The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

My quest to learn the musical instrument struck a chord much greater than the beautiful sound of a perfect stroke.
I decided to learn the guitar, but I walked away learning more about life
Bella Edmondson, Staff Editor • June 19, 2024

New hires reshape Student Affairs division

The walls have come down in the Student Activities Center — literally and figuratively.

The Department of Multicultural Student Affairs, which used to occupy a room adjacent to the SAC on the third floor of Hughes-Trigg, is now part of one contiguous space with its old neighbor.

The rooms aren’t the only things to get a face-lift, though. Student Activities and the DMSA have hired three new staff members and promoted another as part of the reorganization of Student Affairs.

Jennifer Jones (known as “JJ”to students and staff), formerly of the DMSA, is now the assistant dean of student life and the director of student activities and multicultural student affairs.

Ke’Ana Hardy and Nessa Duque are the new coordinators for African-American Student Services and Asian-American student services, respectively.

And Jordan McCarter was appointed the coordinator of Student Programs. Structurally, the DMSA and Student Activities (which includes all student organizations on campus that aren’t part of DMSA, including the Greek community) are now both under Jones, who reports to Dean of Student Life Dee Siscoe.

Jones says she hopes the moves foster cooperation between student organizations.

After the wall was knocked down, she said, students began drifting to sides of the SAC or multicultural office they didn’t usually occupy.

“You’re seeing an interaction that’s going on, and that’s nice to see,” said Jones.

“I just think it’s wonderful and that there are a world of possibilities,” for the restructured departments, she said.

The search process for the new coordinators was a stressful one — and the position of assistant director of Student Activities has yet to be filled — but Jones said it was well worth it.

“There were some marathon searches” she said of the simultaneous searches for four positions.

“But we got some marvelous folks out of it, so it was worth it.” Hardy, who’s taking over some of Jones’ old responsibilities, began her position the first day of school.

Duque started about a week ago and is taking Karen Click’s old post.

Click is now working with the Women’s Center.

Fernando Salazar, who worked with Hispanic groups on campus last semester, has retained his position as the third coordinator in DMSA.

Hardy said that the coordinators oversee the boards of the multicultural groups under them. Duque, for example, advises Asian Council, the Vietnamese Student Association, the Hindu Student Organization, the Indian Student Association, the East Asian Student Association and the Persian Student Society.

“We basically provide support for executive boards – it’s about helping them understand what type of leader they are and what [type of leader] their exec board is,” said Hardy.

“As advisers we want to make sure our leaders are being strong leaders,” added Duque.

According to Duque, the coordinators also plan events independent from the groups they advise.

Hardy is already planning for Martin Luther King, Jr. week next semester, and Duque is putting plans in motion for Mix it up at Lunch on Nov. 14, a program that aims to educate students about diversity during their lunch time.

She’ll also be leading diversity workshops in wellness classes.

Just across the SAC, Jordan McCarter has settled in as the adviser for Program Council.

She began her job July 24, months after she finished her Masters of Higher Education and Administration at Vanderbilt. Like Hardy and Duque, McCarter meets with student leaders several times a week, helping them “come up with and implement programs.”

McCarter is looking forward to Hispanic Heritage Month, Program Council’s first big collaboration with the College Hispanic American Society.

Programs start Sept. 20, and McCarter said the coordinators’ working together is part of a shift in the office mentality.

“We do hope to be collaborating more,” she said.

Once a week, the coordinators from every department under Jones have a meeting.

“We want to be a resource for each other,” said McCarter. “A lot of it we’re still figuring out, but we’re doing a great job communicating.”

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