By Sam Catania
Stanford will add Resident Directors, Community Coordinators and Neighborhood Program Directors to its residential education system as part of the University’s ResX initiative, announced Assistant Vice Provost for Residential Education Cheryl Brown and Dean of Students Mona Hicks in an email to ResEd student staffers on Friday.
The plan comes as Stanford undergoes a massive overhaul of its residential communities ahead of the University’s plans to introduce neighborhoods for the 2021-22 school year. Next year, Residence Deans and Escondido Village Graduate Residences Building A (EVGR-A) Community Directors will be replaced with a live-in Resident Director. This position is intended to “serve in a complementary role” to resident assistants (RAs) and resident fellows (RFs) and to “provide guidance and support for student health and well-being,” Brown and Hicks wrote.
“We believe that this new role will serve as a local guide similar to the Academic Advising Directors, but instead focused on facilitating community and belonging and providing professional support to students in navigating their personal development,” they wrote.
Brown and Hicks added that they “intend for the Resident Director to build relationships with students throughout their four years at Stanford,” and that these directors will serve “as trusted members of the community when called upon to show up and accompany students in a crisis,” they wrote.
The Resident Directors will report to the new Neighborhood Program Directors, according to Brown and Hicks. These program directors will review and approve financial transactions for house and neighborhood programming and serve as liaisons between RFs, the ResEd Leadership Team, Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE) and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE). In addition, they will provide backup on-call consultation for Residential Directors.
Each neighborhood will also receive a Community Coordinator (CC) that will also report to a Neighborhood Program Director and “support RFs, student staff, and community councils with financial training and transactions, and with planning and programming for the houses and neighborhood,” Brown and Hicks wrote.
Some responsibilities previously held by Residence Deans will be taken over by the Dean of Students Office, the ResEd Leadership Team and ResEd professional staff in neighborhoods, according to Brown and Hicks.
Brown and Hicks acknowledged that the changes would impact student staff working in ResEd. They added that they have spoken with each affected staff member individually in the past week.
“We are aware that many of you have built professional relationships with staff whose positions we will eliminate through this restructure” they wrote. “We don’t take these steps lightly.”