For the fourth year in a row, Student Affairs has undergone a mid-year rearrangement of the RLCs’ duties.
The week prior to winter break, Jim McCarthy resigned from his position as Smounker Residence Life Coordinator and accepted a position at Rochester Institute of Technology. Dean of Students Travis Greene cited McCarthy’s need to be close to his family and hometown of Buffalo, NY as a primary reason for McCarthy’s departure.
McCarthy’s father died unexpectedly in September and in an e-mail sent to all Smounker residents, he wrote, “I have been struggling to cope with his loss since,” and that he hoped “my move home will allow me to care for my mother and sisters.”
McCarthy expressed his concerns about his family to Student Affairs and began a preliminary job search in order to move back East at the end of the school-year. Neither McCarthy nor Student Affairs expected that he would receive another position so soon.
Student Affairs has not begun a search for a new RLC. “The economic reality prevented [Student Affairs] from searching,” Greene said. Also, Greene pointed out that this was the first year that there have been seven RLCs. However, the new distribution of RLC duties is different than in previous years.
Clangrala RLC Rachel Meseke will be taking over all of McCarthy’s responsibilities. In order to free her time for Smounker residents, she will no longer be working at the Center for Religion, Spirituality and Social Justice. In previous cases, clusters have been divided and RLCs have not given up any previous duties to make time for the change.
Each of the past three years, the College has been forced to alter RLCs’ duties due to departures and other extenuating circumstances. Loosehead RLC Kim Hinds-Brush, who has taken on extra duties in previous years, said “splitting makes it harder to spend time with residents.”
Younker resident Fonz Jenkins ’10 said McCarthy will be missed by many of his residents and other members of the Grinnell community. “He was a great listener and offered assistance in any way he could whether it was looking over a paper, talking, or just hanging out,” Jenkins said.