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Amherst TA Scandal


Replies to: Amherst TA Scandal

  • dragonmomdragonmom Registered User Posts: 5,981 Senior Member
    Wow, back when I was in grad school the rumors were that undergrad women were sometimes willing to sleep with their TA in order to get a better grade. Mostly my male friends were laughing that nobody was offering them "a lay for an A"
    I don't understand why having sex with undergrads would get them to enroll in your classes....
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,295 Senior Member
    "Teaching assistants at Amherst?
    Isn't that a scandal, too?"

    My D is a freshman there. All of her classes are taught by professors. She has only one large class (60 people or so) and it is taught by 3 professors, who rotate the lectures. Each of the professors leads one of the three 20 person discussion sections. None of her classes are taught by TAs, because there are no TAs in the sense they exist at most colleges.

    It sounds like they have hired a handful of non-faculty people to provide an extra resource in foreign languages. I'm guessing that it is so that outside of class you will always have someone fluent and available to talk with in the language you are studying. I guarantee they aren't teaching.

    From what I've seen of Amherst, this story seems extremely unlikely, but I guess anything is possible.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,619 Senior Member
    I assume it's like it is at my D's LAC where there are TA's who are undergraduate students who are paid to assist the professor by doing tasks like grading some papers and doing some tutoring/mentoring of other students who need extra help. They are not graduate students and definitely aren't teaching the class.

    ^ this. D has taken Spanish at Amherst. It's taught by a full prof. I actually sat in on her Spanish class at parents weekend.
  • mokusatsumokusatsu Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    "Each year Amherst College recruits about a dozen international undergraduates to provide assistance in the teaching of French, Spanish, Russian, and German. The coming months will be a busy and exciting time, as you make plans for your arrival at Amherst. One of your first and most important tasks will be obtaining a J-1 Exchange Visitor/Exchange Student visa, the appropriate visa for your entry to the United States."

    "Under the J-1 visa regulations, individuals admitted to the United States in the J-1 exchange visitor / student category are required to register for and complete a prescribed course of study conducted by a post-secondary accredited educational institution. For language assistants at Amherst College, that prescribed course of study consists of enrollment in two courses per semester."

  • CorinthianCorinthian Registered User Posts: 1,838 Senior Member
    Having read the @mokusatsu links, I now think these are probably similar to the Language Residents they have at Pomona. At Pomona, their duties are described as:
    Language Residents are Pomona College staff employees; i.e, they are teaching assistants, not teaching faculty or research scholars. Moreover, since part of Oldenborg’s mission is to provide structured, but still informal, learning opportunities outside the classroom, the majority of work duties performed by Language Residents also takes place outside the classroom and is designed to supplement and enrich the regular academic programming already offered by the College. Language Residents report to the Oldenborg Center Director and, under the Director’s guidance, collaborate with foreign language faculty in structuring and implementing programming that supports engagement with foreign languages and cultures at the College. As such, Language Resident duties and responsibilities include:

    • To serve as facilitators in intermediate and advanced foreign language conversation classes.

    • To attend weekday foreign-language lunch tables and provide leadership that stimulates conversation in the target language.

    • To organize and provide leadership for Center cultural activities, such as film screenings, guest presentations, trips to appropriate local or regional events. Although students may lead some activities, the Language Resident will advise and guide the students in selecting and structuring the activity.

    • To promote use of the target language and interest in the foreign culture(s) relevant to the language section; to do so in a manner consistent with the Center’s spirit of providing a foreign language immersion environment for students.

    • To be prepared to collaborate with individual foreign language faculty for a maximum of 5 hours per week as agreed upon by the Oldenborg Center Director and the Department Chair of the respective language program (monitor drill sections, etc.).

    • Additional duties as required.
    http://oldenborg.pomona.edu/opportunities/prospectivelr/. The Pomona Language Residents also have to take 3 academic credits to qualify for their visa. I agree that it sounds far fetched that Amherst would be pressuring its language assistants to sleep with students, particularly given the recent focus on prevention of sexual assaults on campus.
  • phunt01810phunt01810 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    I hope they were advised on "safe sex"
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    Her linked in profile says she is a grad student at Indiana U. I don't understand how as she's obviously been in Massachusetts for the past 3 years. https://****/in/dimamima Here's part of her bio from Mt. Holyoke:

    she is currently working on her dissertation on The acquisition of argument structure and functional categories by monolingual Spanish children with Specific Language Impairment.

    She IS listed at IU. She is listed as a grad student in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences.

    If a grad student has completed all comp/relevant foreign language/technical skills(relevant stats, programming languages, etc) exams, submitted a dissertation topic to adviser/department, and had that topic approved...a doctoral student doesn't necessarily need to live on or even near campus so long as he/she registers him/herself each semester to maintain grad student status and periodically checks in with the adviser on progress of the dissertation thesis.

    For instance, some the Profs I had started their careers while still finishing off their dissertations from institutions hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Also knew a Harvard PhD student in the dissertation stage living in NYC partially because the vast majority of his research/resources pertain to certain NYC neighborhoods.
This discussion has been closed.