JOEL RODRIGUEZ Copy Editor – Feature
Photos by DAVID ROJAS
Last semester, MiraCosta College gained a new Dean of Student Life and Judicial Affairs, Dr. Dilcie Perez. The position is brand new to the college and prior to this year, the college was among the few institutions in the region without one. Which begs the blunt question, why do we have one now?
The position oversees student activities, athletics and intramurals, health services, and student discipline. Prior to adding a new dean, student life and judicial affairs were overseen by the Vice President of Student Services. “We want to look at student life in a holistic way,” said Student Services Vice President, Dr. Alketa Wojcik. The addition of a dean creates an opportunity to closely examine every aspect student of life and judicial affairs. The new dean doesn’t just aim at solving judicial affairs, but understand why they arise to begin with.
The Dean of Student Life and Judicial affairs helps students explore, understand and learn from their weaknesses rather than avoid them. “We want to teach reflection,” stated Perez. This approach is similar to a technique known as cognitive restructuring, which is commonly taught in public speaking courses to ease speaking anxiety. Instead of ignoring or immediately avoiding their weaknesses, this approach helps students understand where their weaknesses come from, which by extension helps them understand how to combat it.
Ultimately, the addition of a new dean helps the college analyze the link between on-campus and off-campus life. “What happens outside the classroom impacts what happens inside,” said Wojcik, “[So] how can we make that more meaningful?” Essentially, a Dean of Student Life and Judicial Affairs helps students apply what they go through at home to the classroom and vice versa. This aids the college in identifying and satisfying student needs. “The underlying value is we want to develop students who are active and productive citizens,” said Perez. In the long run, the creation of this position aims at helping the college help its students.
With rapidly changing behaviors and trends, it’s important for the college to constantly monitor the needs of its students and how to satisfy them. But this position has to keep judicial affairs and how they are solved confidential “If we’re successful, you should never know,” said Perez.