College delays reorganization, waits for staff input

Even though the reorganization of the Student Life Office was to be completed in October, College President R. Barbara Gitenstein said the plan will be to address staff and student input.

According to Mary-Elaine Perry, vice president for Student Life, the plan should be implemented in January, after staff members assume their new positions during winter break.

Student Life is in the final stages of fine-tuning and reviewing positions after changing job descriptions and having Human Resources evaluate and categorize the positions.

“I anticipate that the work will be completed soon, but at this time of the year, I felt it would be less disruptive for both students and staff to wait until the end of the semester before making these changes,” Perry said.

This past summer, the College began to plan for the reorganization of Student Life.

It grouped many departments together and shifted positions.

Many staff members were moved to different departments and given new responsibilities, which altered the division of organizations on campus.

Perry said she wants to provide professional growth so supervisors will find more opportunities at the College and be inclined to stay at the school.

They also try to constantly improve services to benefit student needs.

“The core goals of the reorganization were to provide better services to more students on the campus within our current financial resources and to respond to the professional development goals and interests of the staff currently in the Student Life division,” Gitenstein said.

Many students, however, were upset by the reorganization, because the administration made the decisions without their input.

Several students came together to discuss why the changes were being made and to offer suggestions.

Students were concerned because many organization advisors were moved without prior knowledge.

Students were worried they would not be able to interact with their mentors who would move to new positions.

For example, the Student Government Association, (SGA) lost its advisors, Student Organizations Coordinator Kevin Maldonado and Director of Campus Life Wanda Anderson.

The decision to move Anderson worried many students who feared she would not be as accessible to them as she had been.

She has, however, become a student advocate, a position students are happy with.

Christina Puglia, SGA president, is confident the new advisor Magda Manetas, assistant dean of Student Life, will do a good job with SGA.

Puglia and several other students met with Gitenstein and Perry to voice concerns.

Everyone was pleased with the outcome.

“It all turned out really well,” Puglia said. “They listened to the concerns that we had and implemented some changes that we think will benefit the students.”

After the meeting with Gitenstein and Perry, Puglia feels more reassured that the College would seek student feedback in the future.

“I think that the administration recognized the fact that students need to be brought into the discussion,” Puglia said.

As of now, the changes are being reviewed by members of the Human Resources Office.