New changes to the Community Living hierarchy and residential policy additions are in effect for the 2022-23 academic year.
Community Living added Area Manager positions to its list of staff, replacing the Head Community Assistant (HCA) role. Also, Community Assistants (CAs) have been removed from some upperclassmen dorms.
Community Director Leighanne Reihnhardt said, “We went from having a Head [Community Assistant] for each staff to having three area managers.”
Katherine Potts, assistant director of Community Living, with Casey Justice present during the interview, described the roles, “Area managers are student leaders on campus, so they have worked previously as community assistants on campus,” Potts said.
One of the Area Managers works with the upperclassmen dorms as an apartment manager-type role as well as helping with programing analytics. The second Area Manager helps with the marketing aspect of the Community Living team. The third helps with training Community Assistants (CAs).
Additionally, three CA positions were removed from the Community Living staff in Fiske Hall and Pondside II. “One of those purposes for it was we wanted the upperclassmen to be able to have an area to be in a community and to not feel as if there is a CA that’s living within that community itself and to allow more ownership on their part to be responsible for their area,” said Potts.
These CA positions were replaced with Area Managers, according to Casey Justice, director of transitions and community living. She noted that the number of staff remains at 53, as it was the previous year, with five being the smallest team and 12 being the largest.
The Equinox requested an interview with Dominic Lynch, area manager for the upperclass dorms (Fiske, Pondside 2 and Owl’s Nest 4) to get the perspective from the newly added positions. Lynch stated in an email that he had to check in with his supervisor. He later responded, “I spoke with my supervisor, and I passed your request on to her. I believe she will reach out, but I was not told what her plan was.” Lynch’s supervisor did not reach out to The Equinox.
In addition to staffing readjustments, some on-campus housing policies have been changed. Potts said that students can now have tapestries on their walls, but no more than 20 percent of the wall can be covered. Students can also hang Christmas lights in their room.
Students may also notice the Community Directors (CDs) are relatively new. During the interview request process, three CDs declined to comment because they were new and said they did not know if they could provide a good interview. Two CDs on campus returned from the previous year. Two CDs agreed to an interview, but one was not available until the following week.
According to an email sent to The Equinox by Justice, the reasoning for this is because “The Community Director position itself, this is a position that typically someone would choose to hold anywhere from one to three years and then hopefully by that time has grown and built their skill sets to move on to either a higher up position within Community Living or in another department on any college campus.”
The CD position remains the same, even with the new addition of Area Managers replacing the Head Community Assistant (HCA). Reihnhardt described her relationship with the HCA as her “right hand man.”
Tim Bruns can be contacted at