XU grad Ryan Spolar has been named director after a semester of vacancy
By Emily Croft, Staff Writer
Gallagher Student Center (GSC) has officially appointed Ryan Spolar as the new director, who offers a fresh lens and a deep-rooted love for the Xavier community.
Spolar is an Ohioan at heart, growing up in the Cleveland area and settling in Cincinnati at Xavier for his undergraduate degree. He continued his education at Xavier by attending the post-graduate counseling program and working as the graduate assistant for Commuter Services.
The new director position officially began for Spolar on Jan. 3, but he has been running the show in GSC since the first few weeks of August.
Spolar spent last semester as the temporary GSC director before the position was officially open for applications.
During his undergraduate experience, Spolar spent plenty of time getting involved on campus. He participated in activities like Manresa Orientation, as both a team leader and Core member, Student Government Association and even worked at GSC as a student employee.
He noted that his past experiences in the community have fueled his aspirations for future endeavors as the new GSC director.
“For me, Xavier really did develop into a second home, so now to be in a position where I can do the same for students is such a fulfilling experience,” Spolar said.
This semester, Spolar is thrilled to be the director with a more permanent mindset than last semester.
“As a temp, my primary responsibility was righting the ship, but now as a permanent director, I am fully invested in this experience,” Spolar stated.
His day to day operations focus around the activities of GSC as a whole, but his overarching responsibility is people-focused. He noted the diversity of student groups on campus utilizing the student center, so Spolar and his team try to accommodate as much as they can.
“We want as much of the building to be as welcoming to as many different people as possible,” Spolar said.
Spolar describes his job as being a communication hub, as it is vital for him to stay in contact with other resources around campus to keep things working correctly for the students and staff in GSC. He added that it is key for him to be quick on his feet and good at problem-solving, as Spolar has to react to any unexpected problems that arise within the building.
Last semester was full of events that held a lot of significance for the Xavier community, and Spolar is proud to have been a part of them.
One memory that stuck out to Spolar was the inauguration week for Dr. Colleen Hanycz, which held two events inside GSC and was accompanied by check-in for family weekend at the same time.
“Some key pivotal moments in a student’s life can be in this building, and that really appeals to me,” he said.
Looking forward, Spolar said that next school year will be full of excitement for him.
“The breadth of stuff that happens in here from day to day that students and faculty have the ability to take part in is something that always fascinates me,” Spolar added.
When he’s not in GSC working on planning events and ensuring the smoothness of operations of the building, Spolar spends his free time reading and running. He is passionate about mental health and wants to incorporate more awareness into his position on campus.
Although he is from Browns territory, Spolar is still an avid fan of the Bengals, and his favorite bird is the bluebird because of how sweet they are.
The Gallagher Student Center is open from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. to students. Spolar is available in his office on the first floor.