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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

College begins hunt for new RLCs

Grinnell College has begun the annual process of hiring new RLCs to replace three who will leave at the end of the school year: Darren Gallant (JaMaLand), Michael Hunt (Smounker), and Arrion Dennis (CND).

“In the Student Affairs field, the residence coordinator position is really an entry level position,” said Andrea Conner, Director of Residence life & Orientation. “It’s a stepping stone to moving up to be assistant director, director, and dean.”

Typically people stay in the position for 2-3 years.

“It’s a position that you do not hold forever. Every year we expect to search for RLCs. We currently have 6 RLCs, and three of them are leaving,” Conner said.

In February, the College posted the position description on the website as well as two national students affair organizations NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) and ACPA (American College Personnel Association).

“They have annual conferences and … we went to these conferences and we did ‘screening interviews.’” Conner said. “We had half-hour interviews with almost 80 people, out of whom we had second interviews with about 20 people, and we eventually identified 8 candidates that we want to bring to our campus.”

Most of the eight candidates this year have working experience in small colleges with master’s degrees, two of hold Higher Education degrees from Harvard and University of Pennsylvania. Candidates are coming to campus in the following 3 weeks, each having a full day and a half interviews. They will have breakfast with Andrea Conner, attend several interviews in between and end the day with dinner with the current RLCs.

Every person (student, faculty, or staff member) who interviews the candidates then fills out a evaluation form, and Students Affairs makes the final decision based upon the feedback. Connor expects the candidates to communicate well and also appreciate self-governance.

“We are the only one or two colleges in the whole country who work under the model of self-governance, so it’s important for anybody who comes to work at Grinnell to appreciate the concept, RLCs especially. Residence Life Coordinators at other institutions might look a little more structured and more confrontational; but our RLCs are more supportive of our self-governance,” Conner said.

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