From left to right: Campus Life Coordinators Katy Collins (’06) and Larry Locke
Along with 273 pairs of fresh feet and a towering Academic Center with the four winds blowing in its courtyard, this fall term welcomed new faces, structures, and a new game plan for Residential Life. Whereas in the past there has been Residential Directors (RDs), there is now a new staff of Campus and Student Life Coordinators who together split the duties of “Res Life.”
Instead of two RDs there are now five people who work together to manage the student events on campus and to make sure an office door is always open for a student who has lost his/her way. Student Life Coordinators (SLCs) Beth Bowen, Konnie Kruczek, and Maura Murry live off campus and are in charge of fields such as: Career development, community engagement, and Orientation, while the two new Campus Life Coordinators (CLCs), Larry Locke and Katy Collins, help manage RAs and localized campus activity.
“Diversity is in the job description now so it’s not just one person’s responsibility, it’s the whole offices’,” CLC Larry Locke explained of these new positions.
In an interview with the Catalyst, each of these “Life Coordinators” described their roles of involvement and the jobs both indicative to their business cards, but also what they do to help each other.
KONNIE KRUCZEK (Student Life Coordinator):
“One of my primary jobs is focused on community engagement; getting students involved in the community and getting the community aware of what students are doing. Along with community engagement however, I also help out with the management of the BBT (Black Box Theater), putting together workshop series and planning professional activities in the space. Combined with those two things, I further act as a liaison between the Alumni Office and Foundation.
My favorite thing to do is, when students coming in with vague ideas, to help them make it happen. When students come in with these ‘vague ideas’ we then start talking, brainstorming, and then get really excited as watch these ‘ideas’ come to fruition.”
BETH BOWEN (Student Life Coordinator):
“My real title is Student Life in Career Development Coordinator and that puts me in charge of Parent’s Weekend, the point of contact for the new transfer students and helping students as they search for careers—writing resume’s, applying to graduate programs, things of that nature.
I want the students to remember that the career center is here, we’re here to cater to their needs as they explore their future. We have a library, we can help with resumes and applications, we even have a list of local employers in need of hands.”
LARRY LOCKE (Campus Life Coordinator):
“I am supervising part of the RA staff and am working with the student clubs and organizations. I am also spearheading the return of the Interfaith Council where, in the past, people with and without religion, getting together and talking with each other.
I like to work with people who are passionate and ambitious about their future. I like it when people know what they want to do and are excited about it, and it’s my job to help with the small processes in between. I have tea in my office, feel free to make an appointment and come by, I want to get to know the students here.”
KATY COLLINS (’06)(Campus Life Coordinator):
“Specifically I am the CLC for student activities and campus programming, where one part is like an RD, where I have a staff RAs I’m responsible for, and the other part is that students can come to me if they have questions about activities and to fill out student event request forms. I’m like the programmer.
I like the hands on stuff, I like being able to help out students when they come in, helping a student figure out where to go to so that they can throw a good event and helping them plan. Working with the RAs helping them balance being a student and an RA.”
MAURA MURRY (Student Life Coordinator):
“My title is ‘the Student Support Coordinator and the Director of New Student Orientation,’ which just means: I help students. All summer and in the past few weeks I’ve organized orientation, but now that orientation is pretty much done, my job’s switched to planning and running the student success tutorial, and in general helping students make classes, life and school work.
Primarily I meet with students and help them figure out the bumps along the road. If someone is struggling, not knowing what to do or where to go, come talk to me we’ll figure out where they can go to get the help they need. I have tons of tissues and lots of chocolate and they are here to make people happy.
When I was a college student I didn’t have a lot of support at home and the way I got through college was with the people who worked at the school who helped me figure out what I need to do to graduate. It wasn’t much to do with classes as much as life stuff. I was so inspired by that, that after graduating I realized ‘hey, I can do this for students, I can pay it forward a little bit. So the whole reason I am in this field is to help students get to their goals.
New college offers a set of unique challenges because the students come already driven, academically gifted, with a clear vision of where they want to go. But the unique thing is that not everybody comes in with a way to get there, great ideas but not the path to get there.