Andy Dutil named director of student center

By Tessa Brubaker, News Editor

Kevin Tiongson
The college announced Andy Dutil as the new Director of the Student Center.

After a two month search, Andy Dutil was selected as director of the new student center.

Dutil, who started his position June 11, will be in charge of directing all operations of the student center, including hiring staff and scheduling events, he said. Dutil is a 2008 alumnus and former adjunct professor from the former Arts, Entertainment and Media Management Department. He previously worked as the operations manager at the Adler Planetarium.

“I love Columbia,” Dutil said. “It’s a great place for me to go to school and to learn and to teach. It’s nice to be home.”

Dutil said his goal for the student center, which is scheduled to be completed in early 2019 at the corner of 8th Street and Wabash Avenue, is to mirror Columbia’s community.

“[The student center] allows students to have a place to gather, collaborate and have a central hub for the campus,” Dutil said. “It’s tough to have that central identity piece [in an urban campus] and this building aims to really be that sort of central piece of campus.”

Vice President of Student Affairs Sharon Wilson-Taylor said Dutil was selected for the position because he has a history and connection with Columbia.

“All the skills we were looking for [Andy] possesses, and being a Columbia alum tipped the scale for him,” Wilson-Taylor said. “He understands the spaces at Columbia as a student and as a faculty member here.”

Dutil will work closely with student affairs, student organizations and the Career Center at the building, Wilson-Taylor said. The college also plans to hold events such as Manifest and Orientation there, she added.

“Andy’s job is to make sure that students are making the best usage of the building,” Wilson-Taylor said. “You build a building. It comes to life when students are in it.”

Assistant Director of Student Activities Shannon Bourne said the student center and its event spaces will provide the college a lot more opportunities.

“It opens up a lot of possibilities for Manifest. Our spaces are limited for larger events,” Bourne said. “It’s going to give us more options and [a more] central place to do a lot of our programming.”

Associate Dean of Career Development and Industry Relations Erik Friedman said the Career Center will partner with Dutil to choose spaces for events such as the Job and Internship Fair.

“We have these events where we bring in creative professionals to campus and it’s just going to be a much more inviting space,” Friedman said. “[The student center will] bring positive energy to campus.”

Dutil said he will hire two assistant directors, an administrative assistant and student workers for the building, but does not know when these new hires will be made.

Dutil hopes to incorporate student work into the space by putting up student artwork, hosting student performances and having community spaces.

“We’re going to kind of take what Columbia’s already doing and expand it into the center in a bright, new shiny building,” Dutil said. “[It’s] going to be a great place for students to hang out, collaborate, work out and attend events and be able to showcase what they do here.”