Department of Life Changes

To reflect the growing population at St. John’s the Office of Campus Activities has expanded its role in the department of Student Life. The new office, previously known as the Office of Student Activities and Performing Arts, has taken on new personnel and many new responsibilities.

Mary Pelkowski, the former director of Student Activities and Performing Arts, will be serving as the director of Campus Activities.

“I am very excited about the change. I think it is a great opportunity for campus activities to grow and expand on campus,” she said.

Pelkowski will still be responsible for the 132 campus organizations. In addition she will be working with athletics on school spirit events, collaborating with departments such as the Freshman Center, the Career Center and working with the Residence Village.

The main objective of the new title has been to bring the residence life community and the commuter population together.

“That’s the whole point,” Stacy Merle, the new assistant director of Campus Activities said. “I am there to help get that bridge from residence life to commuter students.”

Merle will also be overseeing the Residence Hall Association in the Residence Village. “I am there basically to help push through the ideas they have and get them all rah-rah about St. John’s.”

She has been transferred from the Special Events department, where she had served the St. John’s community since December.

Her new office will be located in Briarwood Hall, room 100. “We’re there so they [resident students] feel they’re being represented over there [in the resident village].”

According to Merle, one of the most important things is to not only promote the activities that would happen in Residence Life but to open them up to commuter students, as well.

“Many times a lot of commuters think the programs do not apply to them, where they completely, absolutely do,” Merle said.

In order to accomplish this, program flyers for residence activities have been posted in the University Center as well as the Residence Village.

Merle will also be overseeing the performing arts division of the school including the Chapel Players, jazz band, mixed chorus and the Voices of Victory.

“I am extremely excited and cannot wait to get involved with the students,” Merle said.

Stanyell Bruce, previously assistant to the director of Student Activities and Performing Arts, has been promoted to assistant director of Campus Activities. In her new role, she is responsible for the supervision of Haraya, the Pan-African Student Coalition, Student Programming Board, all academic and honor societies and legislative organizations.

Bruce will also be providing guidance and overall support for more than 132 student organizations, with the exception of Student Government, Inc.

“I think the change is great. It is reflective of our comittment to be involved with every aspect of campus activities, not just student organizations,” Bruce said.

The newest addition to the staff is Timothy McClain, who will join the Office of Campus Activities as a student activities advisor. As an advisor McClain will be working with various cultural, volunteer and publication organizations and different committees of Student Programming Board.

McClain previously worked as an assistant to the director of Housing and Residence at Seton Hall. He, as well as Merle and Bruce, will be reporting to Pelkowski.

Pelkowski she is extremely excited about the new personnel she will be working with. “I’m thrilled. I am really excited about the experience and background Stacy and Tim bring to the area.”

“I would publicly like to thank Heidi Chiu and Joni Aleshevich for all they have done for student activities over the last three years.”

Chiu has left St. John’s and Aleshevich has moved to the Career Center as an adviser.