The Cross Cultural Centers (CCC) are searching for a new Pride Center lead coordinator, a position that has remained unfilled since May 2017 after the interim coordinator left. Since then, students have noticed a pattern of the short-lived coordinators and an unfilled position.
“I remember how often I would go into these coordinators’ offices asking for advice. It definitely really helped me have success in higher education,” political science senior Mick Bruckner said.
Bruckner said the nature of the job is to develop deep relationships with students to help them during their four years here, which is why he finds the high turnover rate so concerning.
Bruckner and political science senior Matt Klepfer said they met with administration about six months ago and were told administration was trying their hardest to fill the position. However, since the position has remained empty for almost a year, they question the effort being put into the search.
“That position has historically really served as a resource for us to figure out our steps and to get mentored and just to have someone on campus who is a friendly face and loves us and cares for us,” Klepfer said. “That particular position hasn’t been here for a year and it’s really devastating.”
Former Pride Center Coordinator Appy Frykenberg explained how this position is important in an email to Mustang News. Due to discrimination experienced by LGBTQ-identified individuals and communities, the university should be supporting their unique needs as marginalized students through a Pride Center coordinator.
Upon hearing the position has remained unfilled for sometime, Frykenberg wrote, “It does surprise me, and saddens me. I know that when I left, leadership was very motivated to fill the position.”
Another concern Bruckner and Klepfer expressed was that the work usually done by the Pride Center coordinator has now fallen on student staff, the graduate assistant and other CCC staff members. As the director of the CCC, Bryan Hubain said he has stepped in while the position has been unfilled, but emphasized the importance of the position because it would be unfair to put all of his attention on one CCC center.
According to Hubain, there was a search that ended up failing last year after an offer was made to a candidate who could not come to Cal Poly because of personal issues. They have continued to look for someone to fill the position and have potential candidates in mind.
University spokesperson Matt Lazier said finding a replacement candidate was difficult given the nature of the position.
“At that point, the academic year had begun, and the cycle for hiring for that position was off (is difficult to find candidates in the middle of academic years, particularly for this type of position, which often attracts recent graduates coming directly out of grad school programs) and a new recruitment could not immediately take place,” Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News.
Hubain said finding the right person for the role is what matters most.
“I’m not willing to take a chance on somebody that is not going to be here, who doesn’t want to be here 100 percent, because our students deserve a lot, and our students, in my opinion, deserve the best,” Hubain said. “I will never fill a position just to fill it, I will want the right person in there.”
Hubain also explained that these positions usually have a two- to three-year shelf life of people actually staying.
“Nevertheless, it is important to have a dedicated lead coordinator for the Pride Center, and a new recruitment is currently in progress,” Lazier wrote. “Interviews are being conducted, with the first on-campus interview being April 25.”
The CCC are hoping to fill the position by July so the new coordinator can contribute to the planning of the next academic year.