By Seán McGlone – Editor-in-Chief
Thomas Morgan, Coordinator of Off-Campus Living and Commuter Student Services, may have one of the longest titles of any staff member at Lasell, but it still doesn’t completely cover all of the work he does to help students.
Morgan started at the end of the Fall 2016 semester. Although his position did not exist before he was hired, not having a predecessor is something that he planned for. “I was really excited about the opportunity to develop something new,” said Morgan. “The fact that there was no off-campus housing office here and that I would be able to start that, I knew that it would be a challenge and it would be a bit of work, but I knew that it would be something that would help me grow professionally, while contributing to the college campus in something that was needed.”
Morgan came to Lasell after spending four years as an Area Coordinator at Fairfield University. While he says he enjoyed his work, he ultimately was looking to move back to Boston and do a lot of the same roles he had done as an Area Coordinator without having to live on campus.
“The first year’s been a little of growing and exploring, doing all of the surveys and focus groups and meeting with students one on one to get to know them better, but never have I been frustrated. I knew that it would be a challenge, but it’s what I like doing so it’s been a fun challenge,” said Morgan.
Despite having only been at Lasell for less than a year, Morgan has already made a number of changes to the commuter lounge, including having it repainted, installing a new refrigerator and providing more appliances for students. Morgan also works with students looking to move off campus and even held Lasell’s first realtor workshop last semester.
“There were a lot of times where not knowing the student body, not knowing all of the specific needs of the commuter population, I just kind of had to try something and maybe it would work, maybe it wouldn’t work,” said Morgan.
Morgan also acts as the advisor to the Long Distance Lasers, a club focused on helping commuter students with issues on campus. These issues include things like parking, access with public transit and having ample programming opportunities for commuter students. He is also the advisor for PRIDE, who celebrated National Coming Out Day with an Open Mic on October 11.
“Not only was I proud of the students that spoke, but I was also really impressed with the students listening and how respectful and validating they were to the students that spoke and shared their stories,” said Morgan.
Going forward, Morgan says he hopes to make his office more recognizable on campus and even establish a commuter mentorship program among students