Student Opportunities, Advocacy and Resources (SOAR) is now considering Residence Directors (RDs) as SOAR representatives, using them as a direct line of communication to students.
SOAR is a program that uses recommendations from professors and staff to assist students by connecting them to whatever resource they need, whether it be academic advising, financial advising, social events or even counseling.
Previously, if someone was referred to SOAR, they would be matched with a coordinator who would email them and try to set up a time to meet and discuss the issue. Shannon Kaczamarek, director of residence life and student advocacy, said the office sees 20-50 referrals each week, however, there are only four coordinators, who are usually part-time graduate students.
“We currently don’t have the manpower to meet the needs of our campus, so we have been thinking for several years, how can we meet the needs of our students,” said Kaczmarek, who often works with five-seven students a week.
Kaczmarek said SOAR leaders decided to try sending the referrals to someone more accessible to students this year. Referrals go to the Lauren Boyles, the assistant director of student advocacy, who then refers the student to their RD.
SOAR will evaluate the success of this program at the end of the semester in December.