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CXO Tom Ellett didn’t live up to his title – the Quinnipiac Chronicle

Illustration by Connor Lawless

It’s no secret that Quinnipiac University has a limited budget, especially with the impacts of COVID-19. The hiring of Tom Ellett as Director of Experience (CXO), the first at the university, was more than questionable from the start and has only had a negative impact on the school and its students since. .

The CXO position, as defined by the school, is responsible for “overseeing all functions intended for students, including enrollment management, student affairs, registrar, bursar, public security, student affairs. veterans and career services, “according to qu.edu. This means that whoever holds this position has a stake in all aspects of Quinnipiac’s student experience.

Students and parents alike are unimpressed with Ellett’s first year as CXO by his decision-making, priorities, dealing with students, and handling money. A number of students interviewed by the column have asked to keep their identities anonymous for fear of the consequences of speaking publicly against him.

When Ellett was hired in August 2020, many students and faculty were not only shocked, but also exasperated. Quinnipiac was looking for a CXO, but just after making millions in budget cuts, freezing hiring, and firing or firing 168 faculty members, it was a puzzling decision.

Quinnipiac University is renovating The Commons to include a three-bedroom apartment in which Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett will be able to live. (Photo by Chatwan Mongkol / Chronicle)

Despite a limited budget and poor listings, Ellett and the Quinnipiac administration found a way to spend an excessive amount of money to renovate The Commons so that it could live in a three bedroom, three bathroom apartment with its own. woman and her dog while renovating Le Complexe.

“Having more academic and intellectual presences in residences, in models and future letters of recommendation to students is a very positive thing to have around students in this formative age in their development,” said Ellett.

Yes, the resort renovation was part of the plan presented by Quinnipiac President Judy Olian, but doing it now was not necessary. Money is tight for school, so why was that a priority?

It’s also an uncomfortable decision for freshmen living at The Commons. If I were a freshman living there I would be uncomfortable if a senior university official moved into my residence as an 18 year old who had never lived outside. from home, especially if the school didn’t ask me if I supported the notion.

Ellett mentioned that he wasn’t sure if Quinnipiac had somehow tried to gauge whether the students were comfortable with his move in. This is unacceptable for his role.

Second, why is Quinnipiac spending his money on a man receiving NYU retirement benefits? Why does the school not allocate money to more important student situations such as the sports budget of the club?

Moving from one student problem to another, many are fed up with the parking nightmare that Quinnipiac executives refuse to recognize as a problem. It all started with Ellett’s email about a parking fee billed only to off-campus residents and later requiring all incoming students to live on campus for at least three years.

Elett’s decision to target only off-campus residents and not all students was most likely a financial one.

To say that this decision was based solely on academics, which was Ellett’s main argument in his defense, is comical. While, yes, non-residential students have a lower cumulative GPA than residential students according to an email Ellett sent in February, that doesn’t mean living off-campus is the reason.

Like thousands of other students at this university, I took out student loans to come here. This school is not cheap, and I admit it. If I am given the option of paying $ 72,300 to live on campus or $ 56,800 to live off campus, I take the latter without hesitation.

Some non-resident students are upper-class students who do things outside of their studies, such as working part-time, caring for family members, learning internships, taking leadership positions in student organizations, play in sports teams and participate in Greek life.

Priorities change as students prepare to graduate and enter the workforce. Of course, a student’s GPA is important, but to assume it’s the only factor that is affected by the move is insulting.

If this really is an academic problem for off-campus students, why doesn’t the school try to help its 2,338 non-resident students instead of making life more difficult for them?

As this situation arose, Quinnipiac knowingly overlooked the need for student parking on the main campus by deciding to move the tennis courts to North Lot and then build a new recreation and wellness center.

For a school supposedly strapped for cash, why is a $ 45 million recreation center a necessary move right now? Why was it necessary to inevitably eliminate 145 parking spaces from North Lot?

The answer is there isn’t. It is a bad decision financially. High school students do not choose colleges because of the recreation center.

Was parking on the main campus a problem for several years before COVID-19? Yes. Does this mean that it is okay for the school not to see it as a problem despite the students getting fed up with it? Not at all.

I have spoken to many students and received many emails that describe how poorly Ellett communicated about the parking situation as well as how humiliating and pretentious he and the new One Stop team are.

Ellett’s responses to student emails avoided answering questions and only gave the information he wanted to provide. Most of them mentioned that he wanted students to use the parking lots off campus or on the York Hill campus.

Senior Mechanical Engineering Major Zack Polak emailed Ellett with questions regarding the removal of parking spaces.

When asked if students would lose 145 places in North Lot due to construction, Ellett responded by saying that there were places on the York Hill and Whitney lots that are not used regularly. Subsequently, when Ellett was asked where the stains would be removed from, he didn’t even answer the question, instead responding with “someday this summer.”

I have spoken to many students and received many emails describing how poorly Ellett communicated about the parking situation as well as how humiliating and pretentious he and the new One Stop team are.

– Peter Piekarski, associate sports editor

“Kind of obvious he hasn’t given much thought to the answers,” Polak said. “You can tell he really didn’t care.”

It further means that Ellett finds ways to dodge the answers to many of the students’ questions.

In a news article published by The Chronicle in May, the vice president of facilities and capital planning, Sal Filardi, mentioned that the university did not anticipate that the move of the tennis courts would have an impact on the students. and that there was plenty of parking all over campus.

If you combine all of Quinnipiac’s parking lots (North, Hogan, Hilltop, Whitney, Westwoods, Whitney Village and York Hill), there is a total of 4,541 parking spaces. However, three of these lots and the York Hill lots are not attached to the main campus.

It is very good. These lots should be used more frequently, but they are not, and for good reason.

As mentioned earlier, students are running out of time, so what’s the point of parking far from campus and then waiting for a shuttle service which has been an abomination for as long as I’ve been here? Even Westwoods is only accessible through the call service.

In an email to a student, Quinnipiac Assistant Director of Auxiliary Services Sam Gougsa said, “If students can cycle or walk, they should, and therefore be part of the solution to problems. parking on university campuses.

I think it’s hilarious.

Why should students solve a problem they did not create in a situation where they are primarily affected? Not only will some students have to spend money on a parking pass, which cannot even be used properly due to the limited number of parking spaces, but now they have to walk or cycle because it doesn’t. has not been properly processed.

Let’s say I had to walk to class every day because I don’t have a bike, to avoid the parking situation., I would have to walk 2.6 miles there and 2.6 miles back every day, this which represents about two hours of walking per day. And when it’s 20 degrees in December and it’s snowing? Should I then walk or cycle?

I am currently working on two separate internships, one of which is over 40 miles apart, in addition to my classes and as an associate sports writer for The Chronicle in addition to playing on the rugby team of the Quinnipiac club. My time is counted as it is, but now I have to find more time in my day to be able to find a parking space?

It’s absurd.

What’s even more frustrating about not being listened to is the way we are spoken to as a student.

Gabriella Colello, a former multicultural and identity senator of the Student Government Association, has regularly displayed her dissatisfaction with Ellett.

“Instead of giving me an answer, he will just tell me that he has a doctorate. and that he knows better, but at no point has he been able to fix this issue or committed to fixing this issue for real commuters, ”Colello said. “For these reasons, I have very little respect for Tom Ellett and his position and I cannot say that he has improved my student experience since he’s been here.”

We are adults. We don’t deserve to be treated or talked about like children.

Dozens of students have contacted me about their experiences with Ellett. Not a single one was positive. Not a single person I’ve spoken to appreciates Ellett’s neglect of the student body.

They are fed up with action not being taken – and so am I. Change is long overdue.


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