Re-entry fizzles as jobs merge

It’s not the end of re-entry student representation on campus, just a shift in who does what, say Associated Students government leaders considering axing the title of commissioner of re-entry affairs.

Re-entry students would still be represented, but the commissioner’s duties would be folded into the role of someone also overseeing alumni affairs and broader student issues—tentatively with the title “commissioner of student and alumni affairs.”

The re-entry position has a history of being held by well-meaning students who realize, usually mid-way through the school year, that they can’t juggle all their academic and family commitments while also putting in the hours required of a commissioner.

Most ecently, Robert Villarreal Jr. resigned after learning he had to take more classes than expected to graduate on time. His fellow commissioners expressed their appreciation, since some re-entry commissioners just kind of “bail” and stop coming to meetings with no explanation.

Last year, the A.S. government decided to close down the Re-entry Center, determining that it cost too much to justify the service it provided to the handful of students who, albeit with much dedication, chose to use it.

Because the commissioner of re-entry affairs is an elected position with voting power, the Governmental Affairs Committee or A.S. Board of Directors cannot simply eliminate it. “We’re really only changing the name,” explained Chela Patterson, the staff member who directs the activity fee. The GAC could appoint a replacement for Villarreal but opted not to.

A vote on a resolution in favor of the changes is expected at the group’s Feb. 23 meeting. The resolution states that alumni and re-entry representatives’ roles “are so limited in quantity and scope so as to not justify separate offices for their fulfillment.”

Combining positions “saves a little bit of money at the same time,” said Adam Dondro, A.S. executive vice president.

Alicia Daily, who holds the alumni relations coordinator position, said she’d be “excited” to also represent the re-entry population.

Re-entry students are defined as those over 25 years in age or returning to college after significant breaks in their educations.