STORY BY ANGELA UFHEIL
On March 29, Jewett Hall’s entire Executive Council resigned from their positions to protest what they believe was a forced resignation of two Jewett staff members.
Earlier that week, the EC had learned that a resident’s assistant (RA) and an assistant resident hall coordinator (ARHC) would be leaving Jewett – and they did not understand why.
The EC presented residence hall coordinator of Morehouse, Ross and Jewett with a letter of resignation.
“I think everybody in the hall was really upset by the dismissal of (the RA) and (the ARHC),” former Jewett Hall Communications Chair Grace Rogers said. “The EC realized that the only way that a lot of the people in Jewett were going to continue feeling like a community was doing something.”
It is unclear why the RA and ARHC, who wished to remain anonymous, resigned their positions.
The Jewett residents were never told that an RA and an ARHC would be leaving, and were given no information about who would be replacing them. The lack of information frustrated the former Jewett EC.
“At the very least, you would think the office of residence life could send an email,” Rogers said, who first learned about the situation when she saw the ARHC moving boxes and asked why. “It’s just unacceptable to see them moving out, and that’s when you figure out what is going on.”
When asked about procedures for informing residents about changes is residence life staff, the Office of Residence life declined to comment to the Times-Delphic.
Dustin Miller, the former president of the Jewett EC, said that he was the first to propose resigning. “I didn’t want to be president if [the ARHC] wasn’t going to be at our meetings anymore,” Miller said. “She was great to work with.”
Miller said that the ARHC was an important member of Jewett Hall, who decorated the Jewett lobby for every season and greeted every resident by name when she worked the front desk.
“I felt comfortable going to talk to her (the RA) about any of my problems,” Miller said. “She was there, she had her door open when she had free time.”
Andrew Overton has lived in Jewett for two school years and said there was a positive difference in the environment this year.
“Last year there wasn’t a whole lot of family sense of community,” Overton said. “Now, it’s a much more friendly place to live.”
Overton does not feel angry that the Jewett EC resigned. “I thought it was really bold,” Overton said. “I thought it was cool that they were so supportive of [the ARHC] and [the RA] that they were willing to resign their positions.”
The former Jewett EC took their protest a step further when they created a Facebook page called “The Jewett Justice League.”
The page has 153 likes, and includes a letter Drake students can send to the office of Residence Life and Dean of Students Sentwali Bakari.
“It basically just says ‘We’re upset with the system how it stands, and we would like increased transparency,’” Rogers said. “Part of the argument that we also make is that having this system where nobody knows, not even the RAs, what they can go on probation for, or what causes them to get fired or asked to resign, creates a culture of fear.”
When asked about probation and firing processes for RAs, the Office of Residence Life declined to comment to the Times-Delphic.
The former Jewett EC still plans on helping the hall, said Rogers. They will still collect recycling, and they are working with the Residence Hall Association to transfer remaining executive council funds to the Jewett Hall RAs.
When asked about how the EC resignation will affect Jewett Hall, both residence life and the Residence Hall Association would not comment.
Former Jewett EC members were also invited to a meeting on April 6 to voice their concerns to Director of Residence Life Lorissa Lieurance and Dean of Students Bakari.