Changes Allow for More Collaboration in Housing Office

After 10 years of working at Colorado College, the Room Assignments Specialist Kathy Butler retired in January.

In this busy time of preparation for the upcoming school year, it would ordinarily be detrimental for the housing program to lose one of their staff members right before beginning the housing selection process. However, Housing and Residential Life employees have worked to ensure a smooth selection process for students.

Justin Weis, the Associate Director of Housing and Conferences, said, “When [Butler] announced her retirement, there were four folks who came together: Yolany Gonell, Kelly Tinan, Meg Ortiz, and myself. We broke up all of her job duties and we made it through the room selection process, starting with apartments, then the Living and Learning Communities and theme housing. We are just about ready to wrap up our ongoing room selection. All four of those folks played a big role in all three of those processes.”

Even in the absence of Butler, the housing staff has managed to work together to take on her workload and also organize and facilitate the entire process of student room selection for next year.

Meg Ortiz took calls about room and housing selection and helped set up the online room selection website. Yolany Gonell organized the Living and Learning Communities and theme housing applications, while Kelly Tinan worked with apartment selection and distributed housing information to the student body.

“We asked Kathy to leave us a spreadsheet of all of her tasks, especially what we thought the next three months needed to get done for our room selection for next fall to go very well. A lot of folks stepped up and made it work for our students, and that’s by far the most important thing,” said Weis.

Housing is now in the process of finding someone to replace Butler, and they are almost ready to make the final offer to their new hire. The hiring committee interviewed 13 total candidates, with eight of those interviews over the phone and five on campus. Weis hopes to have the new employee on staff by mid-May or early June.

“I think for the folks we have interviewed, all of them can come in and improve the process, and work with our students to make it better for them,” said Weis.

The housing process is a constantly evolving process, with a lot of changes coming from student ideas and opinions. Student feedback is very important to the housing program, and they want a new hire who will be open to listening to and engaging with the students.

“The housing process that we have today is very different from the process that we had five years ago,” said Weis. “To say that it won’t change is not true. It’s going to change, it’s going to evolve, but it’s always going to involve students and their feedback to make it more efficient—to make it better.”

The housing staff are hopeful for the future of housing at CC and excited to work with the new member of their team.

“[We] definitely did not want to see Kathy go, but it was good for her, it was the right time for her, and it worked out well for us to pull together the team and get everything organized for the spring semester,” said Weis.

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