Justice takes over residence life

Josh Justice has been named Interim Director of Residence Life. Justice replaced former director of residence life Angela Lemke in late June. Previously Assistant Director of Leadership and Greek Life in the Slemp Student Center, Justice makes the transition into housing with a background in the department.
Intially a commuter, Justice worked as a residential advisor his junior year and as a residential director his senior year, a position now filled by community coordinators.
Justice said living on campus was a meaningful period in his life.
“I wouldn’t have probably been back at the college working in student life period if it hadn’t been that I made the decision to move on campus,” Justice said.
Justice began his tenure in student life in 2008 as assistant director of student activities and Greek life. He took the job as assistant director of leadership in Greek life in 2011.
As a student, Justice said he was able to have a postive experience because of the resources available to him on campus and the relationships he developed with RAs, the professional staff and residents.
Relationships are what Justice said he plans to focus on as he takes over a department that has seen decreasing occupancy levels in recent semesters.
Justice said he plans on reaching out to students to receive their feedback, both positive and negative, in a push to help rebrand and restructure housing this year.
“Most students that have worked with me know that I’m the type of person that believes in respect,” he said. “I’m the type of person that believes in treating students like students and understanding that one we are providing a service to them.”
One way Justice has already begun to rebrand housing is by implementing a program from his time living on campus.
All RAs, with the exception of those in McCraray, have been required to take their residents to at least one welcome week event, one student activity or intramural event and one cultural credit event.
McCraray RAs had the welcome week event substituted with a program for freshman on the transition to college.
Justice said he thinks the program is a win for everyone involved.
“It helps introduce [residents] to those programs but at the same time it helps introduce those other programs to residence life and it makes that connection a little bit stronger,” he said.
Additionally, Justice is working with academic services to provide tutoring in the McCraray living learning community.
These services would be focused on providing help for a general freshman class load e.g. Spanish, math, etc. Justice said tutoring services, although directed towards freshman, would be open to upperclassmen as well as commuters.
Housing wise, Justice is also brainstorming different types of themed housing such as a health and wellness section and a nursing section. Current themed campus housing includes a ROTC assigned living area and a music living space.
Regardless of what the future holds for housing and residence life, Justice initially wants students to feel comfortable throughout their campus living experiences.
“I want students to feel that this is their home away from home and that we want them here on campus,” he said. “We want them to enjoy their halls and to build [a] community.”
Residents interested in providing feedback on residence life and housing’s direction can contact their RA, community coordinator or Josh Justice. Justice’s office is located on the lower level of Cantrell Hall.

Todd Galyean

Senior political science major Todd Galyean served as editor-in-chief for The Highland Cavalier for the fall semester of 2013. He previously served as new/features editor and opinion editor.

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