Before Carlow University adopted Symplicity Advocate and Residence in 2018, Carlow was using a paper filing system to keep track of Title IX cases, reporting metrics, and using an outdated system to support its residential life operations. In addition, if a staff member left the residential life or student conduct departments, files would be disorganized, data and record keeping would be inconsistent, and institutional knowledge would be gone making it difficult to hire and train a new member once the position was filled. “We couldn’t find any files with our old filing system, so our record keeping was disastrous. Knowing [with Advocate] we could be capturing everything in one location and be impervious to staff departures was critical for us,” says Keith Cerroni, Director of Residence Life at Carlow University. Carlow turned to Symplicity Advocate and Residence to support staff in an easy-to-use system enabling the student conduct and residential life departments to easily communicate, see trends, and quickly support students.
For Carlow University, adopting Symplicity Advocate and Residence has enabled the small staff to provide robust support to its residential student body with streamlined processes, made even more important in the wake of COVID-19. Carlow’s residential students were able to request room transfers or move back home whenever they wanted. In a typical year, Residence would support semester moves and end-of-year closeout processes, but with COVID-19 those procedures were almost doubled on a weekly basis. Using Residence has enabled Carlow to seamlessly support students with a move-out process and keep track of how many residents are on campus at any given time, what support they need, and proactively provide on residential students with COVID-19 support. “I’m using Advocate and Residence every morning and afternoon and that might be because a student is exploring a room switch due to a roommate conflict or because I’m looking for student conduct information,” says Cerroni. “I go in and get a lot of what I need right there, making it an integral part of my work.”
Additionally, Carlow uses Advocate to collaborate with multiple institutional departments to secure a Department of Justice Grant to support campus Title IX efforts and training on sexual assault prevention efforts, including domestic violence and stalking. “In terms of cases, we thought it was indicative to the work we needed to do and ultimately landed the DOJ grant which among other things has provided us with a full-time employee to improve prevention response and program efforts and strategies,” says Cerroni. With Advocate, Carlow was not only able to secure a DOJ grant, but also train several campus members on an ongoing basis on sexual assault prevention and response programming to ensure that Carlow continues to provide a safe campus for all students.
“Ultimately, what was hard for me to do before we had implemented Advocate and Residence was finding opportunities for face time with students. Since we implemented Advocate and Residence, the most valuable thing that I’ve gotten back is gaining back critical face time with students.”
– Keith Cerroni,
Director of Residence Life, Carlow University