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SU to create separate offices to serve non-residential students and new students
SU to create separate offices to serve non-residential students and new studentsFebruary 20, 2009Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
This spring, Syracuse University will divide one Division of Student Affairs office into two units dedicated to specific student populations. On or about April 1, the Office of Orientation and Off-Campus Programs will cease to exist and its resources and staff will be used to create the Office of First-Year and Transfer Programs and the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services.
The Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services will be responsible for focusing on the needs of students residing off campus, as well as commuter students. It will educate students about their rights and responsibilities as community members and will work on a coordinated approach to communication and programming that is inclusive of students as well as permanent residents. To maintain its connection to non-residential students, this office will be at 754 Ostrom Ave.
The Office of First-Year and Transfer Programs will be housed at 111 Waverly Ave., close to the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Learning Communities and other central services for residential students. This office’s work will begin with Syracuse Welcome 2009. Later, it will explore possibilities for building SU’s nationally recognized orientation programming into a comprehensive, yearlong experience for all new SU students.
Before the 2007 merger that created OOCP, similar duties were performed by what were then the Office of Orientation and Transition Services and the Office of Off-Campus Student Services. OOCP staff were drawn largely from these predecessor offices and will be reassigned to Off-Campus and Commuter Services and First-Year and Transfer Programs when they open for business.
Darya Rotblat, currently interim director of OOCP, will provide leadership to SU’s orientation and off-campus functions throughout the transition. Working with the Office of Human Resources, the Division of Student Affairs will conduct searches for directorships in the new offices.
“As we have discussed these organizational concepts and objectives with numerous constituents across campus, it has become clear that Syracuse University’s best use of resources is to focus separately on new students and off-campus students,” says Rebecca Reed Kantrowitz, associate vice president for student affairs. “From our interactions with student focus groups, the Academic Coordinating Committee, and faculty and staff across campus, plus a review of national best practices, we believe that this model will best serve our new students as well as the large population of students who live off campus.” As head of the Division of Student Affairs’ inclusion, community and citizenship portfolio, Kantrowitz will supervise the directors of both new offices.
“The staff of the Office of Orientation and Off-Campus Programs has done an outstanding job of establishing national best practices in orienting and welcoming new students, while building and sustaining SU’s relationship with its valued neighbors,” says Thomas V. Wolfe, senior vice president and dean of student affairs. “That team’s commitment to students under leadership of interim director Darya Rotblat has positioned us to take fuller advantage of collaborative opportunities.”
Each office will be staffed by three people and will likely provide educational and work experience opportunities for graduate assistants and practicum students. Additional details, including contact information, will be announced at the time of the offices’ opening. Leading up to the transition, OOCP will help next fall’s incoming class make successful preparations and will help off-campus students navigate the remainder of the current semester.
“We are excited by the possibilities as these two offices build on strong relationships with Academic Affairs, Government and Community Relations, and a rich network of student, faculty, staff and community partners,” says Kantrowitz. “By focusing each office’s work on a particular population of students, we will ensure that all students have access to intentional, effective co-curricular programming and services.”