Every student has been there at least once.
Filled with that stressful feeling of being a new person on campus, you have yet to meet your peers and form connections with them, and you have no idea where to start. Thankfully, Student Life is here to help.
Student Life is a department that operates out of KCC’s main campus which seeks to create a sense of community and Bruin pride for all KCC students. The department’s work includes, but is not limited to: organizing and hosting events on campus, lending aid and support to the many student-run organizations, helping students locate and utilize valuable resources to assist in their pursuit of education, and offering their facilities (including their exceedingly popular couch) as a safe place to gather and meet with fellow Bruins.
Kristin McDermott, director of Student Life, stated that the department works to try and encompass the experience of being a KCC student.
“So, connecting you to the things that help you be successful, academically or just otherwise,” McDermott said. “There are a lot of things, and particularly with the pandemic – as much as I hate to bring it up – that you all just missed out on the last two years, and that sucks, and a big part of that is just having social interaction, and so you know, having a good space to foster interaction and community is a real big goal of mine, and having events where you can continue to foster that and find your own niche here in this community goes along with that.”
When asked what she would like for students to know about her department and their work, McDermott said, “I am here to help, and I don’t mean that in a ‘I’m going to solve all of your problems.’ I am here to act as a sort of ‘Charlotte’s Web’ of the college. If you’ve got an issue and you’re not sure where to start asking the questions, I am a great person to start with, and that doesn’t mean that I’m going to have the answers but it does mean that I am willing to be the person to go out and figure out where the answers are supposed to come from and I will find them with you.”
“I am happy to do that,” McDermott continued. “I really like doing that, it’s a really rewarding part of my job, and one that I hope I can continue to grow because it makes me feel really good when students come in here and are like, ‘You really helped me, thank you!’ I feel good about my life. It’s an important part of this job, having a safe place to sit on this couch and laugh and joke and connect with friends is wonderful. Knowing that you can then use that couch as a resource to connect to the things that you need outside of friendship. Like, ‘Hey, I’m having trouble in class. Tutoring is a thing that I could use but how do I get connected to that? Who do I ask?’ You can start with me. You can go up to tutoring, but if you don’t know to go to tutoring you can start with me, and I will get you there and I will even walk up there with you. I am happy to do those introductions, and so is everyone else that works in this office.”
Ella Smith, president of KCC’s Encore Theatrer Club, spoke highly of the department’s involvement and the aid that it offers to both her and Encore.
“Encore wouldn’t exist without it,” Smith said. “Encore is only possible because of what we get from Student Life. We are only possible because we have an entire department working for us that wants to help our clubs, that really cares about our students. I also want every student to know that they have a safe place there. I think that college is overwhelming and it can be scary and it can be hard to find places to connect, and Student Life really wants to help you and they have helped me personally countless times.”
Student Life is located in the Student Center on KCC’s main campus at 450 North Ave. For more information contact [email protected] or [email protected]