By Mary Haley and Brooke DellaRocco, Staff Writers
The search for a new residence life director at Manhattan College brings ongoing feedback and discussion from faculty and students voicing their hopes for the future directors.
After the residence life and the dean of students offices were conjoined during the pandemic, there was a common need for a position specifically made to oversee residence life.
Esmilda Abreu-Hornbostel, dean of students, explained the stakes for this position and what to expect in the coming months.
“[The] Director of Residence Life is responsible for the educational leadership, direction, budget management, supervision and overall operation of the student residence life program. [The] role includes supervision of professional staff, resident assistants and liaisons with facilities and housekeeping staff,” Abreu wrote in an email to the Quadrangle. “[The] role also includes serving as CARE Team representative under the Dean of Students, development of residential curriculum within a larger student life curriculum, oversight of the student conduct process in the residence halls, and liaison with residential dining.”
The extensive list of responsibilities will be handed down to the next director after previous director, AJ Goodman, stepped down. Goodman has held the roles of both residence life director and associate dean for quite some time, but now steps down to continue solely as associate dean.
The search began in June of 2022 and has acquired around 50 applicants. After receiving initial applications, the search committee narrows down the pool to start conducting interviews. Following these processes, the finalists then visit to spend a full day on campus, taking a tour and meeting students and faculty they will work with.
“[It’s] to see ‘Is this the right person for the new vision?’. Horan construction is a reality for next semester. We need someone with a brave heart and clear mind and someone who is excited by change and excited by creativity,” Abreu wrote.
The hope from residence life is that the candidate will be stationed and transitioned into Manhattan College by the start of the new spring semester with finalists coming this week to MC.
MC students had a lot to say about what they are looking for in the coming semesters and how they feel it will impact their lives. Jasper Hall, a freshman-only dorm, has been subject to many complaints due to the current condition of the building.
Patricia Rood, a freshmen elementary education major, spoke with The Quadrangle on what she hopes to see in terms of Jasper Hall.
“When things need to get fixed, [I would] appreciate better communication. There’s been broken things in my dorm and me and my roommate have tried to file multiple [work orders],” Rood said.
Jayda Grullon, a freshman communications major dorming in Jasper Hall, talked about her expectations for the change in leadership.
“I would love to see someone who takes initiative and cares for the residents of all halls, not just Lee or the people moving into C-block,” Grullon said. “I think people could tell that Jasper lacks a lot of attention, so definitely a person that cares for all residents, not just certain groups.”
Residence life also has its own agenda for the coming years, mainly focused on bringing together identical experiences for commuter students and residential students alike.
“The vision for campus life has changed with the new leadership, and they want to make more interactive spaces. They’re interested in having more of a combination of experiences for residents and commuters so that it’s a shared experience,” Abreu wrote.
Abreu also mentioned examples of this facilitation including a meditation room where commuters and residents can relax and spend time together without having to be signed into a dormitory hall.
Another plan for residence life is to provide a much more clear and concise residential curriculum, that focuses more on development rather than other objectives.
“The hope is that with a new director, we have new energy, and we’re bringing in new talents into the department that align with the current direction … It’s really about moving forward into what we hope that the residential life experience can be and should be for our students,” Abreu wrote.