An interview on the importance of his new role to him and the school
By Jamal Al-Bayaa, Staff Writer
Starting off the new year with the promotion of old faces, Douglas College has raised John Chauhan into the role of Manager of Student Engagement, one of the umbrella branches of the Student Affairs and Services department (SAS).
As Manager of Student Engagement, he works directly under Duane Seibel, Director of Student Affairs and Services. He will also work very closely with a number of staff, student-staff, and fitness instructors in supporting students in their development.
The promotion came after Chauhan applied for the position while already working in the Office for New Students as a Student Recruitment and Support Specialist. One of his top priorities in that position was his work for the Student Ambassador Program, spearheaded by Eric Glanville. Chauhan had been in this position for about a year before being told of his new role with Student Engagement. Talking about the position, one of the first things that he shared was that it was a dream job to him.
As Manager of Student Engagement, he’ll primarily be responsible for leadership in all things engagement-related, including leadership programs, school-wide events, supporting student-run groups, and award programs such as the Leader of the Year awards and the Student Engagement Gala. In years past, the Student Engagement department has supported students as they travelled across the globe to Zambia for work experience, among other opportunities, as one of many ways that students become engaged on and off campus through the department.
Although Chauhan has a hand in just about everything, he says his role of leadership and guidance isn’t enough on its own to accomplish everything that can be accomplished at Student Engagement.
“I am literally unable to accomplish the goals [of Student Engagement] without the buy in of everyone around me,” he explained. “Student Engagement’s role isn’t to host every event or to have ownership over every student leadership initiative, but to provide leadership guidance and most importantly support for all the departments, students, and faculty interested in developing students.”
“Developing students” is perhaps the simplest way to summarize the goals of the Student Engagement department. The goal of Student Engagement is to provide students opportunities to find development through experiences that are practical, inspiring, and flexible. The ideal result is a more fully-developed student who has gained as much as they could have during their stay in an academic program. Through that experience, Douglas College continues their mission of providing experiential learning opportunities.
This, Chauhan said, is why he likes the job so much: because of its commitment to people.
“Student Affairs is an amazing world where every level of people you get to work with is amazing… there’s nothing quite like it. I get to see people become who they will be for the rest of their lives. I get to see people grow up, find themselves, and transform themselves and those around them for the better.”
Lastly, Chauhan said about his new job: “I chose to accept the offer here over somewhere else [because the] students’ importance is written right into the policy.”