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Chaplain Adam Rick’s office has moved to the Grewcock Student Union. Allison Schuster | Col­legian

Hillsdale College Chaplain Adam Rick moved to a new office space due to ren­o­va­tions in the Knorr Student Center and the need to be closer to stu­dents.

Rick’s office has been relo­cated to the former con­ference room behind AJ’s Cafe in the Grewcock Student Union after his pre­vious office, located in Knorr across from the com­puter lab, was torn down this summer in the recon­struction of Phillips Audi­torium.

When asked where his office was for­merly, Father Adam Rick said “the fact that you’re asking is why I’m here.”

Rick described his job as encour­aging and pro­viding oppor­tu­nities for spir­itual life on campus. This includes keeping tabs on various faith groups and pro­viding prayer, men­toring, and insti­tu­tional support if nec­essary. He also speaks at any faith-based gath­erings around campus, not only for Christian orga­ni­za­tions.

“He is always trying to make people feel loved and safe,” said junior Katie Dimmer, a member of Catholic Society. “That might mean talking about classes or football and might not be about the Lord. That’s why so many people appre­ciate him — he respects everyone regardless of their denom­i­nation.”

He also councils stu­dents for anxiety, depression, and answers any spir­itual ques­tions they may have, which prompted the idea of bringing his office closer to the heart of student activity: the Grewcock Student Union.

“My min­istry is student-facing, so it made sense to be here, where the stu­dents are,” Rick said.

With his office being as far from the union as it was, Rick would often go to AJ’s Cafe and “set up camp” for the day to meet with stu­dents, according to Rick. This poses a problem, as AJ’s is often busy and stu­dents can’t discuss matters pri­vately.

Bishop Beckwith ’96, the former chaplain, also used Rick’s old office in Phillips.

“When I first started at Hillsdale, my office was very iso­lated, and now with the quad being ripped up, even fewer people are able to visit me,” Rick said.

Con­struction for Christ Chapel began in the spring of 2017, blocking a large portion of the quad. This summer, with the addi­tional con­struction to Phillips Audi­torium, Rick’s office became less and less acces­sible.

Con­sid­er­ation regarding the Chaplain’s relo­cation began toward the end of the fall 2017 semester. According to Rick, there was no obvious choice for where it should be. One space that was con­sidered was the back of the new chapel. However, it wasn’t in the original blue­prints and it would be a dif­ficult spot to get to, as it would be far back at the end of the chapel, sep­arate from where stu­dents typ­i­cally spend their time.

The process began last semester with the goal of pro­tecting student’s study areas. Rick had the idea of using the con­ference room last year and men­tioned it to Ashlyn Landherr, director of Student Activ­ities, who is in charge of reserving the room for dif­ferent groups.

“We kept an eye on it, and it seemed it was used as almost the backup to the backup space,” Landherr said.

Spir­itual groups are still able to use Rick’s office for meetings. However, if non-reli­gious clubs want to schedule time in that space, they will be redi­rected to other available rooms.

Dimmer said she remembers the Catholic Society using his office several times last semester for events and daily prayer during Lent. She under­stands the change may affect how these events are run, but she is hopeful that it will be a pos­itive adjustment.

“I think going forward we will just have to be better about com­mu­ni­cating alter­native spaces,” Dimmer said.

Dean Philipp gave the final stamp of approval this past spring but wanted to wait until con­struction began this summer. Every­thing was moved in by June.

“I’m here for you guys, so come find me,” Rick said. “Even if the door is closed, knock and say hello.”

  • Ellsworth_Toohey

    Never trust people who’s last name is a first name.

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    A) Why cant non reli­gious use the office if there is demand for it B) is the opening a knock on father beauchamp(I am likely butchering the spelling) I’m not reli­gious (hillsdale used to be non­re­li­gious as little as 4 years ago) but father beauchamp was a straight shooter who seemed to bring a net benefit to whatever he was involved bbc es with. He also knew how to stay out of the way. I doubt this guy will have the same impact