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Doyle discusses split of Office of ResLife

Mel Flanagan | Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vice president for Student Affairs Fr. Tom Doyle attended Monday’s Campus Life Council (CLC) meeting to discuss the forthcoming split of the Office of Residence Life and Housing into two offices, the Office of Residence Life and the Housing Office.

The split, effective June 1, will separate the Division of Student Affairs into five main sections, each headed by a different leader who will be responsible for different aspects of the division, Doyle said.

One subdivision will focus on the University’s mission and integration, and its associate vice president will oversee Campus Ministry and the Career Center.

“This has everything to do with integration,” Doyle said. “The integration of academic life, of spiritual life and general student life.”

The second, under the direction of an associate vice president for Residential Life, will supervise the community of rectors and the Housing Office.

“I think our dorms are the fundamental building blocks of community here,” Doyle said. “They are the primary way we deliver our mission, our chief ideas of our operation.”

Doyle aims to call greater attention not only to the dorm structures and potential renovations or modifications, but also to those who staff each hall.

“I want to bring both the building and the individuals who lead those buildings into one mind and one heart,” he said.

The associate vice president who will head the student development subdivision will direct the facilities and programming aspects of student activities, as well as the Office of Residence Life.

Doyle said the unusual decision to group organizations such as student government with those students being disciplined by ResLife is prompted by the desire to use the former as a teaching example for the latter.

“One group on the student activities side is motivated in a positive direction, while the others have stumbled along the way,” he said. “The question is how do we help reclaim them, how do we use that as a moment of reflection.”

The associate vice president who will concentrate on student services will oversee student outreach programs such as alcohol and drug education, the Gender Relations Center, multicultural student programs and services and the University Counseling Center.

“These sections are all related to not only student services, but to students who have special concerns,” Doyle said.

Last, the director of Finance & Operations will also be in charge of University Health Services.

“I want someone with a business mind to be thinking about health services and insurance and such,” Doyle said.

According to Doyle, integration is the organizing principal around the design and modification of the Division of Student Affairs.

“We need to be sure that your heart and your mind are being engaged simultaneously,” he said. “We need to make sure all these parts of you that are essential as human beings have a chance to grow and develop and flourish.”

Although the manifestation of any benefits from the reconstruction of Student Affairs will not be seen for many years, Doyle hopes to see a greater retention of both hall rectors and seniors on campus in the future.

“I think you’ll find a little more stability in the dorms, hopefully a greater example of collegiality,” he said.