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Campus News

The search for a new RISE director begins, slowly

Micah Wilkins, Echo Online Writer

The RISE Crew continues to work almost entirely independently in the wake of Director Kelly Kelbel’s departure last term. The regional search for the new director of the RISE Project has begun, but the role is not expected to be filled until the beginning of next year.

For the remainder of the semester, Director of Student Activities Dan Seeger is supervising the RISE Crew. He said that he is merely there to provide support, as the crew is working fairly self-sufficiently on their projects.

“By no means am I stepping in and fulfilling all of Kelly’s responsibilities,” Seeger said. “The RISE Crew is actually very capable of handling the responsibilities that it has for this term. [For instance,] they’re completely driving planning for Take Back the Night.”

For the time being, RISE continues to function without the centralized leadership of a more involved director. Rather than relying on Kelbel for support, the crew members instead turn to one another, according to RISE member and junior Evan Cohen.

“[Seeger is] not the RISE person, we’re the RISE person, collectively,” Cohen said.

Because the role as director of RISE is so important on campus, RISE plans to take the process of replacing Kelbel seriously.

“We didn’t think it was a good idea to hire an interim director because it’s a role that needs to gain trust with the community,” Cohen said.

Until a permanent person is hired to fill Kelbel’s shoes, Cohen said, “[Seeger] seemed to be the best because he understands what we do very well and is really accessible to communicate with.”

The new director of the RISE Project position was posted last week and a search committee has been created, in order to find the appropriate person to fill the role as RISE director. According to Dean of Students Deb Myers, final candidates will be selected and interviewed on campus by May.

“As with all the Student Life searches happening this term,” Myers said at Student Caucus on March 29, “the entire Warren Wilson community will have an opportunity to meet candidates and provide feedback about them.”

Furthermore, Cohen said, the RISE Crew was instrumental in creating the job description for the position.

“It took a lot of back-and-forth, but we eventually got it to how we wanted it to be,” Cohen said.

Seeger noted that his supervision of RISE will only work temporarily. Because RISE is such an important part of the community and their services are necessary, there should be someone that is solely responsible for directing the project.

“[Kelbel] was like our foundation,” Cohen said. “We’re going to have to build that again, but I think we always knew we were going to make it.”

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