Volume 79 | Issue 5
September 2011

County College of Morris, Student Community Center

County College of Morris
Two-year, public, suburban, commuter
Full-time enrollment: 4,196
Location: Randolph, N.J.

Student Community Center
Director: Thomas Molski
Size: 83,583 sq. ft.
Floors: Two
Year built: 1970
Annual budget: $500,000
Student staff: 4 (part-time)
Nonstudent staff: 5 (full-time); 1 (part-time)

Since 1968, when the County College of Morris was founded, the Office of Campus Life has only had two directors. Thomas Molski has served in this role since 1980.

The Student Community Center was originally built in 1970. In 2004, the institution broke ground “on its most ambitious project yet,” according to Don Phelps, associate director of campus life. The 22,000-square-foot addition and renovation to the center was completed in time for the 2005 academic year.

The campus life program at County College of Morris has a rich history, including the operation of one of the oldest two-year college newspapers in the state of New Jersey—the Youngtown Edition. Additionally, the department has hosted “the oldest program on campus, the Campus Life Appreciation Dinner Dance, which recently celebrated its 42nd year,” Phelps said.

Unique features
On the County College of Morris’ campus, the Student Communtiy Center and Office of Campus Life are known for programming initiatives in the building’s lobby.

“The lobby space contains a fireplace and television,” Phelps said. “The space is used for gaming tournaments, both video and strategic board games, a ‘clock corner’—where artists perform—and is the most popular spot for vendors to set up.”

And the one spot students are always found enjoying themselves is the television lounge, which has “morphed into an area for our gamers,” Phelps said. “Students bring in their own gaming systems and Campus Life has provided additional televisions. The original television that is programmed with Direct TV is rarely used during a semester.”

The Office of Campus Life serves more than 40 clubs and organizations. Additionally, several other departments also are housed in the union, such as enrollment and counseling, making it a one-stop shop for the campus community.

Students’ role
Students are “the face of the college,” Phelps said. Most offices located in the Student Community Center employ student assistants, and students staff the information window, the first stop for many campus visitors.

Students also serve on the Student Government Association, which represents the student body’s interests, and the Student Activities Programming Board that sponsors a majority of the campus’s special events.

A notable program at the Student Community Center is orientation.
“It is a division-wide effort that introduces new students to both the campus and opportunities to be engaged on the campus,” Phelps said.
The center has a “very flexible” space that is often used for a variety of programming events in the building. According to Phelps, the staff calls it the “magic room” since no one is quite sure what the set-up will be day to day.