever seen that video, what if Google was just a guy?

Well, that dream is turning into a reality on UVM’s campus (sort of). The UVM Advising Center has opened this semester and is ready and willing to answer any and all of your questions. A team of peer and staff advisors work together to be the greatest brain around. What is it they say—two heads are better than four legs? From choosing a major to choosing a place to eat dinner, these advisors have seriously got your back. They even declare right on their website: “No question is off limits!”

This week, our team went undercover to put the Advising Center to the test, and it paid off. Scroll down to read about each of our experiences, or just head over to visit them on the first floor of the Davis Center across from the Ski & Snowboard Club Haus.

I headed to the Advising Center first thing in the morning and when I walked in the door, eight friendly faces looked up to my call of; “I need some advising!” After filling out a short questionnaire about what kind of advising I was looking for, I headed over to the closest peer advisor and asked my question. I was looking for advice on ways to get to a mountain to go hiking this weekend without a car. Not only the advisor I was sitting with, but just about everyone in the room pitched in to help. “Carshare VT!” – “Have you heard of Wheeli?” – “Maybe try posting in your class Facebook page!” After a few minutes of chatting, we felt good that I had enough options to look into, so I thanked (all) my advisor(s) for their time, and headed out. Long story short, I’ll definitely be back.

I asked where I could get food late at night (after 10pm). They told me about Hana, Dominoes, Juniors, Wingsover. Also the Harvest Cafe is open 5am-3am. A woman asked me some questions about what kind of food I liked and if I lived on/off-campus so that she could give me an answer that was most suited to what I would actually find helpful. It was a really cool and helpful experience.

The first thing I saw as I turned into the doors to the student advising center was a bucket of candy, which was a good sign. The second thing I saw was a bunch of smiling people, eager to help me, which was another good sign. I was promptly seated with a young lady with great lipstick. “What can I help you with?” she asked. I asked her about taking summer classes to make up for a mid-college gap year I’m thinking about. Then I asked her about transferring credits from a foreign university. She hopped online and got me the information for who I should contact and where to find the office I’m looking for. She gave me her personal opinion on the matter as well as direction toward other resources. Then I asked her the question I’d been building up to all along: where can I find cool stickers to put on my water bottle? I showed her my sad, mostly-bare bottle with one regrettable sticker on it that read “Everybody loves the D” (in strict reference to, of course) and she understood that I needed to have a water bottle make-over. She suggested tables as the best free option. Before I left, I asked a few more questions about the advising center, out of curiosity. She told me that UVM has a ton of resources but they’re not centralized or navigable enough, so the center is an attempt to be a place for students to go talk to their peers about anything from transferring credits to stickers. The minute I walked out of the advising center’s doors, free candy in hand, I spotted a Bolton Valley table and grabbed a free sticker.

So I walk in and I am greeted by two smiling faces. I say that I have a very important question to ask, “would you rather fight 10 Duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?” After a few seconds of of thought, the young woman replies “one horse sized duck.” I turn to the young man and he says “ten horse sized ducks because I could just step on all of them.” I then turn back towards the young woman and ask her why she chose 1 horse sized duck. She tells me that she would not fight it but that she would befriend the giant duck so she could ride it. Her response didn’t quite follow the rules but we’ll let it slide.