On Monday October 26, the search for the Director of Intercultural Student Life commenced with presentations of the last three candidates. The Kalamazoo College Office of Student Involvement invited students to attend the two presentations given this past week by Mai-Lin Poon and Natalia Carvalho-Pinto.
The two candidates spent the day on campus going to brunch with K students and touring the campus before giving their presentations. The third candidate is scheduled to present sometime in the next two weeks.
The search committee heading the hunt for the new director includes seven committee members, four of them K students, one Alum, one staff member, and the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Involvement, Brian Dietz. Beginning in early June 2015, Dietz and the rest of the committee members worked hard narrowing the large application pool to those who “[are a] good match to the job requirements and students needs,” Dietz said.
Liz Fiator K’17, one of the students on the search committee, said, “We’re looking for someone who understands systematic oppression of marginalized groups and [who] also understands intersectionality. We want someone who will be easily accessible to marginalized students and is willing to work with them to break the current systems in place.”
“[We need] someone who is unafraid to question administration if need be,” Fiator added.
During their presentations, Each candidate was asked to address the issue of a sense of belonging for students on campus and how they would help foster it on K’s campus.
“Students need to feel like they belong in order to succeed in college,” Dietz said. “[The Director] will work and collaborate with students, faculty, and staff [to help foster this sense of belonging for students].”
Since this position entails a lot of collaboration with people on campus, the candidates need “[campus]-wide exposure to understand whom they are working for,” Dietz said.
They will also work with the Coordinator for Community Equity, whose position was interviewed for this quarter also. Dietz hopes for a “crossover and collaboration” between the two positions after they are appointed.
The College urges students to watch the presentations, which will be on the HornetHive and respond to the feedback form after the video.