Article By: Kelly Harvell
This fall, Suffolk got a new Residence Life Director, Rod Waters, who is adjusting to the new community with comfort and ease, describing his experience thus far as “delightful.”
Waters was born in Washington D.C., and has since lived in Philadelphia, Seattle, and, most recently, Santa Cruz. There, he worked in the Associate College administrative office for the University of California, which consists of ten colleges. His job was to “direct the administration of a comprehensive residential education, working in colleges nine and ten.”
Waters has also worked as a resident director at Bay State College, Curry College, and University of Washington.
After working in Santa Cruz, Waters realized he wanted to travel back to the East Coast, which led him to his current position at Suffolk.
“Being the director at Suffolk University, I get the opportunity to be on several different committees,” said Waters. The different committees that Waters works with consist of the Student of Concerns, Student Success and Retention Committees. “I work behind the scenes of different scenes.”
“My biggest goal is that the [residence] halls meet the needs of the students,” said Waters. “That’s why I call it residence halls instead of dorms because it is more than just a place to sleep, but a community.”
Waters said that these beliefs are the reason why he enjoys being the new director. His biggest adjustment has been going from a public institution to a private one. A private university, like Suffolk, has additional resources and more personal support, according to Waters, which allows him to focus more on making sure the students in the resident halls have a good first year. This school year had the largest number of first year students enrolled at Suffolk, which forced the university to rent out hotel rooms for students due to lack of space.
In order to “strengthen the program,” Waters has been focusing on the Modern Theatre project, which will add additional housing. This additional housing is supposed to open in the fall of 2010, and will hopefully reduce the number of students in hotels.
Even though Waters has only been here for three months, he has had a “great transition.” The Suffolk community has been very welcoming and Waters has engaged himself with various members of our community.
“I hope that by being the new director of resident life, I make a huge impact on the first year’s experience at Suffolk University,” said Waters.