Residential Life Director candidates to visit Western

By Katelyn Canon

December 3, 2013

Candidates for the Residential Life Director positions will soon be visiting campus.

The position was opened in October after Mark Stier took a job at New College of Florida. Since Stier’s leave, Assistant Director Amy McLarren has served as interim director.

Judy Grimes, the associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, is the head of the search committee responsible for finding the replacement for Stier.

“We’re providing a home for students away from home, basically, and so we want to make sure they have a safe place; they really feel engaged and at home,” Grimes said.

Michael Davis, the first candidate to visit campus, gave a presentation on Wednesday, Dec. 4. There will be two more candidates that will also be visiting campus; Nathan Roberts and Michelle Sujka. Roberts will be on campus Monday, Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. and Sujka will be visiting two days later on Wednesday, Dec. 11. at 10 a.m. Both presentations will be in Spratt 101.

Grimes encourages students to attend the presentations and meet the candidates.

“When we bring candidates to campus there will be an open session,” Grimes said. “Our hope is that we also have a time when students would be able to come and meet with them.”

The search committee hopes the new director will be able to make moving on campus as seamless of a transition as possible.

“I’m sure it’s difficult, at first, when you leave your home and leave your family and move on campus, so we need programming early in the semester, especially, to really engage students,” Grimes said.

While planning programing is especially important, Grimes added that safety training is also imperative.

“We’re asking them about the experience they have had in crisis situations, emergency situations. [It's] really important for a Residential Life Director to have that sort of experience,” Grimes said. ”I think it’s an extraordinarily important position for us to fill on campus.”