CMC Brings Dean of Students Office Job Candidates to Campus

Claremont McKenna College officially launched the search process for an assistant director of residential life, a new position in the Dean of Students (DOS) Office, after deciding that there was a need for an additional staff member in the Department of Residential Life. The assistant director will begin this summer and will live in either the Fawcett or Auen apartments. 

The college has also launched searches for two additional positions: an assistant dean of students and director of student activities, and an assistant director of student activities. The assistant director of student activities will live in one of the two apartments as well. 

Eric Vos, the assistant dean of students and director of residential life at CMC, wrote in an email to TSL that the DOS Office had felt a need for more staff in the Department of Residential Life since the summer of 2011, when Vos first started working at CMC.

“My particular department, Residential Life, has one professional staff member when the same department at comparable institutions have several staff members, so I am very excited to be receiving some much-needed help that will only better the residential experience of all CMC students,” Vos wrote.

According to the job description on CMC's website, the assistant director of residential life's responsibilities include managing the student apartments, advising residential assistants, and supervising evening and weekend events. 

The relationship between the assistant director and students is particularly important, according to Vos.

“Whomever we hire, we want them to be able to connect with CMC students, especially because they will be working and living in community together," he wrote. 

The search committee for this position comprises three CMC students, along with Vos and Adam Pruett, the director of campus recreation. Three candidates were invited to participate in 45-minute student interview sessions that took place in CMC’s Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

The DOS Office also held student interview sessions for two candidates for the assistant director of student activities position. The office will hold interview sessions for three candidates for the assistant dean of students and director of student activities position next week.

Responsibilities of the assistant director of student activities, a new position in the DOS Office, include advising the College Programming Board and managing ticket sales, advising and working with student clubs and organizations, and managing the music practice room opened this semester in Marks Hall, according to a description of the position.  

Responsibilities of the assistant dean of students and director of student activities include serving as a liaison to the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC), enforcing the college’s alcohol policy and event hosting guidelines, and managing the Student Activities Office budget, according to a description of the position.

All three positions are also part of the college's on-call dean staff. 

ASCMC Vice President Will Su CM '16, who attended all interview sessions that have been held so far, wrote in an email to TSL that he felt that the sessions were successful.

“I decided to attend the session both as a representative of the student body and because student input is very important throughout the college's hiring process as our administrators play an integral role in campus life,” he wrote. “I think these sessions went well and they have definitely been successful in bringing students closer to the process because you really get to interact one on one with the candidates to really gauge whether they are a good fit for CMC."

Su added, “Students know what they want in the administrators and staff that they will be working and interacting with, so it is important for the administration to allow for students to give their perspective. I think from the administrative side, candidates that have been vetted by students are far more successful in their future roles at CMC.”

Su noted that placing staff members in the apartments currently allocated to students might put stress on available space.

“This is an issue that is separate from the candidates, but I am still concerned greatly with the housing crunch that CMC is facing and having live-on staff that will take beds away from students is of great concern to me,” he wrote.

According to Vos, staff members used to live in the apartments in Fawcett and Auen until a few years ago, when there were “administrative changes.” CMC then offered these apartments to students.

“Having staff live in College residence halls is very commonplace: the vast majority of residential colleges and universities operate in such a model," he wrote. "I know that some students are concerned about this change and I have reached out to those I know about to better understand what their concerns are."