By CHRISTINE CHUNG
This week marks Jess Vega’s move from the Office of Campus Life to the Multicultural Center (MCC). Vega, in her former position as assistant to the director, played an integral role at Campus Life. Her responsibilities included managing room reservations and overseeing office management. Now, as departmental administrative assistant at the MCC, she will be part of the team planning and organizing the MCC’s 75 plus events in conjunction with various student groups. Due the recent freeze on non-essential hiring, Vega may not be replaced in the immediate future.
“At Campus Life, I didn’t work intensively on either the student activities or room reservations side, but assisted both sides,” Vega said. Her job involved assisting Doug Schiazza, director of Campus Life, and organizing vendor tabling in Paresky, and thus she was less engaged with students. At the MCC, she expects her involvement with student events to be very different.
“I loved being at Campus Life. I decided to move to the MCC for my own personal growth,” Vega said. Vega is excited about the increased engagement she will have with student groups at the MCC. The event programming that the MCC oversees – including International Week, SPARC workshops, heritage days, dance conferences and Queer pride days – require working directly with students, an aspect appealing to Vega. “I’m really excited about the MCC’s programs, being a part of them and working with student groups,” she said.
Today is only Vega’s third day at the MCC, and thus her official responsibilities remain undefined. “I’m like a sponge; I’m busy taking in a lot of information,” she said.
The staff at the MCC is considerably smaller than that at Campus Life, and so each program involves the participation of every staff member.
Vega’s loss will be keenly felt by Campus Life. “She did a fantastic job for us, and we were very sorry to lose her,” said Doug Schiazza, director of Campus Life. “But we’re happy for her in her new position, that she’s still at Williams and that the MCC has such a great person joining their team.”
Her move to the MCC preceded the semi-freeze on hiring, yet according to Schiazza Campus Life has been notified that they may not be able to hire another Assistant Director. As such, adjustments are being made. “We are in the process of determining our next steps to address the roles that Jess filled,” Schiazza said.
For the moment, Gail Rondeau, Campus Life Assistant, will be responsible for room reservation requests. The Paresky Student Assistants will now be sitting at the front desk at Campus Life from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday, answering the phone and acting as front office receptionist, both previous responsibilities of Vega.
“Campus Life is no longer a staff of eight, and so work will have to be redistributed,” Vega said. “Everyone is going to have to take on a bit of more work. It kind of reflects that situation the College is currently in.”