Student Life will return in the fall with two new staff positions.
The change came after Student Life spent this academic year down two staff members: Bryan Crainer, the former associate dean for Student Life, and Cara Deschermeier, the former assistant director of Student Life.
During April 2018, Deschermeier became the assistant director of The Academic Advising Center.
Crainer resigned from his position last summer amidst an internal inquiry after he admitted to having a relationship with a former student. The inquiry had set out to determine if the relationship had begun before the former student graduated.
Jason Schoenmeyer, the associate dean of students, said the shortage of staff had made several events difficult this year, including the annual Student Life Awards, which was held on Thursday, April 18.
“It was an interesting year,” he said. “We’ve hired somebody who starts in a week. We’ve got another person coming in a week.”
Schoenmeyer said they will not replace the exact positions Crainer or Deschermeier held. Rather, an outside consultant was hired to look at the department and give them recommendations for a new work chart.
Tony Cianciolo, the assistant dean of students, will be in charge of RSOs.
“We used to all help with RSOs, but RSOs are a massive part of what we do,” he said. “So, with this new structure, Tony’s actually going to be able to focus all his time into RSOs. So we will be able to have better
training and a lot more we can do with RSOs.”
Schoenmeyer said the consultant focused on asking Student Life what their “bread and butter” was so they could build positions to compliment their strengths and goals.
“We do leadership, we do service and all those things, but RSOs are huge, and we need to add more support to them. So that part’s really exciting,” he said. “Tony’s chomping at the bit to jump into it. He’s still doing Program Board and Valley Nights too, though.”
While Cianciolo focuses on RSOs, one of the new hires will focus on Greek Life.
“Our fraternity and sorority programs, we’ve been managing it by our coordinator, but nobody is really a specialist,” Schoenmeyer said. “So the new person we are hiring, she has two years’ graduate work and a couple years’ experience managing Greek programs at two different universities. She’s going to bring some new things to us, so we’re excited about that.”
He said the report the consulting agency gave them said a dedicated Greek Life employee would be needed to help grow SVSU’s sororities and fraternities.
“(Our Greek Life) is fine, but it can be taken to the next level, so that’s what we’re hoping for,” Schoenmeyer said.
Schoenmeyer is excited to “assemble the new team” in the fall, but he knows Student Life will still have to work hard with its short staff to finish more events before the end of the current semester.
“We’ve got next week still, with Zootopia and Relaxation Week,” he said. “It always feels like it’s done after (the awards), but it’s not. We still have to finish strong.”
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