I was just nominated for a regional OTM award in housing and residence life. I have so much love in my heart, because this was my nomination:
“Man, why am I even here?” Shelbea West said to me at some point in September.
The answer to that question is both simple and complex. To give context, Shelbea was wondering how it was possible that in such a competitive group she got her position as Assistant Coordinator of Tower A. It was a moment of self-doubt and insecurity, thrown into a casual conversation about how difficult it is to make job selections. The simple answer is this: Shelbea was and remains the best of the best of all possible people for Tower A. I have absolute faith of this and there is no one or thing that could convince me otherwise. There is no one better suited to excel in Tower A or to lead the building in the same way as Shelbea. The complex answer is an examination of all that she has already done as an Assistant Coordinator in the month of September.
To begin, there were the many duties of the Assistant Coordinator position that come with the territory. Handling the keys of the building, completing her first recores and defective key replacements. In addition, managing the personalities of a Community Center Assistant staff that was chosen for her, and all of the exciting and difficult aspects that come with that. Running her first staff meeting, dealing with staff members missing shifts, and beginning to hold 1-on-1s with her CCAs, facilitating Building Council elections, attending all of the department requirements that come with the AC position, including meetings spread throughout the month, entering for the first time onto a department committee, and even holding RA one-on-ones. These are all things that Shelbea was expected to deal with from the get-go. But then there are the unique things that made her efforts in September particularly memorable. In the face of one of the most tenacious triple-room conflicts in her building, on her own time Shelbea met with a student who may be classified as the “trouble maker” of the situation. Shelbea did this to get to heart of what was really bothering the resident, to understand why they were acting the way they were, to understand the reasoning, the thought process. The student ultimately confessed that she was doing all of it because she was insecure about herself and how all of her new experiences at Towson were going. Shelbea prompted her to visit the counseling center about all of these issues and the student followed through. Without Shelbea being there, going out of her way to get this residents point of view and try to get to the heart of the matter, who knows how this situation may have played out. Because of Shelbea, a resident got the help they needed to adjust to college. In addition, Shelbea also had a nightmare of a duty week. Assistant Coordinator serve on Secondary On-Call for the campus, but during their first week on the job they shadow Primary On-Call, who responds to all incidents on campus. Shelbea was consistently up until 4:00 AM her entire week of shadowing primary and even responded at one point to an incident by herself because primary was busy, and handled that situation very well.
As this started, Shelbea asked me during late September “What am I even here?” Occam’s Razor, that the simplest solution is often the right one, applies here: Shelbea is here because she is the best person for the job. And based on her efforts in September, I think others would agree with that.
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Being a female supervisor is hard because your male employees will sometimes sexually harass you and impose sexist views by not taking you seriously as a supervisor and then you have to fire them