Categorized | Viewpoints

Res Life turnover is an opportunity for improvement

In light of the upcoming staff changes in the Campus Life Office and the news that the College will soon be conducting an external review of the office (see page 1), the staff of The Wooster Voice would like to emphasize the importance of incorporating student voices throughout this process.

With the departure of Director of Residence Life Amber Zifzal and the impending resignation of Assistant Dean of Students Christie Kracker, administrators are in a position to make staff changes that will fundamentally alter this office, which many currently consider dysfunctional.

Students should play a major role in crafting an office that serves the campus and maintains the culture of The College of Wooster. We are encouraged by the support the trustees and administration have shown for the idea of conducting a review of the office; that the review will incorporate ideas and frustrations from a number of student groups is a good sign. However, it is not enough just to collect this information — it must be used constructively.

The changes students propose must be taken seriously and considered during the process of hiring new staff and making changes to the office’s structure. We hope that the College will not take lightly that this review is a student-fueled measure, and will include student viewpoints accordingly.

In particular, it will be crucial to ensure that staff replacements in the Campus Life Office are willing to communicate their policies to the campus in a transparent and timely manner, an issue the current office has consistently struggled with. Better organization and communication should be a priority.

Consistency should also be emphasized; although the office as it currently exists is in need of serious repair, it will be jarring if new staff members take the office in an entirely new direction. This is a concern especially because important members of the staff are leaving; therefore, there will be opportunities for new employees in high-level positions to make major changes without consulting the student body. The College should select a “point person” with experience in Wooster Campus Life to oversee the transition to new staff.

It will be of the utmost importance that new hires be trained thoroughly and know the extent of their responsibilities — proper training of new staff has been a major oversight in the past few years. It is a problem that must be solved if the office is to become more efficient and functional.

Above all, new leaders who are sympathetic to students’ needs and passionate about Wooster culture will be crucial. We hope that administrators will listen carefully to students’ thoughts and take advantage of this opportunity to fix a long-broken office.​

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