@Scripps Culture News

ResLife is Not the Same As It Was: Transitions in ResLife Leadership

Belén Yudess ’25
Copy Editor Intern

On Sept. 12, Area Coordinator for Residential Life Montserrat Aguilera completed her final day of employment at Scripps College after being hired by the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Following her departure, Assistant Director of Student Engagement Jess Nelson was named the new supervisor of Residential Coordinators as the Office of Campus Life looks for a permanent replacement.

Although Aguilera had only recently become part of the Scripps community, her comedic commentary and wholehearted obsession with Harry Styles gained her popularity among the Campus Life staff. She actively worked to develop genuine and thoughtful relationships with her student staff, an attribute that GJW RC Addie Rogers ’24 will miss. “It was honestly really sad for me when I first found out about Montserrat’s [departure] because although initially [she was] just my boss, she definitely became a figure that felt much more like a friend,” she said.

Rogers, who continuously embodies the enthusiasm and passion for the job that Aguilera valued, is optimistic about the directorial transition and working with Nelson in this temporary role. “I’m still happy to be doing the job, I’m happy to get to know Jess and figure out this new dynamic. I think that it’s still going to be a great year.”

Nelson also recognizes the commitment to building community amongst this year’s team, and notes that her own desire to create community is part of the reason she chose to come to Scripps. “I attended a similarly sized college [as Scripps] for my undergrad; the relationships and experiences I had with the staff and faculty there motivated my career,” she said. “I found Scripps to be just as warm of a community, which is why I wanted to work at Scripps and be part of the team that helps build community!”

Nelson’s current position consists of many roles which prioritize fostering community such as leading New Student Programs and Orientation (NSPO) and planning and executing Office of Student Engagement (OSE) programming. This experience, coupled with Nelson’s own background in ResLife, makes her confident in her ability to carry out these new duties successfully. “I spent the first 5 years of my career in ResLife and am excited for the opportunity to dip my toes back into it,” she said.

Nelson’s prior involvement with student leaders has also given her a chance to become familiar with this year’s Campus Life staff as she begins to bond with this year’s RC’s, a task she is looking forward to undertaking. “In my usual role, I don’t work quite as closely with student leaders, so I am enjoying getting to know the RCs,” said Nelson. “They are a great group of creative, funny, and caring individuals. I look forward to continuing to connect with them and see the impacts they make at Scripps.”

Aguilera’s departure was an abrupt change, but Rogers believes that this has caused her to reflect on her personal approach to being an RC. “I’m just trying to kind of find a new outlook on the job and focus a lot more on my connections with the residents,” said Rogers. “Not that I wasn’t doing that before, but I feel like my relationship with my supervisor was a much bigger part of it before and now it feels like I have to take a step back from that and refocus myself predominantly on my dorm.”

Image Source: Scripps College