Sirs: I was very perturbed by the article last week, "The Merit of Peer Leadership" [TSC, Issue 4]; it was full of fallacies, and I wish to correct them in honor of my peer leaders. I am a sophomore and last year I had three peer leaders. While they didn't always make our meetings fantastic, I would by no means have called the group "dysfunctional." As for having only one peer leader as opposed to three, I believe that this is a terrible idea! The thing I loved about peer leadership was that almost every freshman could like at least one of our senior friends. By having three contrasting people, the leaders may not always get along, but the freshman hopefully/usually find one senior whom they connect with. Having one peer leader would be terrible not only because it wouldn't give as many seniors the opportunity to be peer leaders, but also because it would make it a less comfortable situation for freshmen.
It is true that sometimes the peer leaders were not certain of their agenda, but I still believe that the peer leadership program is extremely valuable for many incoming freshmen, although it is true that the freshmen must be willing to participate.
As for those seniors who were rejected, they all received a letter of rejection, acknowledging their application. This article implied that someone didn't get this letter; if one person didn't get this letter, it was a simple mistake, and we should not deduce from this that no one gets a letter. I also think that, on the whole, the selection of peer leaders is very good; although some peer leaders might be inept, this is compensated by having two other peer leaders in a group. Voting for peer leaders is an unnecessary, silly notion! We aren't electing class officers.
At my peer leadership dinner last year, about 75% of the people were there, so while in the first year (when this year's seniors were freshmen) of the program it may have been less effective, it has and is now growing into an ideal program. So, while there will always be something wrong with it (as there is in any successful program), it is nevertheless a great experience for freshmen.