Campus Life Coordinator
Malcom Morgan’s new office in Mouton Hall is packed with supplies for an event on Friday night. A massive bag of candy on a table beside him threatens to explode onto boxes of Dixie cups, coffee dispensers and containers of apple cider. Styrofoam gravestones wrapped in cellophane wait in the corner for use during Halloween week. As the newest member of the Student Life team, Morgan will be responsible for hosting one student event each week. He’s still splitting his time between Mouton and the Welcome Center, where he has worked as an enrollment advisor since 2013. Morgan continues responding to emails during his interview with Jackalope, trying to keep up with the responsibilities of two jobs.
When asked what his new title is, he yells across the hall to Student Life director Ryan Davis, “What’s my title?”
“Campus Life coordinator,” Davis shouts back.
As Campus Life coordinator, Morgan plans campus events that help bring the student body together as a community. He also oversees the student-led groups, Student Activities Board and Student Ambassadors, the latter in which Morgan served during his time as a student.
“I’ll be managing them,” Morgan says. “I’ve done a lot of shopping for them this last week. Now that they’ve got a person that they can schedule that with, it’s a lot easier. Getting them organized. Also, getting more programming from them that’s not all just dance-oriented. A lot of the programs that are happening are just dances, so it might be something else.”
Morgan says he’s had his eyes on this position since Anne Ritchie vacated the role in 2012, but the position was done away with due to budget cuts. In the meantime, Morgan served as an enrollment advisor, recruiting students for SFUAD’s Performing Arts Department.
“I love growing the school, and I brought in the largest theater class that SFUAD has ever seen,” Morgan says. “My last day in enrollment will be…”
“Nov. 4, we hope,” Davis yells across the hall, this time without solicitation.
“Definitely by Nov. 14, I’ll be in the position for good.”
Morgan joined the staff of SFUAD during the summer of 2013, immediately after graduating from the school. He says he loved the school so much he wasn’t ready to leave. The first time he visited campus, he said he knew he was in a special place.
“Saturday was Earth Day at SFUAD,” Morgan says, “so they had a lot of vendors on campus, and that’s when I learned about the wind. [Former Creative Writing and Literature major] Morgan Dawson was walking around and the wind blew and she grabbed my arm and said, ‘Run!’ I looked around and everyone was already running.”
At the time, the Quad lacked its now-familiar bright green AstroTurf.
“The whole Quad was all dirt, and the wind was picking up, so everyone was running from a dust storm. I was like, ‘I love this. This is the most bizarre thing I have dealt with in my entire life. It’s out of my comfort zone. I’m coming here.’”
He arrived at SFUAD as a student in fall 2011 and recalls a much smaller, more socially integrated student body. He looks forward to starting new traditions on campus and resurrecting a few old ones as well.
“I’m hoping to bring back the Pancake Flip,” he says.
Morgan recalls bonfires behind the Driscoll Fitness Center and an occasion during his own time studying at SFUAD in which students of all majors participated in a cross-disciplinary event.
“They put together a group of 15 musical theater students and we did five big group numbers. We choreographed them, we memorized them, and we had a pianist. They also coordinated the Photography students, Studio Arts students and musicians into this. And at Alumni Hall one night from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. we had an event, and it started off with a student band playing and when they finished, two readers came up from Creative Writing and they presented their pieces. Alumni Hall was lined with Studio Arts work and photography portraits. It was a big showcase gallery night for everybody.”
Morgan has so many ideas for student activities, he says he stayed up until 2:30 a.m. the previous night, doing research on the internet.
“‘You’re not getting paid to do this,’” Morgan told himself, “and I looked up and it was 2 in the morning. I was like, ‘I’ve got to go to bed. I’ve got to work in the morning. But I’m going to have fun tomorrow.’ I’m not one bit tired. I’ve had a blast all day. I see students all over campus, and they know who I am and I know who they are. And if I don’t know them, I like to get to know who they are fast.”
He can’t reveal all of his plans for the school year, but he’s already made a list of 50 events. Sometimes the events are labeled as “passive,” meaning that students don’t necessarily have to take an active, participatory role. A passive event can be something as simple as providing students with coffee and tutoring sessions during midterms and finals. Morgan also plans to coordinate events around other large happenings on campus so that students don’t have to choose between going to a dance or seeing their friends perform in the PAD’s new musical.
“Part of what I’m doing is being aware of what’s happening on campus,” he says.
As Jackalope moves Morgan’s interview out to the Quad to take some photographs, he finds 10 to 15 students tossing around a football. He immediately runs to join them, attempting to get a student’s attention.
“What’s your name?” he yells.
“That’s Michael,” someone yells from the sidelines.
“No, not him. I know him. I enrolled him,” Morgan replies.
Morgan suggests they play Jackpot, a game in which one of the players shouts out a number of points before throwing the ball, and the other players try to catch the ball to earn that number of points. Whoever reaches 500 points first is the winner. Lucian Orsinger, in a full-body ninja turtle costume, jumps to catch the ball while Morgan balances Maya Ilarraza on his shoulders. This is Morgan’s element, back on the Quad where it all started, surrounded by students, having fun.
Morgan’s first major event takes place from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday, Oct. 28 on the Quad, where he will show two films on a blowup screen in honor of Halloween, the original Ghostbusters and Jeepers Creepers.
Morgan says there will be “cider and candy up the wazoo.”