Interviewing the New Assistant Director, Malcolm McDaniel

Malcolm McDaniel is the new Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life at Stevens. The old director was Thea Zunick. In this new position, Malcolm will coordinate Stevens’ 18-chapter fraternity and sorority community alongside its four governing councils. He was born and raised in Queens Village, New York. He went to Long Island University, Post Campus for his Bachelor’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology and obtained his Master’s degree at Hofstra University in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies. Malcolm was involved in Greek life, joining Latino America Unida/Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity his senior year. He was previously Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at Lehigh University.

His first impression of Stevens was that it was “small. In terms of the campus at Lehigh, it was like huge because they have all the hills. But for Stevens, this was it for the most part.” Before applying for the position, he also commented on being pleasantly surprised at “Stevens winning a lot of awards. They must be doing a lot of good work on campus and the fraternity and sorority population here must be pretty awesome.” He appreciates Stevens for not having as many hills as Lehigh. He was drawn to Stevens because he wanted to live closer to home in NY, but he also wanted the opportunity to oversee Greek Community as well as supervising graduate assistants, which were opportunities that he did not have at Lehigh.

Malcolm also said that he came into his job at the beginning of the semester, so it was hard to compare especially since he missed out on Panhellenic and IFC recruitment. When he started his first day on Thursday, January 25th, he was involved in a weekend retreat. Part of his transition was spent dealing with paperwork and meetings and he missed out on event planning making this a headfirst experience for him. Malcolm described it as “blessing by fire.” For his last position, Malcolm started over the summer and was able to acclimate himself to the campus and getting used to things before the hectic arrival of students. This time, with students already here, Malcolm did not know what to expect. He remarked that both students at Stevens and Lehigh are similar in that they are highly driven and very academic focused. Malcolm has been working with Craig Shook, Graduate Coordinator for Greek Life, who has been helpful in adjusting him to campus and figuring out where he left off as a graduate student. He also works with everyone in the Undergraduate Office of Student Life, who helped him figure out Ducklink.

Malcolm’s vision for Greek life at Stevens is a “community where everyone is thriving and being successful. A community where we support each other, where we have the ability to work in partnership.” He speaks about culturally-based organizations being cut off from partnerships between the IFC and Panhellenic organizations at a national scope and hopes to bring them together to benefit not just the Stevens community, but the Hoboken community as well. His specific goals for this semester include figuring out an easier way to streamline processes. He did not come in with a lot of goals because he knew he was coming in the middle of the semester. He said it would be unbecoming of him to come in and ruin everyone’s plans and does not think that will help anyone.

He wants this semester to be one of learning, specifically what our community likes and dislikes. He wants to focus on learning about the students and the students learning about him. He wants to learn about the traditions and cultures of the fraternity and sorority life.He also wants to bring some changes to the community and come up with a game plan to implement those changes at the beginning of the new academic year. Malcolm hopes to change the accreditation policy and wants to look more into it. He speaks of it as a “checkbox that isn’t applicable to all our fraternities and sororities, especially depending on what size the chapter is.” He wants Greek organizations to be able to explain why they are doing things and chapters to compete against themselves instead of competing against others. He wants fraternities and sororities to be the best chapters they can be. Malcolm says that we should expect more policy understanding instead of major policy changes. He wants to introduce more transparency to the policies between the organizations and himself. And with that, welcome to the community!

About the Author

Daniel Kang
West Coast born East Coast bound Somewhat into hip hop