Campus / News / October 18, 2012

Campus Life Office strained under workload increase

The replacement of Jil Gates and Jillian Staley, both of whom left their positions last year, is still an ongoing search process, leaving Campus Life Office staff to fill.

The departure of Gates and Staley has placed an added workload on those remaining after the office staff was essentially halved.

“It has been a lot of work.” Associate Dean of Students Craig Southern said. “Cindy Wickliffe and Kathleen Drake especially have done a lot of things, but we’ve all chipped in.”

The three staffers have split the workload, Southern said, to make up for the shortfall in areas like student travel, assisting clubs and organizations and advisory duties for Union Board, which were previously handled by Gates.

Southern indicated that the remaining administrators and Union Board students have effectively picked up the added strain, but this system is not sustainable.

“It has been really busy, but can we do it? Sure, because we have to,” Southern said.

The impact of the departures has been minimal from a student perspective, Southern insisted, but he is unsure that the reduced office can stay on top of the increased workload for an extended period of time.

“Nothing [noticeable] yet; we can keep this up for a little bit longer, but after a while there will be aspects that slip,” Southern said. “It’s one of those things where someone said no to a job, and I wish they would’ve said yes, but we just need to not overly worry. But we need to get an activities person here as quickly as we can.”

The search for replacements began in June, and job offers have been extended without results. According to Southern, an offer to an operations candidate has not yet been accepted, and one offer to an activities candidate was denied, sending them back to the applicant pool.

Several sources have been used to draw candidates for the applicant pool, including Internet sites geared at student development, activities and housing.

Southern is looking for candidates to continue the policies of Gates and Staley, while innovating and initiating their own projects.

For the activities position, “We’re looking for someone with student activities experience and leadership program experience. Jil did a wonderful job while she was here, so we want someone to work off of what she did, but also to improve what we do from an activities and leadership standpoint here,” Southern said.

For the operations position, Southern said they are looking for someone with a better housing background who could improve procedures like the housing lottery.

“We’re looking for someone who can sort of modernize the housing system and I think this person would be it if we were able to get her,” Southern said.

Julian Boireau
Julian Boireau is a senior majoring in international relations and minoring in French. This is his fourth year working for TKS, having served as co-news editor during his sophomore and junior years. He has been involved in journalism for seven years, serving as opinions editor of the newspaper and editor-in-chief of the literary magazine at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles, California. In September 2012, Julian received press credentials to attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, where he reported on remarks by President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He is also the recipient of back-to-back first place awards from the Illinois College Press Association for front page layout.

Tags:  activities Campus Life Office Craig Southern Jil Gates Jillian Staley operations Union Board

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