Days before room change day, College says farewell to Farrell

With only a few weeks left before today’s room change day, the College was left without a manager of Housing Operations.

Former manager Chris Farrell left on Sept. 1 to take a position as residence director at Montclair State University.

Residence Assignments is currently working with Human Resources to fill Farrell’s position. The department is not sure how long a search will take, according to Michael Robbins, First Year Experience area director and one of the temporary fill-ins for Farrell.

“It depends on whether or not the decision is made to do an interim fill for the rest of the academic year, conduct an internal search (at the College) or open it up for a full search process,” he said.

Until the position is filled, the department is using a temporary fill situation between other members of the staff. Robbins did not think Farrell’s position would be filled by today’s room change day. In the past, Farrell handled the logistical shuffling of the day.

Instead of Farrell, Housing Assignments Graduate Assistant Meghan Thompson “will be working throughout that day and will be managing the process,” Robbins said.

In addition to the adjustment for room change day, other changes have been made as well. When the room change day process begins at 9 a.m. today, a random drawing of all students outside the Assignments Office, recently moved to Eickhoff 114, will be held. The drawing will determine the order in which the students will be seen.

Students arriving after 9 a.m. must wait in the order of their arrival.

In previous years, room change day utilized a policy of “first come, first served,” causing students who wanted to be seen first to wait outside the Assignments door starting the night before, according to Robbins.

“This is a concern for Residential and Community Development as well as Campus Police in terms of student safety for those sleeping outside or in a hallway with no security,” Robbins said. “The blocking of fire exits is inevitable when 15 to 20 students lie down outside a door or in the middle of the hallway.”

With the new policy, someone arriving the night before will have no advantage.

According to the Residence Assignments Web site, “Participants should arrive no earlier than 8:45 a.m. and no later than 9 a.m. to participate in the mini-lottery.”

The new lottery was announced on the Web site, and information will be sent through a campus-wide e-mail.

Robbins said the smoothness of room change day will “depend on the students themselves.”

“We will actually have access to more staff now that the Assignments Office has moved to Eickhoff 114,” he said. “So we are confident that things will be ready to go.”

Despite this optimism, Robbins said that the people in the department currently working to fill Farrell’s job “are learning more every day about how many issues he dealt with behind the scenes.”

“Farrell’s departure was a definite loss for our department,” he said. “He was good at what he did.”