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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 12, 2024

New housing director Jeff Novak settles into life at UW-Madison

In addition to its usual quota of 200 residents, Slichter Hall also opened its doors to the office of University of Wisconsin-Madison’s new Housing Director Jeff Novak in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Novak, who comes to UW-Madison from the University of Central Florida, has worked in residence life for more than two decades.

He began his work in housing operations as a resident assistant during his undergraduate career at the University of Florida-Gainesville, a position he did not anticipate would lead to his eventual profession. Since then, Novak earned both a masters and a doctorate degree in student personnel.

Novak said he decided to come to UW-Madison largely because of the housing staff’s commitment to serving students, adding that he was also drawn by the university’s residential learning communities and the opportunity to work with UW-Madison’s in-house dining service.

Since moving to Madison in the middle of this summer, Novak said he has observed University Housing’s dedication to quality service first-hand.

“I’ve been left with a fantastic housing program, with outstanding staff dedicated to our housing program, to our mission, to our core values, and really to making the residential experience the best that it can be,” he said.

As he settles into his new leadership position, Novak said he intends to focus on providing students with continued education about alcohol safety.

“I see police logs daily and it’s not unusual to see a student transported to detox for alcohol intoxication, and one is too many,” he said.

During the past week, University Housing, which houses approximately 94 percent of the freshman class as well as a fraction of upperclassmen, navigated the successful move-in of thousands of students.

“Having been here for six weeks over the summer, it’s great to see the energy and pulse of the campus back,” he said.

Novak, who refers to himself as a sports fanatic, said he looks forward to the football team’s first home game this weekend, as well as to getting to know Madison in the coming months.

“It’s been a tremendous six weeks,” Novak added. “I feel like I’m at home already.”

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UWPD denounces binge drinking

In response to a recent incident in which a UW-Madison student was transported to detox with a .338 blood alcohol content, university police released a statement advising students to exercise caution if consuming alcohol.

It is important to consider that consuming excessive amount of alcohol can put students at risk, both academically and physically. The chance of sexual violence, robberies, batteries and other assaults increase when combined with drinking, according to the release.

If choosing to drink, university police urge students to do so legally and in moderation, all the while making sure to take care of the safety of those around them.

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