By: Sara Marcus | News  | 

After Two-Year Vacancy, Wilf Campus Housing Office Hires Assistant Director

This June, Natan Bienstock will become the Assistant Director of the Wilf Campus Office of University Housing and Residence Life (UHRL). The position has been empty for the past two and a half years, while Jonathan Schwab, the Director of Housing, ran the office.

“There has been a need for quite some time [for an Assistant Director],” stated Schwab. “The model was a Director and an Assistant Director for many years (and is the model at Beren as well), until around 2015, when two staff members left in short succession, and since then we’ve been short-staffed as we try to creatively figure out the best ways to maintain quality service to our students.”

Bienstock, who graduated from YU in 2016, worked as a Stanton Fellow in the Wilf Campus Office of Student Life (OSL) for a year, and then as Student Life Coordinator in the OSL for one year. “[Working in the] OSL..has helped me appreciate the needs of students, and learn how to listen to what they really want...I am excited to continue to work in a department that really values student input, and realizes that they are the reason we are here.”

His new responsibilities will entail coordinating with the RA team, such as “helping them run events, solve problems, and just be generally available for them as a support system,” according to Schwab. “Mr. Bienstock and I will share many of the responsibilities that I currently handle while each also owning some individual projects...As we each settle into the new dynamic, I imagine the projects each of us will own will become clearer.”

Bienstock said, “I hope to continue the great work that the housing office has already done, and improve on what has already been accomplished. I believe that there is a constant need to innovate and come up with new ideas, as prior success does not guarantee future success.”

As for the upcoming year, the Housing Office is optimistic. “It is clear that [Bienstock] cares about making YU a home for all of its students and how to best accomplish that,” wrote Schwab. “With Mr. Bienstock on board and a very talented incoming group of RAs for 2018-2019, I think we are poised to have our best year yet. We want to continue growing our programs and projects that have been very successful and introduce new ones that make residents' lives even easier.” Those include streamlining the housing application procedure, simplifying check-in, responding to facility complaints more quickly, and “creating even better opportunities for social fun on campus.”

With Bienstock assuming the position of Assistant Director, the Housing Office will return to its original structure. Schwab commented, "It will mean I will have more time to do the things that I should ideally be doing: meeting with students both proactively and reactively. This year we have not been able to communicate as well with residents on many important issues,” he wrote, “and I am looking forward to having someone else who can help us cover all the many things our office is involved in so we can appropriately handle all situations.”

“As is increasingly becoming our motto in the UHRL office,” Schwab concluded, “there are very few limits on what we can accomplish.”