CFs step down, cite CLLC flaws

Community Facilitator Mike Donaldson’s resignation last week makes him the 16th CF out of 82 to quit this year. Last year, 12 CFs left their posts by the end of the school year. While some CFs left this year to study abroad or for medical reasons, others said the Community Living and Learning Center has overworked its employees, causing their resignations.

“The CLLC chooses CFs based on their participation on the GW campus,” said Christina Mulligan, a former CF at JBKO. “But when you are a CF you can’t maintain those commitments to your activities.”

Donaldson wrote a letter printed in The Hatchet (“Residents lose out when CFs resign,” Feb. 12) last week denouncing CLLC management policies. In the letter, Donaldson said CFs are often told to take on more work than they can manage.

Donaldson said he decided to resign following a meeting with CLLC officials in which the letter was discussed.

“Mike (Donaldson) has chosen to resign,” said Tova Olson, director of selection, training and development for CLLC. “He wasn’t happy.”

Olson said applicants do not always realize the amount of work GW requires from CFs.

“The CF position is not for everybody,” Olson said. “It requires a lot of paperwork that potential CFs are not aware of.”

Mulligan said the problem extends beyond the paperwork.

“They are not organized about their deadlines,” she said. “CFs have to sacrifice academics to meet deadlines.”

In his letter Donaldson wrote that the job description is “not transparent,” and so vague that the University could justify assigning additional work to the CFs by calling it a part of the original contract.

Although Donaldson said CLLC has since addressed his concerns, other CFs, who wished to remain anonymous, said they are considering resigning. They cited internal problems with CLLC and unclear job descriptions as reasons for wanting to leave.

Mulligan said GW should allow CFs more opportunities to get involved with campus life.

“The CLLC needs to be more supportive of CFs’ responsibilities outside the CF position,” Mulligan said. “Being a CF really makes it difficult to continue outside activities.”

Olson said of the 16 CFs that have left their posts this year, two left due to illness, one was promoted, one decided to study abroad and one transferred, leaving 11 who resigned for other reasons.

“Some of the CFs who have resigned this year were due to poor performance,” Olson said. “We like to give them the opportunity to resign, because it is easier for them.”

CFs receive a $1,000 stipend each semester, a furnished room, voice mail, call waiting and a Debit Dollar stipend during their employment.

CF duties include holding office hours, attending staff meetings, performing health and safety inspections, conducting floor meetings, designing in-hall programming, distributing posters, resolving room and resident conflicts and developing strong communities in residence halls.

In his article Donaldson wrote CFs “become frustrated by the volume and nature of the responsibilities they are delegated and resign.”

When Mulligan’s fellow JBKO CF Phil Metcalf resigned in October, she said she was asked to assume some of his responsibilities for health and safety inspections. This and other similar CF commitments led to Mulligan’s resignation.

CLLC met with Donaldson following the publication of his letter to resolve his concerns, Donaldson said.

“CLLC and I are on the same page,” he said. “Some resolutions have been reached.”

Mulligan said the gap between CLLC and its employees still exists, but could be improved with better management and organization.

“The problem with CLLC and the CFs is not difficult to fix,” Mulligan said.

Olson said CLLC discussed the letter in all of its CF training sessions to address concerns of future CFs.
“We like the CFs in training to be aware of the actual expectations and reality of the job,” Olson said.

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