Allegheny College saw a significant number of changes over the summer, ranging from major renovations to Crawford Hall to President Link beginning her tenure as the 22nd president of the college.
The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement also experienced change over the summer, with Brittany Martin, former assistant director of student leadership and involvement, accepting a position at Penn State DuBois.
Allegheny named Casey Cole the new coordinator of student life. Cole resumed many of Martin’s previous responsibilities, such as being the advisor for sorority and fraternity life, and being involved with Gator Activities Programming and the Major Events Committee.
Cole graduated from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in 2016 with a major in English and minor in political science. In addition to her schoolwork, Cole served as the recruitment chair for her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma.
Immediately following her undergraduate career, Cole ended up working for a state representative.
“During that time, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life,” Cole said. “Someone asked me once, ‘When were you the happiest?’ And I said, ‘When I was the recruitment chair for my sorority when I was in college.’ ”
This conversation led Cole to pursue a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education at Slippery Rock University.
Although Cole is new to the position, she is not new to Allegheny. Cole worked closely with Martin and served as the Student of Leadership and Involvement intern during the 2018-’19 academic year.
“Being an intern is a lot of watching and learning,” Cole said. “My favorite thing about working in this office was that I got to learn so much. I got to go to (fraternity and sorority) Run-Out in January, and I got to see the recruitment process from the other side.”
As an intern, Cole also worked with GAP and the MEC on events such as Winterfest and Springfest.
“I learned so much,” Cole said. “It was a totally new experience for me.”
As coordinator of student life, Cole has also helped oversee parts of orientation and welcome weekend.
“I had a little bit of experience with (orientation) at Slippery Rock, but that was new,” Cole said. “I’m just really excited for school to start.”
Cole encourages new students to get out of their comfort zones and try new things.
“That was my biggest issue as a freshman,” Cole said.
President of Panhellenic Council Elizabeth Schumacher, ’20, is excited to continue working with Cole.
“(Cole) already knows the organizations well,” Schumacher said.
Schumacher will be working with Cole over the next year to help grow fraternity and sorority life. She encourages students to keep open minds and attend fraternity and sorority life events, even if they are unsure that they want to go through recruitment.
The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement is one of the resources students can use to get outside their comfort zones and try new things. In addition to sorority and fraternity life and campus events, the office also oversees Allegheny Student Government.
Martin was set to become the advisor for ASG. However, Gretchen Beck, associate dean for wellness education, will be filling the position again this year.
ASG Vice President Elyse Cinquino, ’20, said she is excited to work with Beck for another year.
“(Beck) has been the advisor for as long as I’ve been at Allegheny,” Cinquino said. “I am happy to continue working with her.”
Cinquino is hoping that with Beck continuing as its advisor, ASG will be able to tackle projects such as improving on-campus mental health resources and increasing transparency between ASG and the student body.
Similar to Cole, Cinquino encourages first-year students to take advantage of campus resources and get involved.
“Even just one club can really help you get to know people,” Cinquino said.