For Seth Oldham, Jim Bogdan and Anna Hotard, the position of Residence Coordinator (RC) at the University of Dallas is never‐ending.
Unlike in a more traditional nine‐to‐five job, RCs must be “on‐call” for their students at all hours, especially since they live in the residence halls.
Jim Bogdan, RC on the East Side, said that first and foremost, his mission is to ensure the safety and cultivate the growth of students at UD.
“Really, we need to make sure that everyone who is [in the residence hall] is included and essentially has a good time here at UD,” Bogdan said.
Bogdan also mentioned the importance of the Resident Assistants who work under him, noting that this mission would often be fulfilled through their work in their respective halls.
Elle Bogdan, Jim Bogdan’s wife, said she was ready for the challenges of being a newlywed in a male dorm.
“I was fully prepared to do laundry with the freshman guys,” Elle Bogdan said.
She also mentioned that because they have only been married a few months, it is hard to gauge what effect the RC lifestyle has had on their relationship.
“Before this year, Seth [Oldham] said to make it a point to have time with family, for personal reasons, and also because it’s so good to be home for students,” Jim Bogdan said.
The Bogdans also said that the entire Office of Student Affairs (OSA) staff on the East
Side likes to get to together in their apartment to play highly competitive games of Mario Kart. During a particularly loud game at 1 a.m., the door opened to reveal a resident, who rather shyly had to ask the whole group to quiet down.
Unfortunately, the Bogdans did not discuss current Mario Kart standings among staff.
The Bogdans are leaving this week for Ann Arbor, Mich., where Elle Bogdan will begin her dream job as a children’s librarian.
Leaving UD has left Elle Bogdan with mixed emotions.
“[It has] been much more bittersweet than expected,” Elle Bogdan said.
Hotard, the current RC in Clark Hall, is a bit newer to UD culture than Bogdan, although she says the transition has been smooth thus far.
Her purpose as an RC is to be a resource and to help students when they stumble.
“My role is to help students get to their next place in life, because as much as you might want to, you can’t stay in college forever,” Hotard said.
Seth Oldham started his time at UD last July as the residence coordinator in Clark Hall, but in October he was moved to Assistant Director of Student Affairs.
Now, Seth Oldham, along with his wife, Beth Oldham, lives on the West Side, where he is also the RC.
“The RC role is difficult to define, but I’ll take a whack at it,” Seth Oldham said. “A residence coordinator is an educator who actively tries to find ways to support students in their educational endeavors … I want to help students succeed … whether that is making cookies for a study break, connecting students to resources that can help them succeed or helping students through a personal crisis. I want to help students. It is why we are here.”
Like the Bogdans, the Oldhams are also recently married, but they have the additional challenge of having a baby on the way.
Both spoke to the importance of flexibility in their work.
“We certainly have to be more intentional when it comes to investing in our relationship, particularly now that we have a baby on the way,” Beth Oldham said.
She also testified to the joy of working and living so closely with students.
“My favorite part of Seth having this position and us living on campus is the unexpected knock on the door with students just wanting to come hang out and talk,” Beth Oldham said. “This is exactly what we were hoping for as we dreamed together about what it would mean to be a married couple on campus.”
Seth Oldham said he hopes students realize his job is not to police students but to offer them support.
“We care,” Seth Oldham said. “We have hearts. My hope is that someday UD students will recognize that.