Newman looking for new graduate assistants

By Madison McCollum, Opinion Editor

The Student Life office announced this summer that they were hiring three new graduate assistants. Today, these positions remain unfilled.  

The graduate assistant positions of Diversity; Student Activities and Intramurals; and First Year Experience are commonly hired at the end of the spring semester. The positions this year were posted in early August.

“The staff I think wanted to look to get those positions posted, but the decision was made from other folks that they wanted to wait until I got here, which I appreciate,” Dean of Students Christine Schneikart-Luebbe said, “but that kind of put us behind the 8-ball. So, we have posted the positions, and I have done overtures to many on the faculty trying to find some graduate students who might fit the bill.”

Schneikart-Luebbe said they have received very little interest and few applications for the positions.

“I don’t really have a lot of answers right now,” Schneikart-Luebbe said, “because we’re still trying to put the pieces together. So I can tell you that the positions have been posted and I’m reaching out to all kinds of folks, even beyond the walls of Newman to say, ‘Do you have anybody that might be interested in helping for a year?’ And I’m also looking at, you know, if there are any other ways I can configure things to get some additional help.”

It would be hard to get a graduate student from another state integrated at this time of year, Schneikart-Luebbe said, so they are considering other options to get the help they need. She said she has even considered opening up the position to upperclassmen undergraduates as an on-campus job.

Residence Life graduate assistant Jerricus Funderburke said the graduate assistants are a necessity for student life.

“Not having GAs is causing more workload for the Student Activities Director as well as the Dean of Students,” Funderburke said. “They have to cover CAB, FYE and also knowing what diversity and other student organizations are doing. When we would have the GAs it would be better for them to help limit that workload.”

Despite these unfilled position, Funderburke believes that student life on campus has not been negatively affected.

“I feel as though student involvement this year, hands down, was a better start this year than it was last year,” Funderburke said. “When I spoke with my RAs as well as with the staff and my boss, Scott Mudloff, I can see a better vibe we got this year on campus. Students are more involved and inclusive this year, I got the vibe for that.”

The graduate assistant positions can be found online at .

PHOTO: JERRICUS FUNDERBURKE is currently the only graduate assistant employed with Student Life. Madison McCollum, OP Editor