The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Interim dean of students interviews to maintain position

Cam’ron Hardy
Jody Stone interacts with students after his student interview for Dean of Students Friday. April 13,2024 in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union,

Interim Dean of Students and Interim Director of Student Accountability and Support Jody Stone was the first candidate applying for the Dean of Students position.

Being an Eastern alum and faculty member for 29 years, Stone has developed a close relationship with the students at Eastern, which was evident at his open student interview Friday.

Stone said one of the goals he intended on accomplishing if elected for the role is to better the safety of students on campus. He wants students to feel more open to coming to him whenever they have a problem.

Being an alum and being a staff at Eastern, as well being a parent, Stone said he is able to get different perspectives.

He also wants to improve the mental health and the care of Eastern’s students. Supporting the academic life of students is just as important as supporting the mental well-being of students, according to Stone.

When students are not in the right space mentally, it takes their attention in the classroom.

“If students aren’t able to take care of themselves, and they’re not in a good place, I know when they’re sitting in that classroom they’re not paying attention if they’re worried about where their next meal is going to be, if they can afford their next tuition bill or if they just have something else on their mind,” Stone said.

Throughout this academic year President Jay Gatrell introduced Plan 2028. Included in this plan is decreasing the DFW rate which are students that have the letter grade’s of D or F and students that withdraw from classes.

While not directly connected to the operation, Stone said he plans to have mentoring programs for students. He also said a reward system could be beneficial.

Stone brought up that there are some mindfulness apps that can help students with their mentality as well other life skills including financial and time management.

If selected for the position, Stone said he will strive to have a more active and lively campus. While he was a student at Eastern, Stone said that the community was more “vibrant.”

One of the ways he plans on having a more energetic campus is having more student engagement with the Greek life on campus. He said that there are currently 384 students on campus that are a part of Greek life, and he wants that number to reach 400 by next fall semester.

“I remember what fraternity and sorority life used to be like here, and I am [going to] try to bring it back, and I’m not taking no for an answer,” Stone said.

He said that this will take the help of students on campus too, and that they should be prideful when wearing the letters that represent their organizations.

If offered the role, he knows that he will have to earn the respect of other faculty and students on campus. He tries to be approachable, he said, and has to allow students to feel comfortable enough to come and talk to him if they have to.


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Cam’ron Hardy
Cam’ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

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