The University of Wisconsin–Stout Housing Organization has affected almost every student on campus at some point. At Stout, students are required to live in the dorms for the first two years. With a combination of convenience and great faculty, some students find this to be such a good experience that they stay in the dorms longer than the requirement, or start to look for jobs in Housing itself.
There are many types of faculty involved in housing, especially those who are live-in employees. People who live in the dorms and work for housing right now include RA’s, DSM’s, ARC’s, DA’s and Hall Directors.
Starting next semester though, things are going to look a little different. The whole organization is getting reorganized and refit to better serve the students.
Planning for this restructuring first started two years ago, after the Fair Standards Act and Affordable Care Act were put in place. Sandi Scott, Dean of Students and Housing Director, played a huge role in this process and has been instrumental in its implementation.
New positions have been created for the halls, and some positions are changing into a more focused area.
One of the biggest changes is to the Hall Director position. Previously this position was in each hall, and bigger halls like HKMC and CKTO had two Hall Directors. The position is changing, and Hall Directors will now be called Residence Life Coordinators. The job will be more specific to the needs of the residents and won’t focus on paperwork as much.
The Desk Services Manager position (DSM) is going to be different next year as well. The DSM’s original job was to serve as an assistant to the Hall Director while also overseeing the front desk. Next year, the position will be paid on an hourly basis, and the DSM will be able to live off campus.
An entirely new position to be added is the Hall Manager. This person will supervise the RA’s with the Residence Life Coordinator, advise HEC and be an on-call resource a few weekends every semester.
Sandi Scott-Duex, the Dean of Students says, “The first couple of years [of transition] are the hardest, but at the end of that time we will know if this is going to work and is a viable option.”
In addition to the changes in the staffing, Housing has also said that Red Cedar will be treated differently than it has in the past. Next year, it will be treated as a stand-alone building that is treated as its own entity. Red Cedar will not have a Residence Life Coordinator, but they will still have a Hall Manager, DSM, RA’s and DA’s working there. Ann Hoffman, Assistant Director of Housing, will serve as the Mental Health and Diversity leader for the building.
Housing is saving quite a bit of money with all these changes, and Sandi Scott-Duex says that while this was not the primary goal of the reorganization, it is still a good thing.
This will be a big change in the University, and it will take a while for everyone to adjust. Hopefully this plan will last for the next five years before being re-evaluated again.