Pomona's OCL Will See Significant Restructuring
Maya Booth | March 24, 2011, 8:57 p.m.
Deans in Pomona’s Office of Campus Life (OCL) are preparing to shuffle responsibilities for the coming academic year, when Housing Director Deanna Bos will retire and the office will bring in a new Associate Dean of Campus Life to oversee the sponsor program and other areas of residential life.
Senior Associate Dean of Campus Life Frank Bedoya will take over some of Bos’s responsibilities, which include overseeing Room Draw, first-year housing, and other aspects of residential life. Bedoya explained that his title as Senior Associate Dean will remain the same, but that he will move from Director of New Student Programs to Director of Housing and Operations.
According to Dean of Campus Life Ric Townes, the new dean will replace Bedoya as the primary supervisor of the sponsor program and orientation activities. The position has been approved for funding by the administration, and the office will soon post a job description online and form a committee to guide the hiring process.
“I want someone with strong residential life background and experience,” Townes said of the new position. “To me, that’s the biggest thing.”
Townes emphasized that he plans to work closely with the new associate dean to help him or her acclimate to Pomona and OCL’s programs until he or she is able to oversee them independently.
“I’m not going to bring in someone who is brand new to the college and put them in a critical position cold,” he said, adding that taking over the sponsor program might be “a little daunting” for a new dean, and that he would jointly supervise the program for the first year to smooth the transition.
Townes and Bedoya expressed hope that the new dean will continue to focus the sponsor and RA programs on enhancing the first-year experience at Pomona. He said that one objective is for RAs and sponsors to work collaboratively to meet the needs of new students on campus.
“I think it’s a continued effort to integrate [the sponsor and RA programs],” he said. “While their specific duties might be different, we want the two groups to support each other in the work that they’re doing.”
Bedoya explained that in the past two years, OCL has worked to strengthen the ties between the sponsor and RA programs by training the groups together in some areas like diversity and First Aid/CPR.
“You really want everyone on the same page,” he said. “We want sponsors to be student leaders on campus. You want them to be able to work together [with RAs] and not be at odds with each other.”
When asked about the role of sponsors in policy enforcement, Bedoya said, "While they are not policy enforcers, we don’t want them to be policy violation creators. RAs shouldn’t have to worry about sponsors having hard alcohol in their rooms."
According to Bedoya, the new associate dean will also play an important role in integrating student leadership programs with residential life. Both deans said that a major goal for the sponsor program is to help it become more integrated with the mentor programs on campus, such as the Asian American Mentor Program (AAMP) and Chicano/a Latino/a Student Affairs (CLSA).
“There will be some evaluation of the programs, and some of that may involve change,” he said.
Two years ago, when former Associate Dean of Campus Life Sarah Visser left the college, the financial crisis led the school to freeze that position and transfer supervision of the Residence Hall Staff (RHS) to Townes. Next year, this position will be reopened, and the housing director position will instead be frozen. Townes said the change will eventually allow him to take over some of the previous responsibilities he held before the associate dean position was frozen, including emergency planning and preparedness.
He added that the process has become accelerated in the past few weeks due to recent approval for funding. OCL is working quickly to create a committee of deans, Smith Campus Center (SCC) staff, RAs, sponsors, and a student-at-large to hire the new dean.
“Optimistically, it’ll probably go into the summer,” Townes said of the search process.
“I’m excited to bring in some new people with new ideas, and continue the greatness that is Pomona,” he added.
Bedoya said he looked forward to continuing his passion for working closely with student groups such as the Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault.
“As I transition, I want to be able to find opportunities to work with students on a day-to-day basis through the eyes of housing and operations director,” he said.