The Department of Residence Life at UW-River Falls will be undergoing a major change with the hall manager (HM) position in the residence halls starting this summer.
Currently, HMs have been in charge of making sure each residence hall runs smoothly. Starting this summer, however, the HM position will cease to exist and will be replaced by a complex director.
“In some cases they will have two halls. In the smaller halls, for example Crabtree and Parker, and they (the complex director) will live in one of them. There will be an assistant complex director in the other one,” said Director of Residence Life Sandi Scott Duex.
The assistant complex director will be an undergraduate student at UWRF while the complex director will be a graduate assistant enrolled through the UW-La Crosse online program.
The complex directors will be enrolled in UW-La Crosse’s online graduate program working toward receiving their student affairs administration degree. UW-La Crosse is not currently running this program with any other school.
According to Scott Duex, UWRF had students with a master’s degree managing the residence halls before making the switch to HMs.
“Our hall managers have done an amazing job,” Scott Duex said. “But there are certain things that we just can’t have hall managers do as undergraduate students.”
Scott Duex said one of the things which the undergraduate students struggle with is having one on one conversations with residents who are their peers.
She said that the graduate students are going to school to prepare to work with certain scenarios which undergraduate students may have, such as: dropping out, switching roommates, etc.
An additional change that will be made will be the resident-director relationship. Currently, HMs do not talk to residents involved with policy and conduct violations.
The complex director will talk about these violations with the residents who have committed them.
The role of the assistant complex director will be to focus mainly on paperwork as well as occupancy related issues, or the administrative aspect. They will also be the advisor to each building’s hall council.
There will be a total of four assistant complex directors starting next year.
Current Ames Suites Hall Manager Max Dalton said that the change is for the better.
“From a student standpoint, there is a lot that people can learn from working with graduate students, and the graduate students can also bring a lot to the table,” Dalton said. “From a manager standpoint I also think that it is a great opportunity because the type of work that I currently do is what the graduate students often time want to go into professionally or at least some aspects of it.”
While the graduate students will be coming from UW-La Crosse, Scott Duex said there should not be any major issues for them transitioning over to UWRF.
She said that the graduate students will start over the summer which will be enough time to get them acquainted with the campus and their job before the residents arrive on Aug. 31, Move-In Day.
However, Scott Duex said there is always uncertainty about what will happen when undergoing a change like this.
Dalton agreed, “The thing that has to be remembered is that every process isn’t perfect when it is first set into place but with a little work and some troubleshooting along the way, the end result can be something very new and exciting for everybody that is involved.”