CMC Dean of Students Staff to Live in Auen, Fawcett Residence Halls

Beginning this summer, the Claremont McKenna College Dean of Students (DOS) Office will house two new staff members in apartments in Auen Residence Hall and Fawcett Residence Hall, which are currently occupied by students. Many students said that they were unaware of the decision, and expressed concern about the administration’s lack of communication with students.

Eric Vos, the assistant dean of students and director of residential life at CMC, announced the change on March 3 in an Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) Senate meeting.

“College staff have always lived in the Fawcett and Auen apartments up until a few years ago," Vos wrote in an email to TSL. "We are excited about two new positions in the Dean of Students Office who will be living in these apartments beginning this summer."

However, Vos was unavailable to comment further on the details of the decision.

Current ASCMC Dormitory Affairs Chair and President-elect Ben Tillotson CM '15 wrote in an email to TSL that students had been living in what used to be staff apartments only on a temporary basis, but he was unaware of other details surrounding the announcement.

“To my knowledge, no students were involved in the decision to reallocate the Auen and Fawcett apartments back to DOS staff,” Tillotson wrote.

Karissa Muñoz CM '16 lives in Fawcett but had not heard about the announcement. Muñoz wrote in an email to TSL that she is not happy with the decision because she has not been informed of the purpose of the change.

“I have 0% knowledge about this decision and when I spoke to others in Fawcett, they were also hearing the news for this first time,” Muñoz wrote. “This just goes to show how there is a lack of communication between those who are making executive decisions and those who will be affected by them.”

An Auen resident for two years, Bridget Moran CM '16 also wrote to TSL that she had no knowledge of the decision. Moran wrote that it is difficult to see why the administration would place staff residents in Fawcett and Auen. 

She said that these residence halls have a reputation for being “two of the most well-behaved dorms on campus.”

“By having administrators living in Auen and Fawcett, many students, including myself and other friends, will no longer want to live in these resident halls [sic]," she wrote. "Not only would students feel uncomfortable living among administrators, it would also change the community dynamic Auen and Fawcett now possess. This awkward dynamic could even potentially promote dangerous behavior if students do not feel comfortable out in the open of their own dorms."

Moran added that she is concerned about how beds are being given to staff members when there has been a lack of bed space for students over the past few years.

“This year, transfers were not offered housing and some students returning in the Spring from Study Abroad were not offered housing from a lack of space,” Moran wrote. “As a small liberal arts school that puts the needs to students first, we should definitely not be giving staff members living quarters in our dorms.”

Milly Fotso CM '16, who also lives in Auen, wrote to TSL that she feels disappointed about what seems to be a disintegrating relationship between the administration and the students. She said that she chose to attend CMC because of its open community.

“First, I would like to ask the Claremont McKenna Administration for a clear and detailed outline of their reasoning behind making such a decision," she wrote. "I would like to ask them how they can justify taking away housing from students, potentially spending the money we pay to the institution, and isolating the student body from major decisions.”

Fotso also wrote, “I ask the administration … rather than assume that the fix to all problems is moving DOS staff onto campus, depleting resources and creating a divide on campus, simply talk to us.”