New Student Affairs Office Opens Doors to Community
Issue   |   Wed, 03/12/2014 - 02:08

The newly renamed Office of Student Affairs made its official debut on the second floor of Converse Hall Tuesday afternoon, welcoming students, faculty and staff to an open house at the office’s new location.

Visitors trickled in throughout the middle of the day, munching on pastries and entering their names to win raffle prizes. At night, the Office of Student Affairs invited members of the community to an ice cream social in the Converse Hall lobby.

The move comes at a time of dramatic change for the Office of Student Affairs, as the College prepares to conduct a search for a new Dean of Students following Jim Larimore’s sudden departure.

In one of the two Student Affairs suites in Converse 201 and 202, an empty office sits waiting for the new Dean of Students, who will serve alongside Chief Student Affairs Officer Suzanne Coffey.

Coffey said that the move “wonderfully parallels” the administrative restructuring in the Office of Student Affairs.

“We’re opening our doors to new opportunities and new things that we’re looking forward to,” Coffey said of the changes. She added that the search committee for the new Dean of Students will likely be formed by the middle of next week.

The new offices also include areas that hope to invite students in and provide a place to work on projects involving students.

“We’ve not only got great office space, but we’ve also got lots of great student space,” Coffey said.

According to Coffey, the other renovations going on in Converse provided the Office of Student Affairs to move from the first floor into a second floor space that could provide the extra room the office needed. These other renovations are also impacting the Economics Department, the Provost’s Office, and the College’s legal team.

Case Manager Scott Howard, who works in the new student affairs space, said that the open house was also an opportunity to talk to members of the community who may not know what programs fall under the umbrella of Student Affairs. He recalled the story of someone who walked into the office at the beginning of the open house and asked, “What is Student Affairs?”

“There’s a board with the different services offered through Student Affairs,” Coffey added. “Lots of folks have come through and paused at the board and said ‘Oh. I didn’t realize that you could come to this office and access TYPO or TYSO, or that you could come to this office and get some support for any number of other things. So I think there’s a little bit of awareness-raising that is happening with this, which is a good opportunity for us.’”

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