This year, the College has eliminated the Baxter Fellows position and introduced Housing Coordinators. While this change was announced at the end of last year, there have been recent issues with filling Housing Coordinator positions. Currently, several houses do not have a Housing Coordinator, and others have Housing Coordinators who did not receive formal training. We at the Record believe that Housing Coordinators must be consistently trained, and that to do so, the position should be presented differently to the College community.
By taking away the monetary compensation previously awarded to Baxter Fellows, the administration hoped to attract Housing Coordinators who were motivated by their work, not by the paycheck they received. Without the monetary incentive, the position of Housing Coordinator was marketed as a stepping-stone for becoming a student leader, particularly for Junior Advisor (JA) hopefuls. Using this as an incentive doesn’t benefit students because the duties of Housing Coordinators and JAs are distinct; students pursuing a position as a JA are not necessarily interested in the duties of a Housing Coordinator and vice versa. Rather than market the role as a pre-JA position, the Office of Student Life should better define the role of a Housing Coordinator to attract properly motivated candidates. Among these duties, Housing Coordinators should serve as point people for housing conflicts, organizing events and overseeing the coordination of common spaces in a dormitory.
That being said, the community benefits from the extensive training coordinators receive at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, many of the current Housing Coordinators have not gone through this training because students were added to the position after the training period had concluded.
While there is talk of training in the future for the new Housing Coordinators, nothing concrete has materialized. We believe this presents a problem for the program and its future. Not only is there a disparity in training, but the recently added Housing Coordinators have not had the opportunity to develop overarching goals for the year as those who began last spring have. Being able to connect and direct students to resources is one of the main roles of the coordinator. New coordinators lack proper training on how to use resources, which was one of the main goals of Housing Coordinator training this fall.