Students struggle in the wake of Director’s exodus

By Abby Gallagher

Staff Writer

St. Michael’s College has big shoes to fill after Moise St. Louis has moved onto a new job. Moise made his mark as an influential and inspiring professor, colleague, mentor, and friend of many.

After 15+ years teaching at St. Michael’s, St. Louis accepted a new position at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. St. Louis had a huge impact bringing our community closer together.

He served as the Associate Dean of Students as well as Director of the Center of Multicultural Affairs and Services (CMAS). St. Louis organized a variety of activities that allowed students and faculty to explore diversity and inclusion, not only on our campus, but for life after college. “He was always willing to give his time, always willing to have a conversation and always willing to help. I would say students appreciated his guidance and looked to him for help when times were not as optimistic,” said Kayla Erb ‘22, Co-President of the MLK Jr. Society. The Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation week is one of his well-known set of programs he has organized as advisor of the MLK Jr. Society.

“He not only introduced the prevalence of social injustice in our society but created a safe environment to explore and discuss problems and solutions of today’s world,” said Molly Clarke ‘21, a student of St. Louis. It is clear how St. Louise had a strong passion for teaching and was talented at what he does.

With the leaving of St. Louis, there are some concerns of what will come of the Center of Multicultural Affairs. St. Louis played such a vital role as Director. “Sometimes he would stay in the center until 7-8 p.m., often leaving his family at home to make sure that us, students of color, were taken care of,” said Erb. This position is extremely important, CMAS is now left without a leader, which is very stressful for students deal with problems on campus. Sophomore Felicity Rodriguez, member of CMAS stated, “Our fear was, “Is CMAS going to be taken away?” “Students of color need guidance and deserve to have a quality replacement of these in order to get the most out of the resources we already have on campus,” Erb stated. I spoke with Rodriguez in the now empty office of former Director, St. Louis. The CMAS council has been meeting and discussing what is the new image for CMAS is going to be, not only for themselves, but for future students. “From the moment Mo left, this space was filled and is now constantly filled with students, we are making this space a home to us again,” said Rodriguez ‘22.

Vice President of Student Affairs/ Dean of Students, Dawn Ellinwood, informed me that Andrea Rodriquez Trochez and Daviah Lawrence, both resident directors, are working increased hours in the center to help. As well as Kerri Leach now managing the student workers in the center and advises SMC 1st generation. The goal is to support students during this time of transition,” Ellinwood assured me. Margaret Bass, who is a former faculty member, agreed to help support students in CMAS. Ellinwood also said there is going to be a “nationwide search” for a new director very soon and the CMAS council made it clear they wanted to be part of the process. Finally, Rodriquez added, “we knew without a doubt we had each other to support, and each other to fall back on. Because we had that bond, this space is not going anywhere.”