Matthew McGhee is a member of the MSU Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services and works in the business office in Hammons House. I had the opportunity to meet with him to gain insight into his role and how COVID has affected his year. We started by going over some of his responsibilities.
As the Housing Policy Coordinator, all of his duties stem from either enforcing or innovating on our housing policies. Some of his responsibilities are readily apparent, such as managing policy cases with students and determining exemptions and contract breakages. Others are less obvious, like managing the tour rooms, keeping track of emotional support animals staying in the halls, and maintaining desk standardization across campus.
Most of his tasks require coordination with our live-in hall staff (like me!). He uses his previous experience as a hall director to make sure that we are adequately informed and that he is communicating with us in ways that are as efficient as possible.
Matthew also coordinates with the Disability Resource Center to effectively support our students within our halls (as well as any emotional support animals we have with us). Dr. Andrea Weber, MSU’s Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct, is another frequent collaborator and communicates with Matthew for any ESA conduct concerns.
Covid has affected life drastically, but Matthew shared that for the individuals in the business office, they had to adjust to this new life quickly. Most of the work that the office processes is physical, so Matthew was back on campus early on in the summer in order to get to work.
Thankfully, the office has a small staff with separate spaces, so they were able to maintain a safe distance. The key way that Matthew feels that the business office can support students is by maintaining consistency. During a time where so much is in turmoil, it is paramount that students are treated fairly and according to policy.
Although they were able to quickly return to business as usual, there are still some things missing in the pandemic. The office used to be famous for themed potlucks—at least once a month. Appetizers and Childhood Favorites were particularly fun for Matthew!
However, they have still found ways to have fun together. Because the office is so small, it’s easy for everyone to get hooked on and binge a show together. True Crime series are often on the tips of everyone’s tongue and Tiger King was especially memorable early on in the pandemic.
We have all come a long way since the start of Covid, but Matthew and all of the individuals in the business office have done a fantastic job navigating it and providing helpful and expedient services to our students. Thank you for the interview Matthew!
(Harry Riel, Assistant Hall Director; Hall Council Advisor | Hammons House; Student Affairs Graduate Association Cohort 14 Co-Liaison, Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services; Practicum Student for Family Programs & Student Affairs Special Events. )