As of Friday, Nov. 11, the Community Director (CD) on Call number is no longer available to the student body. Students can still reach the CD on Call, but they must call Public Safety first to be connected to Dispatch, the center for all emergencies on campus, or approach their Resident Assistant (RA). Once a student is connected to Dispatch, they can ask for a CD on Call to support them at the scene of the situation.
According to Associate Dean of Residential Life and Community Development, Helen Wang, this decision was made after an influx of students used the CD on Call number for situations that needed to be handled by Public Safety. Wang wanted students to know that the CD on Call is still available, but the method of contact has changed.
“The CD on Call role is meant primarily to serve as a support to students in crisis,” Wang said. “Our goal is to be a familiar face to students during a difficult time. All of our CDs are Student Affairs professionals who are educated in practices, student development theory and strategies that center around the support of college-aged students. Everyone on the team is Mental Health First Aid Trained, experienced in de-escalation strategies and have significant crisis response training.”
The CD on Call number was made public to students in the fall of 2020 as another line of support for students during the pandemic. Munger Hall House President (HP) Avalon Swanson said the amount of calls the line received became taxing on CDs.
“From my understanding, and from my interaction with the CDs, what started as something that was very well intentioned has become a real impediment for [CDs] to live their lives,” Swanson said. “The volume of calls has become way too much and it’s unsustainable.”
CDs are trained to support students who are in mental or emotional crises. Stone-Davis HP Jamie Tracewell said that students would call CDs for cases in need of medical attention.
“There were instances where people were calling the CD on Call number before calling dispatch to get medical attention,” Tracewell said. “[This] delays medical personnel from getting to the student, and if there is an instance of physical violence, our CDs are not trained in that way.”
RAs and HPs have access to the CD on Call number. Students can reach out to their RA or HP and ask to be connected with a CD. Emiliana Marcano, a n RA for Severance, said students have many other support contacts available to them, such as health services and the Stone Center.
“I know it seems very harsh for the CD [on Call] number to go offline,” Marcano said, “But there are just so many [safety and support] resources.”
If a student goes through Public Safety to reach the CD on Call and the CD does not respond, then Public Safety will contact Wang. Either Wang or Associate Director of Residential Life & Coordinator for Community Standards and Integrity, Rhonna Bollig, will report to the scene.
“We want students to ask for the CD on Call to come to the scene whenever they need an advocate in the moment,” Wang said, “Being a CD on Call is incredibly meaningful to all of us who serve in this role because we know when we are called to scene that we are there to help support students when they are in crisis.”