The first Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College Senate Committee meeting of the year gave Claremont McKenna College students an opportunity to meet new Dean of Students (DOS) staff members. The meeting, which was held Sept. 8, heralded the introduction of new staff members Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities Devon MacIver, Assistant Director of Residential Life Barbara Guerra-Torres and Assistant Director of Student Activities Kari Rood. All staff members joined the DOS staff this summer.
Of the new staff, MacIver serves not only as adviser to ASCMC, but also oversees the Welcome Orientation Adventure and Student Activities. Guerra-Torres resolves residents’ varied housing issues, manages the campus apartments and provides ongoing support to CMC’s Resident Assistants. She will also be leading targeted community education programs on issues such as identity and wellness.
Rood hosts events as an adviser to the College Programing Board and oversees both the student bike shop and the student art center The Cave. Both Rood’s and Guerra-Torres’ positions are new additions to the DOS office this year.
In addition to introducing the new staff members, the ASCMC meeting allowed students to bring up any concerns they may have had. Many student questions brought up initiatives enforced by the new DOS staff, such as stricter fencing regulations and implementation of fire codes.
As a result of these initiatives, Thursday Night Club (TNC) is no longer allowed to be held in residence hall lounges because the number of students who attend exceeds the number allowed by California fire codes.
“There’s not really a lot of new policy; it’s us trying to better enforce or give reason to or modify old policy,” Rood said. “So with TNCs the biggest change that students are seeing is that we’re now trying to respect and abide by the fire code.”
She said that events can now be held in the new student event space ‘the Court,’ located on CMC’s old tennis courts.
The fencing regulation has already impacted other CMC parties, such as ‘6:01’ and ‘Rep Yo Hood.’ The regulation requires the creation of a secure and defined perimeter for CMC parties exceeding a certain capacity.
Elaine Sohng CM ’17, who heads the Dorm Affairs Committee and helps organize TNC, regularly works with MacIver, which she described as “a very positive experience,” but also acknowledged the reactions to the new initiatives.
“Because we’ve had so much DOS turnover in the past couple years, students are very suspicious or confused about policies that seem to be changing or seem to [be] enforced in different ways,” Sohng said.
Although some students remain concerned about the changes, other students, such as Danial Ceasar CM ’15, believe that more substance-free events will be a positive asset to the CMC community.
“A lot of people on campus felt like they didn’t have a place when it comes to the kinds of programs that have gone on historically on campus,” Ceasar said. “I really do appreciate the fact that the new DOS staff are creating events … that don’t revolve around alcohol and [are trying] to include as many people as possible in campus social life.”