College Corner with Liz Derickson, Housing Coordinator

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Gazette sat down with new Housing Coordinator Liz Derickson recently to find out what it’s really like to fill Myrt’s shoes.

DG: What’s it like to be in charge of housing?
Liz Derickson: It’s fun! What I like the most is getting to know the students. It’s a realm where you can make a lot of people happy but at the same time, you can make a lot of people frustrated.

DG: What kinds of things do you do as housing coordinator?
LD: It varies based on the seasons. During summer I do freshman roommate pairing and housing. Now I take care of student situations in residential life like roommate issues, room issues, etc. I also work with RAs and the dean staff.

DG: How do you go about matching people up?
LD: We use the questionnaire. All of them are read. We used to use admissions folders, but at this point we only use the questionnaires. As for picking which dorm people get put into, we try to create a balance and to follow through with specific requests that people may make, for example, being in a single sex dorm.

DG: What made you decide to come back to Swat?
LD: The job was a good fit. The balance between administrative and interpersonal tasks appealed to me. Swat is close to my heart, a community that I know and love very much.

DG: Which was your favorite dorm to live in when you went here?
LD: Good question! I’d have to say Willets because it was a lot of fun. I lived in Parrish freshman year, Willets sophomore year, and Wharton my last two years.

DG: What was your favorite class here at Swat?
LD: It’s hard to say… Literacy and Social Identity (an education course), it was really neat because it was paired with the Learning For Life program that I was a part of and that was very close to my heart. I also really liked taking Studio Arts classes… I don’t paint much anymore but I like to draw.

DG: What is your favorite Sharples food?
LD: Good question…I always looked forward to the Falafel Bar. I also really liked curly fries. I haven’t had those things since I came back to Swat though.

DG: What is your favorite place on campus?
LD: I really like the amphitheater and the friendship bench near the arboretum offices.

DG: Thanks so much for your time, it was really nice talking to you!
LD: Nice talking to you too! Any questions feel free to stop by my office.

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