Wooten heads Office of Greek Life temporarily as Joyce, Barloga depart
The College hopes to hire a new OGL director by the end of fall term.
Joyce and Barloga's departures have prompted increased efforts from supporting organizations, and has also caused the OGL to delay initiatives initially planned for the fall.
During the summer, former Office of Greek Life director Brian Joyce and former program coordinator Jessica Barloga both departed from the College, effectively leaving the OGL with no leadership staff. Since then, associate dean of residential life Mike Wooten has filled the role of interim director of Greek life. Laura LaMontagne remains the office manager, according to the OGL’s website.
Both taking jobs at George Washington University, Joyce assumed the role of director of fraternity and sorority life with Barloga starting as fraternity and sorority life student program associate this month, according to their respective Linkedin pages.
Wooten said that both their departures were motivated by new opportunities.
“[Joyce] had an opportunity to be the director of fraternities and sororities at George Washington University and it was a great opportunity for him,” Wooten said. “I think he and his family were excited for a lot of reasons to live in [Washington, D.C].”
Wooten said that Barloga was similarly excited to live in Washington, D.C and left the College under “good circumstances.”
Wooten said that the College has contracted Spelman Johnson, a national executive search firm, to find a new OGL director. The firm has been meeting with the Greek Leadership Council — which exists to serve the interests of students affiliated with Greek organizations and to oversee the five Greek sub-councils — and other advisors for Greek life such as administrators and office of residential life staff to create an appropriate hiring profile for the position and make sure the College’s interests are represented.
“[Having] someone hired by the end of the term would be our goal,” Wooten said.
Wooten said that it was “unfortunate” that Barloga and Joyce both left this summer because they both did “great work.” He added that Barloga “still works in a part-time consulting capacity” to support Dartmouth’s Greek organizations as they begin the rush process this fall.
Inter-Sorority Council president Molly Katarincic ’22 said that she previously worked “very closely” with Barloga.
“She was very experienced in sorority leadership, as well as recruitment,” Katarincic said. “She really assisted us in every facet of our council, from managing day-to-day operations to organizing the bulk of recruitment, as well as helping us with chapter development and leadership skills.”
Over the summer, Joyce and Barloga oversaw the OGL’s decision to shut down the traditionally held annual “Masters” pong tournament due to safety concerns and violations of hazing, drug and alcohol policies. According to past coverage, Barloga also wrote that the OGL will continue to offer training programs centered around alcohol management and sexual violence prevention this fall.
However, Katarincic said that since Barloga’s departure, the ISC has had to push some of its initiatives — such as a week of training around alcohol consumption — to the winter term in order to support sorority rush.
“All of the time I would have spent on [the alcohol consumption programming] is now essentially dedicated to recruitment,” she said. “Because I am now the highest authority when it comes to recruitment questions, I have to be available to be able to answer [them] or to manage any situations that come up.”
According to Wooten, other offices across campus such as the Student Wellness Center have also stepped in to support Greek organizations since Barloga and Joyce departed.
“The Wellness Center continues to do some work around [the Dartmouth Bystander Initiative] and making sure that folks have the right wellness initiatives under their belt as they consider joining organizations,” he said.
In his new role, Wooten said he spends time in the OGL suite on the third floor of the Collis Center for Student Involvement, attends GLC meetings and meets with students both one-on-one and in small groups to ensure that Greek organizations are receiving the support they need.
Wooten acknowledged that after primarily working in other aspects of residential life for the past 20 years, there are disadvantages to his filling the OGL director position. However, he added that his previously built relationships will be advantageous in bringing the OGL “closer to some of the decision makers at the College.”
GLC chair Brandon Zhou ’22 echoed Wooten’s sentiment.
“It's been helpful that [Wooten] is higher up in the administrative organizational chart,” Zhou said. “So we’re able to go more directly to the source and know that our concerns are being heard.”
Zhou added that since Barloga and Joyce departed, the work of supporting Greek life has become “less centralized” around OGL. Acknowledging this new reality, Wooten said that he and Zhou are currently in conversations about the College paying student leaders in Greek life for their administrative work.
“We have had to figure out who we will reach out for certain things, knowing that specific items and tasks and policies that used to be centralized may be passed on to different offices or groups in the meantime,” Zhou said.