Student perspective helps find new OSAO coordinator
On Oct. 25, Charlotte Berman entered the role of Office of Student Activities and Orientation (OSAO) coordinator. The position opened in August, when the office’s previous Assistant Director of Student Activities Sam Wegler resigned. Nathan Kozach, the previous coordinator, moved up to the assistant director role, and the office began the search to fill the empty position.
The coordinator primarily serves to act as a liaison for the student clubs and organizations that are funded through OSAO. The coordinator works with and advises clubs, as well as works on other initiatives within the office such as orientation leader recruitment and training, and Friends, Family and Alumni Weekend, among many other events.
While the position was vacant, members of the office completed the work the coordinator typically does, while also looking for a new addition to the staff.
Thomas Morgan, director of student activities and orientation, said the office had been looking for a new coordinator since mid-August, and narrowed the search to three finalists in October. Morgan selected the finalists after an initial round of Zoom interviews, and the finalists underwent in-person interviews, as well as met with current students involved in OSAO for Morgan to gain a student perspective on the candidates, as well as for the candidates to get a sense of Lasell’s student body.
Morgan said there were a few specifics the office was looking for the coordinator to have. “I look at all the things that we currently have on our staff between my skill set and Nathan’s skill set. And then I look at what the mission of the office is and try to see who can maybe fill in some of the gaps where there might be some knowledge areas or skill sets that we're lacking,” Morgan said.
“I'm really just looking for someone who can bring in some fresh ideas, shake things up a little bit. Bring in a new perspective on how we do programming, how we reach out to students and meet them where they are and just, you know, allow us to look at what we do with a different lens, because I never want to be complacent with the programming that we do,” Morgan said.
Morgan emphasized the importance of finding a coordinator who meshes well with students. As a way of learning how candidates interact with students, multiple orientation leaders, OSAO student workers, Campus Activities Board (CAB) members, and Student Government Association (SGA) members met with candidates over lunch.
The goal of these meetings was for students and candidates to get an understanding of what working with each other might be like, as well as to learn about the candidates in a different setting than an interview. The students then gave feedback to Morgan, who took their thoughts into consideration while making the decision.
Jacob Lustig, a sophomore applied mathematics major, co-president of CAB, and OSAO front desk worker, said the student-candidate meetings were an opportunity to learn more about who they might be working for.
“I was looking for someone who can bring good energy and vibes along with getting work in because while it is an office we also handle a lot of the activities on campus and it is a very social and fun department,” Lustig said.
Junior fashion design and production major, Kassie Fisher, has worked as an orientation leader and orientation coordinator, and spoke to candidates about OSAO. “In the candidates I know personally, I was looking for someone who would be a friendly face for students to see and also willing to listen to students' ideas,” Fisher said. “I hope the new coordinator brings some new ideas that even some of us might not have thought of, along with just bringing a balance to the already great OSAO office,” Fisher said.
Berman believes her experience with student activities during her own time in college gives her insight into the student perspective aspect of the job. “More than anything I’m looking forward to working with and meeting students—everyone I’ve met so far has been beyond enthusiastic and I’m excited to work with everyone. I was heavily involved in student activities during my own college experience and I know how important and rewarding that can be, and I’m happy to be able to help provide those opportunities at Lasell,” said Berman.