Over the past seven months, seven people have recently transitioned out of the Campus Living and Community Development (CLCD) office, along with four other staff members who have left DePauw University altogether in order to pursue new opportunities.
Some of the staff members who have transitioned to other branches of DePauw are Myrna Hernandez, Meggan Johnston and Wendy Wippich, while others such as JaMon Paschall and Anthony Jones have left DePauw in order to pursue other opportunities.
Campus Living and Community Development (CLCD) is searching for new employees due to a recent shortage, an obstacle that the CLCD staff must overcome.
CLCD focuses on housing and student experience and also ensures that students are having smooth transitions between each school year. “So we [CLCD] are focused on the entire student experience and that also includes our fraternity and sorority community, so we oversee those portions so we make sure that students are having a good transition from the first year with residence halls progressing to their sophomore year, junior year living and senior year,” JC Lopez, director of Campus Living and Community Development said.
First-year housing, students who live in upperclassmen housing, and students who live in a sorority or fraternity house are all managed by CLCD. “We also support our fraternities and sororities, that’s a big part of our community… our office is joint because it helps the communication flow from the housing piece to the chapter piece and making sure we are balancing that process…” Lopez said.
Myrna Hernandez, dean of students, said that CLCD is understaffed for two reasons. First, CLCD is currently understaffed due to the rearrangement of staff. “There are two main reasons why that [the staff-shortage] happened: the first is with a new administration so we have a new president, a new vice president, I became the Dean of Students and so that started a little domino effect…” Hernandez said.
CLCD is also understaffed because of new employees deciding to not to stay in higher education, or moving on to pursue other opportunities. “The second thing is that the coordinator positions are young professionals, so either just out of their undergraduate or just out of their master's degree program, particularly if they’re studying higher education, and so for some of those people this is their first professional experience...” Hernandez said.
Students have also recognized the current shortage of employees within the CLCD office. “I don’t think it’s a great thing at all just because of the effects that it has on just their ability to do their jobs well,” senior Akil Davis said. “While they may have good intentions of taking on the responsibilities of others, there’s a reason why those responsibilities are divided up.”
Although students have worries about the current state of the CLCD office, current CLCD employees are in the process of hiring employees to fill four vacant Coordinator positions. “This is our hiring season,” Hernandez said, “so this is about the time when you would be hiring and students would be graduating from their master’s programs and looking for positions that would start this summer, so most positions start around July 1.”