Rob Demezzo gets a new position
Jaylen Carr – Sports Editor
After spending over 20 years as part of the universities Residence Life, Rob Demezzo is now the Senior Director of Conferences, Events and Student Affairs Auxiliaries.
“I have done housing for a long time, and I thought maybe it would be fun for housing to have a new director to bring new ideas because I have done it for so long,” Demezzo said.
Demezzo says he wanted to stay at the university because he went there as an undergraduate.
“I have a love for Southern,” Demezzo said. “I want to say that I bleed blue. I wanted to stay with Southern but do something different that I felt could benefit Southern students.”
Double major in history and political science, Kyle Thaxton, a junior, said, I heard about Rob’s new position when I found out he was leaving the place of Residence Life Director to transition to a new role on campus.”
Thaxton, the President of the Student Government Association, said once he found out about Demezzo’s departure from residence life, he did not know where or what department he would join.
“I found out that he was heading Southern’s Auxiliary Events and Conferences Department and the Student Center during a Student Government Board of Student Experience meeting,” Thaxton said.
Thaxton said he met Demezzo before when he was working in residential life, and he was helpful and always there to support students.
“I may not agree with Rob on everything, but I do know, based on my interactions with him, that he is a diligent and hardworking higher-education professional who wants what is best for students,” Thaxton said.
The new department, Conferences, Events and Student Affairs Auxiliaries, works with the Student Center, Lyman Center and the universities food services to support student events, said Demezzo.
Demezzo, Owl alumni, said his job is to “ensure spaces are accessible and available for student use; that’s everything from being able to book a space to ensuring that you have technology available to you and helping you with food services or getting catering for your event.”
The availability of student space is the point of emphasis that the department wants to focus on, Demezzo said.
The department wants to make it simple for students to book rooms instead of having students go to different offices like the involvement or leadership offices, Demezzo said. “We can make it so through the conference and events area; you can book spaces in Engleman, the Rotunda and Lyman all in one shot.”
The department is also looking to improve its website and the Student Center, Demezzo said.
“We are also looking on the external side,” Demezzo said. “We can bring in a guest to the institution, possibly creating revenue.”
Another component being Senior Director of Conferences, Events and Student Affairs Auxiliaries is the food services, Demezzo said. “Keeping the cost down and providing high-quality food and listening to the advice from our students as to what they want to see in Connecticut Hall and the Student Center.”
Health care studies major Sade Richardson, a freshman, said that she hadn’t heard about the Demezzo and the new department but hopes to improve the Student Center’s food quality.
“Sometimes the lines can be super long, especially during lunch,” Richardson said. “Maybe they can incorporate some healthier foods.”
Music major Lincoln Carroll, a sophomore, said he hadn’t heard about Demezzo and the new department either but hopes they can improve the food selection in the evening at Connecticut Hall.
“There are some nights that they have spicy foods,” Carroll said. “Many other people and I just cannot tolerate spicy foods, so that leaves us on those days with not many options for what to eat.”
Starting in his new position in July 2022, Demezzo said he wants to implement new things and improvements to the Adanti Student Center. He has already begun making changes this year, such as removing computers from the computer lab on the second floor of the student center.
“I worked to have some of the computers removed because students did not use a lot of the computers,” Demezzo said. “But they did need a place where they put down their laptop and do some work.”
Demezzo said that it’s a lot of excitement about this new department on campus and looks to put the students first.