College Begins Search For New Assistant Director of Student Activities And Greek Life

Writing on the Mall has confirmed that Allison Toney will be leaving her position at the end of July.

This means that Marietta College will have its fourth Assistant Director of Student Activities and Greek Life in four years.

Toney revealed her plans in an e-mail to the leaders of all the greek houses and councils on campus. In the letter, which was obtained by Writing on the Mall, she says, “I decided to leave to get back closer to home and it was more personal than professional reasons for leaving.”

When reached for comment, she says, “I really enjoyed working with everyone this past year! You all are some great students and I know you will continue to do good things in the future!”

Toney was hired by Marietta College last summer to replace Tara Kurilchick.  Kurilchick had dual-roles for the college (Residence Life and Student Activities) during the search to fill the Assistant Director position after Lynne Miller left in 2008 for the University of Pittsburgh.  Miller replaced Melissa Liptak in 2006 after Liptak accepted a position with Kent State.

David Travis, the Director of Student Activities and Student Life, says that this is to be expected.  He says that the Assistant Director position is considered and entry-level position.  Because of this, he continues on to say, “It is not uncommon for entry level positions to be held from 1 to 3 years. With this said my goal is to create a working environment that is welcoming for any staff member. This environment needs to allow for a staff member to be challenged and grow professionally.”

Travis will take over the duties of Assistant Director while a search to fill the position begins.  Candidates will be interviewed by a panel of students, faculty, and staff has been formed.  Interviews will begin in July on a rolling basis.

If you were curious to the job requirements, Travis sent along a copy of the job description.

The primary responsibility of this position, as part of the Student Activities & Greek Life department, is to provide leadership to the Greek community by developing and implementing programs and activities that strengthen and enhance Greek Life at Marietta College.  This includes serving as advisor to Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and Greek Council.  The Assistant Director will also provide academic support, counseling and educational programming for all Greek organizations.

Additional responsibilities include partnering with students, student organizations, faculty, and staff in coordinating community service projects.

Duties and responsibilities are organized around two areas:  Management and Programming.

Also of note, a Master’s degree in Higher Education is not being required for the position. Emphasis is also placed on Greek Affiliation.

A Bachelor’s degree is required while a Master’s degree in College Student Personnel, Higher Education Administration or related field is preferred. Prior Greek Life experience (chapter consultant, graduate assistant with Greek Life responsibilities, etc.) is strongly preferred.  Affiliation with a Greek Letter organization is highly desirable. Must possess well developed communication/interpersonal, organization, planning and programming skills.

Writing on the Mall asked several campus leaders for comment.  Brendan George, president of Interfraternity Council, and Josh Maxwell, president of Student Senate, had the following to say.

Ms. Toney’s vacancy will mark the fourth Greek Adviser that MC seniors have experienced.  This means that something is either very wrong with the Greek population at MC or something needs to be done with the position from an administrative standpoint.  Why is it so difficult to keep someone in the position?  Looking at Andrews, Bruce Peterson is really the only one that I see that has stayed with the overall department of Student Life for an extended period of time.  Vickers is gone, Travis is still relatively new, and Pastoor has yet to impress the collegiate population.  It is, as far as it’s personnel is concerned, a very new department.  Now Allison Toney, a woman that showed such promise early in her career here, is leaving as well.  The phenomenon warrants investigation.

~ Brendan George, President of Interfraternity Council

Allison’s departure marks a growing trend in the Assistant Director of Student Activities and Greek Life position of very low retention.  It’s currently suffering the Harry Potter “Defense Against the Darks” curse, because we can’t seem to keep them past a year.  I wonder if maybe this is an appropriate time figure out why this keeps happening, before we set out to hire a replacement.

One of the biggest criteria I will be looking for in a replacement will be the candidate’s willingness and commitment to a multi-year stay at Marietta.  I feel that if the Student Life wishes to continue helping Greek Life grow and develop, it needs to have a staff member that can bring continuity to the table.

~ Josh Maxwell, President of Student Senate

Travis also had the following to say about Toney

Marietta College is sad to see her leaving us. I believe Allison contributed much to the College, its students and the Office of Student Activities and Greek Life. I believe her passion is supporting students and helping them achieve their goals.

~ David Travis, Director of Student Activities and Greek Life