Residence hall directors brace for new challenges

The new residence hall complex set to open in the fall may be an exciting addition to campus, but a lot of work is going into the project outside of construction in order to debut the new buildings as seamlessly as possible.

Director of Residence Life Joshua Doak and his office have been looking down the road to make sure they will be prepared to handle additional students on the living side of campus.

Some individuals had been concerned by a lack of new resident assistants, but Doak doesn’t believe more staff will be necessary from the start.

“We don’t anticipate having every single bed full in the first year,” said Doak. “We don’t expect Blaine, for example, to be as full initially, so we will probably do some shuffling and move RAs that had been there to the new buildings.”

Doak thinks additional staff may be needed in years to come, but for now, the transition should be seamless.

“We will have to look to add, one, to be of adequate service to the students and, two, to have good coverage and be able to be of proper service to anyone who needs assistance,” said Doak.

The additions will also add to the plate of Residence Directors Samantha Quackenbush and Kevin Ferdig. Doak doesn’t think an additional hire will be required immediately, but it is something he plans to bring before the school eventually.

“A lot of additional administrative responsibility will come with the additions,” Doak said.

Quackenbush is quick to point out that changes have been made to speed up some responsibilities that had been time-consuming in the past.

“There will be a give and take with the additional responsibilities. The new housing software will expedite the process we currently do for housing assignments and room changes; however, with 201 added ​bed spaces, I do anticipate an increase in daily workload,” Quackenbush said.

Both Doak and Quackenbush are anxiously awaiting the opening of the new complex.

“I’m very excited that we will have modern and attractive housing on campus,” said Doak. “It will serve as a great recruiting tool.”

Quackenbush furthered this sentiment.

“I was fortunate enough to get to tour it a few weeks ago and I think our residents will love the added amenities,” she said.

The new amenities Quackenbush speaks of are features such as private bedrooms and bathrooms for each tenant, as well as a full kitchen in each suite.