Q&A: Craig Allen, director of Residential Services

As the director of Residential Services, Craig Allen has been busy this semester with the recent completion of the Campus Commons and the Brown-Lupton University Union, and there seems to be no end in sight.

Allen, who was hired as director of Residential Services in 2005, attended State University of New York at Oswego and majored in marketing with a minor in economics. He attended graduate school at the University of Arizona, where he earned a master’s degree in higher education with a concentration in college student personnel.

Q: How has construction on campus affected your job?

A: I think my job is a very exciting job. I came to TCU for the interview, I was very interested in being in this part of the country and a change of scenery. When I met with Don Mills (vice chancellor for student affairs), he told me about plans for the Campus Commons and renovations to halls. To be involved with the growth and construction of facilities is something I hadn’t done previously in my career, and it’s something I wanted to be involved in.

Q: What should students expect from Sherley Hall?

A: Students should expect to see really cool common space different than any other building and common construction features such as common bathrooms with high level privacy like we have done in Clark, Foster and Waits. It makes common bath living very appealing because you feel like you have more privacy. There will also be an elevator and the continuation of free laundry. We have realized that the outside of the building is just as important as the inside, so new landscaping will be designed in order to make those spaces fun and livable along with the inside of the building.

Q: What changes should students expect from Market Square?

A: Students will be seeing facility changes over fall break. Improvements include clocks being installed in Market Square, an additional 60 to 80 seats and a soft-serve ice cream machine. The sneeze guard at the salad bar was installed too far forward and should have been installed more to the back. These will be reinstalled properly. Expeditions will have more cooks to provide more meal options.

Q: What’s in the current five-year plan for TCU?

A: Sherley Hall is next up. We expect to close Milton in May 2009. The current plan, although not set in stone, is to close Colby in May 2010 and then in 2012 make minor renovations in Moncrief. In the next three to five years, we’re looking at creating a Greek Village. It might not happen that fast, but it’s being looked at.

Q: What should students know about Residential Services?

A: The greatest importance to me is that students feel they can share their opinions and ideas. It is very important for the students at TCU to talk to people like myself and let us know your thoughts and opinions in a productive way so that changes can be made.

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: Outside of working with the Skiff, and I say that in a joking but serious way, the best part of my job is when I get to talk to students whether one on one or in small groups. I love student appointments. My schedule gets busy, but for students who want to talk to me we can set up an appointment.

Q: What’s on your iPod right now?

A: Collective Soul is one of my favorite groups. I also have a lot of late 80s music. Good vintage late 80s groups.

Q: What is your favorite activity during your free time?

A: Playing golf.

Q: What’s your favorite meal at the BLUU?

A: It would have to be the pizza and cookies. Cookies are my weakness. Outside of pizza, I have been eating a lot at Expeditions.

Q: What’s your favorite family activity?

A: My family and I love going to the pool. My kids love the water and enjoy being outside.