Concordia University Wisconsin Residence Life will undergo staff and structural changes ahead of the 2020-2021 academic year due to a federal law change.
For the first time since 2004, the federal minimum salary is increasing, now by almost $12,000. Due to this salary increase, CUW’s Department of Residence Life will experience a major structural change in its professional staff.
The department currently has five full-time professional staff members serving as Resident Directors (RDs). The department’s student staff consists of five Assistant Resident Directors, 48 resident assistants (RAs), and a team of alternate resident assistants. Next year, there will be six professional staff members. No student positions will be removed.
“Those six professionals will be divided into full-time and part-time. We will have three full-time, master-level Resident Directors and three part-time Graduate Assistant Resident Directors,” Director of Residence Life Beckie Kruse said.
With only part-time directors, some of the current students employed as resident assistants are concerned about the possible impact the restructure may have on residence hall staff dynamics and availability.
“Part-time RDs will need to focus more on their time management and emotional engagement with RAs because they are full-time graduate students first. Since they don’t necessarily have the time to engage like a traditional full-time RD, they need to be more explicit with their boundaries,” Resident Assistant Delaney McAdams said.
Meanwhile, some students who live in CUW residence halls are not expecting to be impacted by this change.
“I don’t have a relationship with my RD, so I don’t think anything will change,” CUW student Joe Peck said.
Graduate Assistant Resident Directors will still handle violations of the Student Code of Conduct, resident assistant professional development, attend hall programs, and be present in their building. Some obligations that current Resident Directors have, such as campus committees, will be taken away to allow for more time for administrative work.
“I encourage people to trust. We are honestly and faithfully doing what we are called to do in the best interest of our university and our students. If we find something does not work, we fix that,” Kruse said.
For more information on CUW’s Residence Life, click here.
Written by Jennifer Sheridan.