Deschler’s journey to Seattle

Nathan Davis

Hill Hall legend shares his story

It was not always Residence Life Coordinator Kevin Deschler’s dream to work with college students. In fact, he used his time in college to get a music degree in the heart of the musical industry: Nashville, Tennessee.
“I had gone to a music school part time in high school, so when I moved to Nashville I had a loose idea of what the music industry was,” Deschler said. “I was hoping to be the guy that was going to bars to find new artists or scouring YouTube for the next Justin Bieber. Kind of like a talent scout. It would be like the easiest job in the world and all I’d have to do was play guitar and hang out with friends.”
However, he soon realized that the music industry was not what he thought it was. “It was like I had this kind of shock were I realized it was just spreadsheets with music at the end.”
Still, he stuck with it the rest of his four years of college. During this time, Deschler began joining leadership programs for incoming freshmen.
After getting to know the ins and outs of college leadership and orientation, Deschler realized the sense of fulfillment he was hoping to find in the music industry was becoming evident in his work with college students.
“Working with students was more fulfilling than I realized. … So what makes this meaningful in small ways — and big ways if I’m lucky — is to be the kind of mentor I had, for others in college.”
Residence Life Coordinators, or RLCs, are staff members that help organize events and lead the Resident Advisors of their respective halls. Their goal is to, “create a safe, inclusive, fun and transformative residential learning experience at Seattle Pacific University”.
RLCs lead RAs, provide resources for students and make sure the residence halls promote a safe and fun environment.
Deschler, an RLC of Hill and Moyer Halls, is treated like a legend among the residents he oversees. Living in an apartment adjacent to Fifth South of Hill, Deschler has been a part of HillMo since 2016.
Previously, Deschler has worked in the Discipleship office at Azusa Pacific University, and as a graduate hall coordinator at Occidental College. As an RLC, Deschler makes it his goal to embody the SPU Residence Life Mission Statement, “I think my own Christian faith is embedded in all that I do — or at least I try for it to be — and that makes it a huge motivator.” he stated
In way that is less evangelical and more focused on leading by example, Deschler wants to “Embody the love and values of service and humility that make Jesus who He is.”
Another aspect of coordinating residence life is problem solving and providing resources is a core part.
“I try to be as collaborative as possible, which usually means I don’t give a straight answer,” Deschler explains, “I’ll work with an RA to see what the needs of the floor are and help the RA find a way to lead that best suits them.”
“Meeting with a student is a similar thing,” he goes on, “It’s all about identifying what their needs are and seeing how the environment plays into it.
He likes to note that solving a problem does not always mean punishment or suspension, but rather making referrals for a more positive outcome. “I’m pretty good at a lot of things but not really an expert at anything so mostly what I do is identifying the resources on campus that have the experts,” he says.
As hardworking as the RLCs are, their job heavily depends on the students they live with. Deschler is very inviting of conversation and is always willing to help. “Especially early in the year, don’t be afraid to come talk to us,” he encourages.
Even if there is a problem he can not solve himself, Deschler is eager to do anything he can to help. “Feel free to bring anything to me, worst-case scenario I can refer you to someone else,” he ensures, “If it’s something big I’ll definitely look into it, I’ll never turn someone away.”
Always looking to build relationships with students, Kevin Deschler alternates his office hours between Hill and Moyer Hall, and is always looking forward interactions and conversations with the students he lives with and serves.
Residence Life Mission statement can be found at http://spu.edu/administration/office-of-studentlife/handbook/residential-living
Correction: originally, this article was mistakenly attributed to Julia Battishill. It was written by Nathan Davis, and the article attribution has been changed to correct it.