First Year-Sophomore Academic Advising Center
The First Year-Sophomore Academic Advising Center (FYSAAC) was one of the two predecessors to the Center for Student Advising.
Formerly located on the 4th floor of Lerner Hall, FYSAAC was the more or less useless advising center for your first two years as Columbia students. FYSAAC was useless for a number of reasons. First, chances are excellent that you wouldn't even have the same adviser for both years as the turnover rate at FYSAAC was pretty high. Second, because of the turnover rate, there was the distinct possibility that you would know more than your adviser, who would attempt to answer every question you ask by reaching for the appropriate school bulletin, saying "um" as they flip through it and realize the information is not there, and then tell you to write down your question so that they can email you when they figure out the answer.
Not all FYSAAC experiences were this bad, though the office did have a depressing factory-like atmosphere in the way that it operated. You showed up, signed in, and waited for your adviser to come take you to their cut out cubicle office. You may have even gotten lucky and gotten a veteran adviser.
On the off chance that you do developed a relationship with your dean, they could serve as your advocate when shit hit the fan. Relevant instances included getting caught cheating or plagiarizing, falling so miserably behind in a class that failure seems inevitable without the intervention of a dean on your behalf to buy some time with the professor, etc.
Columbia advising originally consisted of 4 different 'Class Centers', one for each year of college. Then someone had the brilliant idea of merging the first and last 2 years into separate offices, thus giving birth to FYSAAC and JSAC (Junior Senior Advising Center. It has yet to be explained what kind of 'advising' Juniors and Seniors need if it's not academic...) The underlying theory being that after you declare your major in the Spring of sophomore year, your departmental adviser will be more important, so you only need 2 years of continuous advising from Student Affairs. Of course this didn't seem to make much sense, and in Spring 2007 the CCSC passed a resolution encouraging reforms to advising that would include assignment to the same adviser for all 4 years (revolutionary!), doubling the number of advisers (brilliant!), and more field of study relevant guidance (no way!). . Of course these obvious suggestions aren't going to be implemented anytime soon. Student Affairs administrators revealed that the changes would take at least 3 years , and that they has specifically asked the councils not to reveal these plans until they'd been finalized after the spring.
Shockingly, the administration figured out a way to make it work, announcing in April that beginning with the Class of 2011, all incoming first-years would be assigned an 4-year adviser. The result of this effort is the Center for Student Advising.
- Student Affairs Reorganizes Advising, Columbia Spectator, September 12, 2002
- Jr/Sr Center Provides Continuity in Advising, Columbia Spectator, Septemeber 11, 2003
- STAFF EDITORIAL: An Inadequate System, Columbia Spectator, February 16, 2004
- Council Proposes Advising Changes, Columbia Spectator, February 28, 2007
- Advising Changes May Take 3 Years, Columbia Spectator, March 7, 2007
- Student Affairs Unveils Reforms for Advising, Columbia Spectator, April 24, 2007