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Courtesy of Grinnell College


Incoming Director of Student Life for Butler Residential College Joseph Rolón knows that being a college student in this day and age can be “incredibly difficult.”

With his new position, Rolón hopes to bring “an awareness and acknowledgement” of that fact.

In an email sent to Butler residents on Feb. 20, Head of Butler College J. Nicole Shelton informed students that Rolón will be joining the Butler staff as Director of Student Life after spring break.

The Butler College office hopes that Rolón will bring in “a tremendous amount of experience with both counseling and residence life,” according to Dean of Butler College David Stirk.

“We’re really confident that we have somebody coming in that will be a great benefit to the community,” Stirk continued.

Rolón currently works at Grinnell College, where he is the Director of Residence Life. There, he “works with the Residence Life Coordinators to ensure students are safe and in environments suitable for growth and development,” according to the Grinnell College website.

Rolón has also worked as a residential life coordinator at the University of Southern Mississippi and at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and as a mental health clinician in hospitals.

According to Stirk, Rolón brought gender-neutral housing to Grinnell and worked to bring more low-income, first generation students to the college in order to improve diversity. Stirk noted that the University is trying to increase support in these areas.

In an online announcement, Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students also wrote that Rolón worked to “improve student and staff training, develop student co-curricular learning goals and metrics, and has advised on facility improvement and building projects.”

Rolón detailed his aspirations for his new position to The Daily Princetonian, which include contributing to student growth and development.

“Working in higher education, staff members are not always seen on the same level as faculty. But my role (and hopefully, all those who work at institutions of higher learning) is to be an educator. Working as a Director of Student Life, it is my role to educate, mentor, guide, and advise students on their journey from entering the college until graduation,” he wrote in an email to the ‘Prince’. 

He is looking forward to being on a team devoted to educating its students.

“I have met the other DSLs and together I hope to form a cohesive team as we work to serve the students and improve upon their residential experience. One of the things that drew me to Butler College and to Princeton University is the commitment to a co-curricular education,” Rolón wrote.

Rolón replaces former Director of Student Life, Deshawn Cook, who stepped down in order to take a job as Assistant Dean for Student Life at Barnard College.

Because Cook left in the middle of the year, the search for a new director took longer than expected.

However, the email guaranteed that students will have ample opportunity to get to know Rolón.

“Be assured that we will be planning several events in late March and April to introduce him to the Butler College student and fellows community,” the email said.

Rolón is from New Jersey and earned his B.A. from University of Notre Dame, majoring in psychology and computer science, and his M.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson in theoretical psychology.

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