Q: Brian, you are an area coordinator in Residential Life. What housing areas do you oversee on campus?
A: I oversee the Senior Wood Frames, High and Low Rise, and the Washington Street Residence Halls.
Q: What does it mean to be an area coordinator?
A: In general, an area coordinator has an understanding of all that goes on in their residential area and is one bridge between the administration and the needs of the students. This includes the training and supervision of student staff, overseeing the programming that occurs within the area, as well as the adjudication of conduct violations.
Q: You also deal with student judicial issues? Can you cite a general example?
A: It’s different in all of our areas because we deal with different populations of students, but for my area which is generally upperclass students, I see a lot of noise violations and party violations (over 49 people in a house that is not holding a registered party). Occasionally I see students who are being charged with underage drinking as well as other violations of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct.
Q: What are your general hours like or do they vary day to day?
A: Generally, it is pretty busy, but usually varies depending on the day. My schedule depends a lot on the schedule of the students. I’m usually working all day, but there might be a staff meeting at night because that’s the only time my RA’s could meet. There also are RA programs that I attend. I haven’t been here over the summer yet, but that usually involves wrapping up the year that just ended while also beginning preparation for the following year. August is one of the busiest months of the year because of staff training.
Q: Do you get to know many of the students on an individual basis?
A: I would say that I do. I am generally pretty close with my student staff. Occasionally, I get to know students who come in for a judicial conference, attend programs, or are simply involved in the Wesleyan community. I live and work here, so even in my brief time here I’ve felt that I’ve developed some of those close connections. The Wesleyan student population is what makes this whole place go. They are incredibly bright, but some are still finding their way. I remember thinking that I grew up so much in college, and I would imagine that many of our students would say the same. It really is rewarding to see students develop and fine tune who they are going to be for the rest of their lives.
Q: Who are the other Res Life area coordinators and what areas do they oversee?
A: Dawn Brown works with program housing; Sharise Brown manages Butterfields, 156 High Street and 200 Church; Alex Cabal oversees Fauver Residence Hall, Hewitt, and Nicolson; and Jonathan Connary works with Clark, Fauver Apartments and West College. Our areas are being switched up a bit next year, but we will generally be supervising the same populations.
Q: Do all area coordinators live on campus?
A: Yes, all of the area coordinators live on campus. Mostly, this is because we are first responders. One of the five of us is on duty at any time. If one of our RA’s needs us, we are just a phone call away. Occasionally, this provides a nice wake-up call at two or three in the morning. The benefit is that we are here if we are needed to provide support to our students.
Q: As an area coordinator, you also supervise upper-class student staff members including Head Residents (HRs), Resident Advisors (RAs), House Managers (HMs), and Community Advisors (CAs). How are these students hired for these positions and what is your interaction with them?
A: Our student staff is selected through our interview process. I don’t want to bore you with details, as all four of the positions have different interview processes, but they all have to go through an individual interview (that may or may not include current student staff depending on the position). For our RAs, there is also a group interview. I meet with my staff weekly, have multiple one on one’s throughout the semester, and have daily interactions when they come into the office. I also keep them informed of what is going on in their areas. For example, I may need them to check up on a student that we are worried about or I may just keep them updated on the progress of a Physical Plant work order. I don’t see staff in other areas as frequently, but we do interact when they call in for duty, at staff training, at one of their programs, or at the office.
Q: When did you come to Wesleyan and where were you working before?
A: I started here in the middle of September of this school year. Previous to this, I was getting my masters from the University of Virginia where I was working with their Residence Life program.
Q: Where are you from, where did you attend college, and what did you major in?
A: I’m originally from Auburn, N.Y. I graduated from Colgate University with B.A. in computer science while also minoring in economics. A few years after completing my undergrad, I enrolled at U.Va.
Q: What are your hobbies and interests?
A: I have always been interested in travelling. After I graduated from undergrad, I had a travelling and teaching job where I spent a month in each of Miami, Orlando, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. I’ve also driven across the U.S. four times. There are just two states that I haven’t spent time in. I would really like to start travelling abroad a bit more. One of my other interests is athletics. When I lived in Seattle, I was on a very competitive softball team. I haven’t quite found that niche here. I’ve found that it takes a while to get situated once you move to a new place. I also sing with some of the alumni from my college a cappella group. There are quite a few of us near the Fairfield area, so I sing with them quite a lot.
Q: Is there anything else that you’d like to say about your role at Wesleyan?
A: It’s been quite the experience. In some ways it is very similar to my undergraduate institution, but in others it is totally different. Trying to acclimate to the differences to better serve the students has been both challenging and intriguing. I also have really enjoyed the contact that we’ve had with other offices around campus. We have a good thing going here, I’m just glad to be a part of it.