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Instagram account shares University course recommendations, reviews

| Monday, April 29, 2019

Notre Dame students who use Instagram may have received a follow on the photo-sharing app from an account with the username of “Whichprofessornd.” With the goal of sharing course recommendations and the tagline of “Why aren’t CIFs public information?” the page has amassed over 700 followers, with their first post being uploaded April 9.

Students are encouraged to fill out CIFs (course instructor feedback) at the end of each semester with the incentive of receiving their final grades about one week early. Students can leave detailed reviews of their instructors and their courses through a comments section after filling out a survey for each.

Whichprofessornd contains categories like “Uni Requirements,” “Arts & Letters,” “Menbroza,” and “Science.” The account specializes in giving recommendations of professors and classes to register for, as well as occasionally professors and courses to steer clear of.

Until now, the account’s owner has maintained anonymity, save for a few close friends.

Although reluctant to reveal her identity, Leilani Tiara, a junior majoring in Science Business, said she believes it is frustrating the CIFs students are encouraged to fill out are not available to younger students.

“I feel like I always get screwed over by people saying, ‘Oh, that class is easy,’ but then I don’t know what the workload is like,” Tiara said. “Or, you know what the workload is like but you don’t know what the professor is like … the information is just so vague. I used to fill out CIF’s religiously, like every semester. But the past two years, after freshman year, I never filled out a CIF again. I was like, ‘What’s the point, the information isn’t even going to even be available for the younger kids.”

Tiara was prompted to begin the account after asking friends through her personal Instagram about which course to take for her major. Although there are sites like Rate My Professor, Tiara said, “those aren’t updated nearly enough.”

“I actually didn’t expect a lot,” she said. “I was having trouble deciding on a management class, and I put a poll on my own Instagram. I got so many responses, and I thought, ‘Why not just put this onto a dedicated account?’ I guess I didn’t expect it to get big. … I think opening it up during DARTing season really helped a lot. … I felt like starting the Instagram could reach a lot more people — not just your friend group.”

Through Instagram’s direct-messaging feature, Tiara receives comments and recommendations on courses she posts on her public Instagram story. She said she receives around 30 to 40 responses for posts asking about courses that are University requirements.

“It get so confusing. … It depends on the class,” Tiara said. “If i put recommendations for like, theology one — something everyone has to take — I get like 30, 40 responses. A lot of people give pretty good descriptions, but a lot of people request really specific classes, but I try to only do those once in a while.”

Tiara said she thinks CIFs are not public information because of the negative nature of some comments.

“I think they aren’t public because, at least for me, I only fill out CIFs if I really didn’t like the professor … so it might be negative, and I think the University would have to filter out the comments and it would be too much work for them,” she said.

Tiara hopes to continue the account into next year and beyond.

“I want to give it to someone else as long as there is still a need,” she said.

Tiara said she thinks that as of now, there is a great need for the information in CIFs to be public.

“I think CIFs should be public because there is no animosity between the students, everyone here is willing to help,” she said. “That’s the spirit of Notre Dame, so if you need a class, I will tell you honestly how I felt about it. I’m not trying to tell you fake information to screw you over. Since we are a top university in the nation, I can’t believe we still don’t have a proper system for [CIFs] that’s honest.

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About Mariah Rush

Mariah is a senior majoring in American Studies and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She is from the great city of South Bend, and serves as Managing Editor of The Observer. You can find her always on Twitter at @mariahfrush.

Contact Mariah