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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Resident Life Undergoes Structural Changes

The college’s careful fiscal spending shows returning students yet another change on campus: a new consolidated residential life structure, featuring four new RLC’s, and a new staff position, Senior SA, appointed to assist select RLCs.
Due to the college’s need for a smaller budget, the Office of Residential Life has consolidated positions this year, starting with new RLCs on East and North sections of the campus. Katie Lau’s duties cover all of both ClangRaLa and CaNaDa, while Dan Hirsch provides service to all of East campus.

“In previous years, there were two RLCs that covered East campus,” explained Dean of Students Travis Greene. “This year, we are trying out an approach of consolidating roles due to budget cuts.”

The Office of Residential Life also appointed student Patrick “P.J.” Mahaffey ‘11 to a position titled “Senior Student Advisor (SA)” to assist RLC Katie Lau with handling basic cluster duties. “It’s a new position,” said Andrea Conner Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Residence Life and Orientation, “We created the position right before I got here, in the middle of the summer.”

“I was notified of the position during the summer,” said Mahaffey. “I trained and did everything a normal SA would do, in addition to holding meetings for Katie [Lau] when she would be busy with other meetings.”

Mahaffey’s appointment was based on his extended service as an SA. “I was initially just a returning SA this year.” In addition to going through normal SA training, Mahaffey also went through RLC training, in order to better assist Lau’s needs as an RLC.

“P.J. (Patrick) has helped me immensely with duties. He was able to help me keep inventory of dorm supplies before school started, and has also helped me distrubute keys on move-in day and has even helped me with managing trunk rooms in Clangrala,” said Lau. “So far, I feel that it has worked well, and will continue to do so,” she added.

The Smith and Younker complex, a.k.a. “Smounker,” also has a consolidated situation- the RLC, Michael Hunt, also happens to be the Lily Religious Life Intern. “His position as a Lily Intern should enhance his leadership,” says Greene. “He would be able to do a lot more counseling than the traditional RLC, due to his pastoral backround.”

The selection of the new RLCs took place in May, when a number of students assisted Houston Dougherty and Travis Greene in the selection of this year’s RLC’s. “We recruited applicants who went to prestigious liberal arts schools just like Grinnell,” said Greene. “We feel that they would fit in and appreciate the campus a lot more, which of course, benefits the students.”

Other new RLCs include Rachel Wike, RLC for Loosehead, and Eric Vos, RLC for Jamaland. Returning RLC staff members include Katie Lau and Kim Hinds-Brush, who is now the Associate Director of Residence Life and Orientation in Student Affairs.

The future of the current residential life leadership plan remains uncertain. “It depends on the financial situation of the college. Personally, I think it’s best that we fully employ all the positions that we lost last year. However, the financial situation this year is not the same as in previous years,” said Connor. Greene agrees. “This year will give us time to see how the plan works. There’s no guarantee that this will be the layout for next year.”

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