College Services - Summer 2017 - 13

The four student housing professionals who participated in this interview were:
Patrick Savolskis, currently Executive Director Purchase College Association, in Purchase, New York.
Patrick oversees all functions of the Purchase College
Association, with his primary responsibilities including
contract negotiations, executing RFPs, and supervising
day to day operations of auxiliary services. Prior his position at Purchase, Patrick served as a COCM Site Director,
and later as a Regional Manager, with responsibility for overseeing campus
housing at five separate campuses. His experience also includes serving
as Business Manager for Student Life at Rutgers University.
Jeremy Biddy, currently Vice President of Operations
at COCM. Jeremy's prior student housing management
experience includes serving as the Area Coordinator and
Greek Advisor at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, as
Director of Housing and Student Life at Auburn University
Montgomery (Alabama), and as Interim Director of Student
Housing at the University of Alabama Birmingham.
Mecca Marsh, Director, COCM's management partnership
with Spartan Suites Norfolk State University. Mecca was previously the Director of Student Center/Activities at Tidewater
Community College in Norfolk, Virginia. She has also worked
in the student union at George Mason University in Fairfax,
Virginia and in student housing at the University of Mary
Washington and James Madison University. 
Gray Bekurs, Director of Real Estate, University of
Louisiana Lafayette. As director of real estate, Gray
focuses on the development and management of
University auxiliary property and related services. He's
responsible for oversight of the business operations
of student housing, parking and transportation, the student union, conference and event services, and dining
services. The position is in the Office of Auxiliary Services. Gray has 20
years of experience managing auxiliary units on college campuses. He
was previously Vice President of Operations for COCM, where he was
responsible for fiscal and operational facets of 22 on-campus student
housing communities throughout the nation.
Alton Irwin, currently Chief Marketing Officer at
COCM. Alton has 22 years of student housing experience, beginning in 1995 with Capstone Development,
and in 2012, transitioning to COCM. His responsibilities
include the branding of COCM through advertising,
client and media relations, proposal responses and
social media.

What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think
about partnerships in general? For student housing management
partnerships?
Savolskis: In my current job, I work with many contractors and corporations. And the key thing that I find important is having a sense of trust.
Bekurs: For me, the first thing that comes to mind is relationship. And to
take that a step further, I think a partnership is a special type of relationship. It's different from a vendor relationship. And that goes to the trust
word Patrick mentioned. There must be trust, there must be respect, and
there must be compromise in a partnership.
Biddy: For me, it comes down to collaboration. Collaborative efforts.
Collaborating for the greater good, and doing what you need to do to get
to where you need to be together.
Marsh: I agree with Jeremy. It's all about collaboration.
Do you see partnerships differently when you think about housing
partnerships?
Marsh: In my role with the COCM managed housing at Norfolk State,
we strive to have seamless services, so the students are not aware that
this is a partnership between us (COCM) and the University Foundation.
Making sure we achieve a common goal, which is to enhance the student
experience, and always making sure it's a win-win situation.
How is the "seamless" goal for student housing different from most of
the other partnerships?
Savolskis: I think the critical part is that you're dealing with students
where they are living. It's their home away from home. And something
going wrong there has a lot bigger impact, not just for the students, but
also for the institution. It can become a campus-wide problem quickly,
if for example, you have a fire in one of the buildings. Dealing with that
takes up the whole campus attention, until you can solve the problem.
So, a housing management partnership is a little more critical to me, than
say, the one I have with a bookstore.
Biddy: One of the things about COCM's on-campus housing partnerships is that we're not seamless on every campus. Where our partners
don't want us to be seamless, and they want to us to stand out, we do
that too. So, it goes back to understanding exactly what your partners
want, and what that symbiotic relationship is. Because, it's not always in
your partner's best interest to be seamless.
Bekurs: Jeremy, you hit the nail on the head, when you said it's about
listening to what your partner wants. It's all about listening, and all the
relationship skills that go into our interpersonal relationships and our marriages. They also apply to these types of partnerships. Also, to piggy-back
on something Patrick said: he used the word critical. And when you look
at campus housing, it's critical in the way he described. And I also think
that it's more critical, because a lot of institutions rely on their partners
to carry out some piece of the educational mission through the housing
and residence life programs. And I think that's a differentiator with other
types of partnerships.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of College Services - Summer 2017

Opening Remarks: Presidential Perspective
Future-proofing your organization’s leadership
Perspectives on strong campus housing partnerships from both sides of the table
Achieving institutional excellence through collaborative sustainability efforts
New partners for new ventures
Corporate Partnerships: Focus on university partnership
Partnerships and possibilities: Working together to bring a food truck to campus
What vendors wish we knew
Partnerships key to addressing food insecurity at WSU
Student Author Contest winners
Partnership at its core: Arizona State University's Sun Devil Fitness Complex and the Downtown YMCA
In Closing Executive Summary
Professional Development Calendar
Advertisers Index/Advertisers.com
College Services - Summer 2017 - intro
College Services - Summer 2017 - belly1
College Services - Summer 2017 - belly2
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover1
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover2
College Services - Summer 2017 - 3
College Services - Summer 2017 - 4
College Services - Summer 2017 - 5
College Services - Summer 2017 - Opening Remarks: Presidential Perspective
College Services - Summer 2017 - 7
College Services - Summer 2017 - 8
College Services - Summer 2017 - 9
College Services - Summer 2017 - Future-proofing your organization’s leadership
College Services - Summer 2017 - 11
College Services - Summer 2017 - Perspectives on strong campus housing partnerships from both sides of the table
College Services - Summer 2017 - 13
College Services - Summer 2017 - 14
College Services - Summer 2017 - 15
College Services - Summer 2017 - 16
College Services - Summer 2017 - 17
College Services - Summer 2017 - 18
College Services - Summer 2017 - Achieving institutional excellence through collaborative sustainability efforts
College Services - Summer 2017 - 20
College Services - Summer 2017 - 21
College Services - Summer 2017 - 22
College Services - Summer 2017 - New partners for new ventures
College Services - Summer 2017 - 24
College Services - Summer 2017 - 25
College Services - Summer 2017 - 26
College Services - Summer 2017 - 27
College Services - Summer 2017 - Corporate Partnerships: Focus on university partnership
College Services - Summer 2017 - 29
College Services - Summer 2017 - Partnerships and possibilities: Working together to bring a food truck to campus
College Services - Summer 2017 - 31
College Services - Summer 2017 - What vendors wish we knew
College Services - Summer 2017 - 33
College Services - Summer 2017 - 34
College Services - Summer 2017 - Partnerships key to addressing food insecurity at WSU
College Services - Summer 2017 - 36
College Services - Summer 2017 - 37
College Services - Summer 2017 - Student Author Contest winners
College Services - Summer 2017 - 39
College Services - Summer 2017 - 40
College Services - Summer 2017 - 41
College Services - Summer 2017 - 42
College Services - Summer 2017 - 43
College Services - Summer 2017 - 44
College Services - Summer 2017 - Partnership at its core: Arizona State University's Sun Devil Fitness Complex and the Downtown YMCA
College Services - Summer 2017 - 46
College Services - Summer 2017 - In Closing Executive Summary
College Services - Summer 2017 - 48
College Services - Summer 2017 - Professional Development Calendar
College Services - Summer 2017 - Advertisers Index/Advertisers.com
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover3
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover4
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