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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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New FSL Advisors Look Forward To Changes On Campus

Emily Olague sees her new job as an opportunity to engage students and make Knox more lively. Jake McLean focuses on rebuilding the FSL community to emphasize its impact beyond social events.
New+Assistant+Director+Emily+Rose+Olague.+Photo+courtesy+of+Knox+College
New Assistant Director Emily Rose Olague. Photo courtesy of Knox College

After the resignation of Amanda Dermer last spring, Assistant Dean for Campus Life Jacob McLean absorbed Dermer’s role as Fraternity and Sorority Life Advisor. Following that, Emily Olague assumed Dermer’s vacant position as Assistant Director of Campus Life. They will share the responsibilities of FSL advising for the time being.

Olague went to a small college for her undergraduate degree, and she says that Knox reminded her of her own experiences. Olague believes that her new job is a great fit to engage students and make a difference in the college they picked.

“Knox, in particular, reminded me of my undergraduate experience, just with that small school vibe,” Olague said. “I just really enjoy the people that I got to know during my interview process and it seems like it is a really good fit for me to really help students feel involved and make an impact at this college that they chose to attend.”

Olague says the reason she pursues working in higher education is to give students the same positive experiences she had with college staff in her past.

“What I like about higher ed is that students are going through a lot of transitions, and a lot of that time is about figuring out who you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life. I feel like the greatest impact would be the staff and faculty being able to help them navigate challenges,” Olague said.

Similarly, McLean was inspired to work in higher education by his undergraduate experience. McLean was a member of Zeta Beta Tau in his college years, and he is excited to put his past experiences into action to make changes in fraternity and sorority life (FSL) at Knox.

“My undergraduate experience was how I became more interested in working in higher ed in the first place. There were a lot of opportunities that I got to take advantage of in my fraternity. I am excited to see what’s possible with us working together and changing some things up,” McLean said.

Olague was also a member of FSL, and, like McLean, she looks forward to using that experience to give students advice.

“Being in my college’s version of a sorority really showed me what leadership was like and what sisterhood and bonds look like and just being able to give advice using my experience is something I am looking forward to,” Olague said.

Olague expressed her goals which include understanding theme and cultural housing objectives and creating a livelier atmosphere on campus. She recognizes the impact of Covid-19 on the student experience and aims to bring back engagement.

“I think post-Covid has affected what the student experience is like, and just being like: ‘how do I immerse myself in college beyond just the academics?’ […] I want to bring that engagement back.” Olague said.

McLean said that his goal as Fraternity and Sorority Life advisor is to rebuild and rebrand the FSL community, moving beyond the social scene stereotype associated with fraternities. He emphasized his wish to change the language to which FSL is referred to, in order to change the overall image of the chapters.

“I joked with some fraternity and sorority life leaders in the fall that I am on the mission of rebuilding and rebranding the FSL community,” McLean said. “The extent of knowledge on campus for most of our fraternity life chapters is the social scene of one of the houses throwing a party, but FSL is more than just the social element. It’s a good deal of professional development, the way these chapters get back to the local community, philanthropies that they raise money for, all those sorts of things. I’m looking for things to do to emphasize that point.”

 

EDIT 2/1/24: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that McLean transitioned out of his role as Assistant Dean for Campus Life and into the role as Interim Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator. McLean remains in his role as Assistant Dean for Campus Life and has absorbed Dermer’s responsibilities for FSL advising.

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Julia Maron
Julia Maron, Staff Writer
Julia Maron '26 (she/her) is a staff writer in TKS since her freshman year. She is a psychology and creative writing double major. Julia spends her free time writing, drawing, profoundly reflecting upon the deepest secrets of the human physical existence, and reading.

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