Campus Life Office reaping the benefits of new director post

| Staff Reporter

The merging of the director of Greek life and director of student activities into one position has brought promising results for both the Department of Campus Life and the student body.

Last July, Michael Hayes became the first executive director of Campus Life in school history. He subsequently took charge of both the Office of Student Activities and the Greek Life Office.

“What I hope [the merging] means is an opportunity to see Campus Life as a place that works to enhance the student experience in a more collaborative and cohesive manner,” Hayes said. “We have a great group of professionals who are firmly committed to modeling that collaborative approach. I hope that [the merging] is seen as an attempt to experience seamless and quality interactions in the office.”

The idea for a merger was first proposed by Jill Carnaghi, associate vice chancellor for students and dean of campus life. Carnaghi put forth the idea when the former director of student activities, Julie Thornton, and director of Greek life, Ryan Jasen-Henne, left at the same time.

Carnaghi said the current economic situation also played a role in the decision to merge the positions. But she said the financial crisis is not the driving force behind the decision.

Carnaghi said the new position will help facilitate departmental interactions.

“The merging will make the Department [of Campus Life] more effective in its operations,” Carnaghi said. “We will be more effective in sharing strategies as well as to get students involved in developing leadership initiatives while infusing topics of diversity into much of the work we do here [at Campus Life].”

Hayes echoed this sentiment.

“I’m here first and foremost to help students, through every interface with Campus Life, to continue to reflect and make meaning of their Wash. U. experiences,” Hayes said. “Secondly, I am also here to advocate, when appropriate, for the students and their experiences.”

The main goal of the Department of Campus Life is to help students complement their co-curriculum activities with their curriculum. Carnaghi said Campus Life stresses the importance of creating student involvement, leadership and diversity.

“We are more focused on the students’ lives outside of the classrooms,” explained Carnaghi. “Students play a big role in what we do here at Campus Life, and they add vibrancy to Campus Life.”

The Department of Campus Life also works closely with the Student Union. Carnaghi is the adviser for the Student Union president and executives. Michael Hayes is the adviser for the Treasury. Mike Saxvik, coordinator for student involvement/programming leadership, is the adviser for the Senate. Mary Zabriskie, coordinator for special projects, is the adviser for the Constitution Council. These Campus Life staffers provide guidance for the Student Union.

The Department of Campus Life includes the Community Service Office, Event Services, Greek Life Office, Office of Student Activities and Annika Rodriguez Scholars. The department is currently hiring in four different positions: a coordinator for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) student involvement and leadership; an assistant director for programming and marketing; a coordinator for community service; and an event coordinator.

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