Micah Wilkins, Echo Online Writer
The Multicultural Resource Center work crew has been without a supervisor for several weeks, after Gerald Spates left his interim position as Director of Multicultural Affairs.
Spates’ departure has left the crew’s three members on their own in regards to planning and organizing crew-sponsored events.
According to crew member Stacy Edmond, the crew is a little disorganized at the moment, with no leader and no one checking in at the office.
“No one has been walking in to make sure that we’re coming in to work or anything,” Edmond said. “I don’t even see the members of my crew barely at all. We don’t have crew meetings anymore, like about what’s going on. We just don’t know what to do. We’re like all lost.”
Spates was the Multicultural Resource Center’s third supervisor in two years, according to crew member James Gaza. Rodney Lytle left his position as supervisor when he was asked to be the interim alumni relations director. Spates then took over for Lytle as interim director of multicultural affairs. However, Spates left a couple weeks before spring break when he was offered a more permanent position at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Sherolyn Hopkins, who was Assistant Dean of Students at the time, then took over for Spates, but she too left promptly after Spates.
“There was no back-up plan,” Edmond said. “So that’s how Sherolyn became our supervisor, but there’s no plan behind that either, obviously.”
This transition was made even more difficult, however, as no communication was established between Hopkins and the crew.
“I never met Sherolyn about what our crew was going to be doing and what not,” Edmond said. “She never made contact with us, and we didn’t know she was leaving.”
Since Hopkins’s departure at the start of the term, the crew has continued to exist without the guidance of a work supervisor. However, little has been accomplished, as the crew has been left disorganized and somewhat disheveled after the rough transitions between supervisors and the eventual lack thereof.
“I’ve never heard of anybody not having a crew supervisor,” Edmond said. “It just sounds odd… I feel like we’ve been forgotten about.”
Furthermore, Edmond said, the experience has made her question the value placed on the Multicultural Resource Center and it’s services.
“It’s kind of made me feel like my job is unimportant now, because I don’t have anything to do,” she said. “I question what’s going on with the administration here. What are they doing and why haven’t they talked to us?”
Gaza feels the same way about the level of importance that the administration places on this crew.
“It all comes down to how much you care about your students,” Gaza said. “This is kind of showing that you don’t really care about your students…It kind of shows their lack of support for the student community.”
Gaza also referred to several other changes throughout the campus community that are now taking place, offering these as explanations for the disorder that the school is experiencing. The situation with the Multicultural Resource Center is just one manifestation of this.
“This year’s totally different because we’ve seen so many people leave,” Gaza said. “Teachers, staff, a lot of people are leaving. I think that’s really going to change things. I’m really glad I’m an upperclassman and I don’t have to go through all the shit that’s going to happen in the next couple of years.”
Edmond too, is not totally comfortable with changes that could take place in the future. At this rate, though, the crew members are seriously questioning whether the Multicultural Resource Center will still be a work crew next year.
“I do want [the Multicultural Resource Center] to exist next semester,” Edmond said. “But if there’s no one permanently here, then i might go back to the chemistry crew, but at least that will give me a sense of work and value.”