By Anand Venigalla
Assistant Features Editor
Over the winter break, the office of campus life moved upstairs in Hillwood Commons and was merged with the LIU Promise office. The combined departments are now located in Hillwood Commons 270. An email was issued to the LIU community on Jan. 22 that made students aware of Campus Life’s integration into LIU Promise, and invited students to a “Meet & Greet” during common hour on Jan. 23. Students have mixed feelings about the merger of the two student service departments.
Julia Newcity, a freshman political science major, is pleased. “I think it’s better because don’t they tell you on the tour that everything’s all in one place, and now it’s all in one place. It’s more convenient to just go to one place,” Newcity said.
Other students noted that the combination is nice because it put two offices physically together. “I think it’s actually a good thing, so you can get a two-in-one kind of experience,” Destinee Pierre, a freshman political science major, said. Convenience is another positive for some students. “You don’t have to go here and then somewhere else,” Destiny Dowe, a freshman nursing major, said.
However, other students objected to the merger. “It’s a travesty,” Richard Grillo, a senior psychology major, said. “I liked it when Campus Life concentrated on the life of the campus and Promise focused on the promise they made the students, to be there and to hold us in sickness and in health. I think the two will eventually swallow each other up and become one unit as opposed to a more effective divide-and-conquer approach that they used prior to this combination.”
Although Michael Berthel, the dean of students who oversees the combined offices, would not meet personally with the Pioneer to discuss the merger, he responded to questions by email. “This change has helped us create a more student-friendly and dynamic office that is welcoming dozens of students every day. In addition, all success coaches and staff members received training on how to support students in every aspect of the University,” Berthel said. In addition, during the first week of spring semester classes, “LIU Promise held a series of welcome back events to celebrate the beginning of the semester. These events were designed to greet students and help highlight the new changes for the spring semester. These events were promoted in an email, New Year, New Us, that announced the new model.”
Berthel said that the combination helped unify the team in one central location. “The change allows the LIU Promise staff to be better equipped to connect their students to all aspects of the campus. Several staff members took on more leadership roles within LIU Promise,” Berthel said.
Ashley John, the director of student engagement, said that the merger was intended to serve students holistically. “The merge of LIU Promise and Campus Life was done to serve our students best holistically. Through my role as Director of Student Engagement, I hope to provide different opportunities to strengthen student involvement and student success. Whether you are interested in joining an organization, searching service opportunities, gaining career advice or want to know the movies of the month, the LIU Promise office is your connection. We encourage students to engage with staff and different resources offered through our office for them to best connect to the LIU Post community,” John said.
The office of conference services, which oversees campus functions and events, has moved into the former offices of campus life on the first oor of Hillwood Commons. Aramark has moved into the former offices of conference services down the hall.