Club & Greek

New Asst. Director of Student Activities for Greek Life

Tyler Havens, former Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity and Sorority Life, has recently left the University to work with another Greek community in Georgia. Taking over his position is Jon Buchalski.

Buchalski attended Rutgers University as an undergraduate and graduate student. He graduated with a degree in material science and engineering. He has been a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity since his sophomore year.

“It provided me with leadership opportunities. I held several leadership opportunities in the fraternity. It made me leverage my involvements, too. So I was able to use what I was learning in the fraternity and apply them to other parts of the University,” said Buchalski. In addition to his fraternity responsibilities, he also worked with the orientation program every year at Rutgers.

During his time as a graduate student, Buchalski worked as a graduate assistant in the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Office. He said he became very close to everyone who worked with him in the office, which ultimately led him to the position he holds at Monmouth now. Previous to his full-time position at Monmouth, Buchalski worked with Havens as an intern in the spring of 2011.

“I do feel that it (the internship) prepared me pretty well for this position. This internship was the first thing I did outside of Rutgers. Tyler was able to challenge me on a lot of my mentalities of thinking. It’s really helped me develop this as a profession.”

Buchalski said that he is always striving toward making improvements in the Greek community. “I’ve explained to the students that I don’t want to change anything drastically right now because they have been making improvements year by year and I don’t want to just stop that,” said Buchalski. The Greek Senate has made some small changes such as meeting times and location changes for events. In the spring, the University is welcoming a new sorority to campus.

“I want them to feel comfortable and be part of making decisions to change because it’s their community, I want to make sure the changes are totally accepted,” said Buchalski.

A change that Buchalski is working on is to put the paperwork for the Greek community on eCampus. “To make processes more efficient. Every semester they have paperwork to hand in. I am working to make those assignments on eCampus so they can do it right from their bedrooms.” Putting the paperwork on eCampus will also make the process more convenient for students. His goal is to get the assignments on eCampus so the students can begin their work before the semester starts, so they do not have this added to the pressure of getting settled into the new semester.

“One thing I really enjoyed is seeing similar faces all the time. That’s what the fraternity and sorority community did for me. I would see familiar faces because they were also in fraternities and sororities or involved on campus.” One of the major differences is the size of the schools. He joked that he can walk to anywhere he needs to go on campus. “Here, I feel I am comfortable enough to know the Greek community but then I can also know the greater community of students, which is great,” he said.

Buchalski encourages students to get involved. He said, “I believe students should get involved any way possible during their college careers because of the experience it provides them.”

Buchalski commented on how joining a fraternity made a positive impact on his college career and experience. “They provide opportunities for students to become leaders on campus, teach their members to always strive for academic excellence, host and participate in events that provide service or raise money and awareness for local, national and international philanthropies and charities, and they create bonds amongst each other that will last a lifetime.”

Although Havens works in Georgia, he still helps out in the Monmouth Community when he can. Buchalski said, “I still keep in touch with Tyler. He’s been great with the transition. If I ever have a question I can email him or text him. He loved this place too, so he’s always willing to help with this transition. He’s got a great thing down in Georgia.”

Buchalski is adapting well to working at the University. He said, “It’s a different pace of life than Rutgers. The students are very similar, the area is very similar, but being a large public institution and going to a smaller private institution is very different. And I’ve been appreciating it.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Alexis Orlacchio