UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Dawn of a New Day

Dawn of a New Day
Harry Brett

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Patrick Day, has big plans for the future of student life.

“It’s your campus. You are responsible for what happens here and you have the opportunity to get involved. I want students to not be spectators,” said Day, who entered into the position last June. “They’re not all going to be the president of a student group, but there is something for everyone. Students who are involved will have a better experience.

Before coming to UMass Boston, Day was the assistant vice president of student affairs at Temple University, located in Philadelphia. While working at Temple, Day had learned of the opening.

“I received a national email about the opportunity here,” Day said. “I had to submit my credentials, of course, and afterward I was asked to come to Boston for an interview. After that interview, I was asked back to meet the campus community and had another round of interviews.”

Day, who is originally from Toledo, Ohio, went to college at Northwestern University in Chicago, majoring in human development and social policy. At Northwestern, he worked in the office of undergraduate admissions.

“I worked in the office for four years for my work study program and I just kept with it,” Day said. “Magazines would pass through the office, and I saw job opportunities that I want that were in similar fields. I applied and applied, and the best job offer was in Texas.”

When Day moved to Texas, he attended graduate school at Texas Tech, where he received his degree in higher education and administration.

“At Texas Tech, I began as coordinator of multicultural services,” Day said. “From there, I was promoted to assistant dean of students. After working in Texas, I went to Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina and was assistant vice principal of student affairs and later was the dean of students. My last position before coming here was at Temple.”

The diversity of the students at UMass Boston, along with the challenges presented from a commuter campus, were unique qualities that drove Day to aspire to fill the vice chancellor position.

“The first thing that really drove me was the quality of the students here,” Day said. “They’re committed to their own education and working hard for it, while balancing it against things like family and professions. It’s exciting to work with such a broad group of students with so many different backgrounds and needs, and it’s one of the most exciting challenges for a student affairs person to have before them.”

Day has already developed a mind-set of what he would like to infuse in the community of UMass Boston, despite the short amount of time he has been in the office.

“I’m trying to find ways to get students engaged and to build campus life so they feel they can get involved,” Day said. “I want to find ways to help them be successful, and to get faculty and staff involved in the lives of students, whether they advise a student club or committee.”

With such a test before him, Day has not hesitated to develop ideas to implement into campus life.

“I hope to build a culture on campus where the student life is vibrant, exciting, active and diverse in offerings,” Day said. “I want students to be learning outside of the classroom. I feel it’s equally as important as the learning that takes place in class. I want students to have significant experiences. I want them to meet people, have connections and be opened up to new experiences that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”

As far as how campus life is now, Day’s main objective for reorganization is clear: creating more energy around student life by providing stronger and numerous opportunities for students.

“Everything does need to be revamped, and it brings an issue of where our resources are located,” Day said, “Changes won’t take place overnight, but slowly and surely they will be made.”