Marlon, the man, the myth, the legend.
That’s how students have come to know the dean of residence life.
Marlon Haverdink coordinates and oversees the good, the bad and the ugly. This includes hiring new resident directors, organizing and training new resident assistants and dealing with any major infractions in the dorms.
Now, he’s responsible for enforcing the COVID-19 guidelines across campus.
In addition to his usual duties, Haverdink is a part of the COVID Recovery Team, which handles everything COVID-19 related on campus.
The President’s Cabinet and the Pandemic Response Team are responsible for recommending pandemic response and recovery policies and procedures.
Before students arrived on campus, the team needed to create COVID-19 response tools for virus surveillance, campus health and mitigation. This included developing an on-campus and off-campus event risk calculator, a student pre-arrival health screening survey, a campus visitor health screening survey and the Raider Check student health monitoring app.
Ongoing responsibilities include making policy decisions related to the pandemic response, planning for pandemic emergency management activities and overseeing pandemic mitigation activities. The team is also coordinating with Sioux County Community Health Partners and Orange City Area Health System.
Much of his time has gone into making preparations for this school year. He gave up most, if not all, of his summer vacation working out the logistics around what COVID-19 guidelines would be, not only for the dorms, but for classes and every other building on campus, too.
Through these times of intense uncertainty and a heavier workload, Haverdink has remained true to himself.
He is always present with whoever needs him and does not let his dizzying workload distract him.
Caylan DeLucia, RD of Stegenga Hall, said that he is like a boss and a friend. He not only takes care of business issues at meetings and through email, he also fosters authentic personal relationships with all of his colleagues. He supports his colleagues with care and full trust.
Marlon trusts his RDs to make good decisions on their own without checking in with him first for every little thing, according to DeLucia. And when they do make a mistake, he responds with grace.
Their faculty mantra is “ministry of presence,” which she believes Haverdink embodies with humility and wisdom. She said that no matter when she would call Haverdink about something, whether it was a big or small question, he would answer with a listening ear and careful wisdom.
Natalie Wheeler, the new RD of Fern Smith Hall, echoed DeLucia.
“He is one who, no matter how he is feeling or what he is going through, makes you feel like you matter,” Wheeler said.
Haverdink serves the campus with a heart for God, humility, bravery and strength in the face of the exponential unknowns wrapped around this new school year.
He deals with questions from all directions, putting in countless hours to make sure everyone is heard and cared for.
He is “the man, the myth, the legend,” our unsung hero: Marlon Haverdink.