Sixteen of this year’s 82 Community Facilitators resigned their posts this year – the Community Living and Learning Center is no longer dealing with a coincidence. GW has a problem on its hands. So far, four more CFs have resigned this year than during all of last year, and there are still three months left to go. In order to halt the exodus of CFs from residence halls, CLLC must address CF complaints and change a system that overworks students.
Although CFs should realize they are assuming a huge time commitment when they sign on, many CFs complain that their job descriptions are overly vague. As a result, they are called upon to perform an extensive list of tasks, including manning phones in CLLC offices, serving judicial notices to students and attending long meetings at late hours. Some of these responsibilities are explained before CFs start, but many are added during the course of the year.
Rather than deny there is a problem, the University should create a more precise job description to inform CFs what they are paid to do, and protect them from working outside their agreement. In short, CFs should be treated just like any other employee at GW.
The perks of the CF job appear impressive, at least on paper. CFs are granted free housing, a generous allowance of Debit Dollars and hourly pay for office work. But in order for CLLC to attract and maintain students actively involved in campus activities, supervisors must modify the system to allow CFs to continue to excel in their activities and academics. Too often CFs complain that CLLC policies cripple their outside commitments.
The general malaise among CFs fuels a continuous and seemingly endless pattern. As more CFs resign, other CFs are called upon to assume vacated tasks. The additional strain causes the remaining CFs to ponder resignation, too.
Although CFs are compensated for their sacrifice of free time, they still must have the chance complete their academic goals. After all, they are students first and CFs second. Perhaps the University should consider eliminating the office-work requirement in favor of student office assistants. The additional free time could be enough to abate complaints of lack of free time.
This trend of CF resignations is unhealthy for a living-and-learning environment. When a residence hall goes weeks without adequate CF staffing – as JBKO and the Mount Vernon residence halls have this year – CLLC’s personnel policies have failed.