Kelsey Stockton was thankful that the fire alarm at Cobeen Hall went off on Thursday at 4 PM instead of 4 AM. Stockton, who is the hall director of the all female freshmen residence hall, spent the past summer in a Cobeen apartment with her husband and fellow Marquette employee, Dave, where they awakened early one morning by the fire alarm.
“Our alarm goes off very infrequently. This was the first accidental building alarm we’ve had this year, since the summer when no one was here except for us. Thankfully, it’s not something that’s a frequent issue,” Kelsey Stockton said, remembering her time at Bowling Green State University, where hair straighteners would often set off the alarm.
A fire alarm is just one of the things that Stockton deals with on a daily basis. She oversees all of the staff at Cobeen, including resident assistants (RAs) and the facilities manager, advises hall council, deals with student conduct for Cobeen, handles room changes and controls the budget.
Sounds like a lot right? Stockton takes it all in stride. As a former Marquette undergraduate, Kelsey served as a RA at Straz Tower for two years and switched over to become the Cobeen facilities manager in her senior year.
She pursued her master’s degree at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where she met her husband, Dave Stockton. The two met at an interview for the college personnel program and married a year after their graduation from graduate school. Dave is the coordinator for student programs in the office of student development.
“I think if he wasn’t here, it would be easy for me to stay at work all the time. So because I work where I live, it’s easy for me to get to my office. Last year, I was more likely to disappear and just go sit in my office until midnight or 1 AM if I wanted to work on a project, while the it’s quiet, but now it’s like ‘I should probably go home. I have a husband. I should probably go say hi to him.’ It’s hard when your offices are so accessible to go home at times,” said Stockton.
This is the first year that both Kelsey and Dave have lived in the strictly female residence hall. New public safety officers have no idea who Dave is or why he wants to be let up the stairs without an escort. Students who do not know him will question his presence. While many know Kelsey and Dave individually, rarely do students make the connection that they are married and live in Cobeen.
“It’s interesting because we’re both on opposite schedules,” said Stockton, “A lot of my heavier work nights are Tuesdays and Wednesdays with hall council and with RA staff meetings. With his (Dave’s) work at Late Night and MUSG, his work is usually Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.”
During Orientation week, Kelsey was running RA training, while Dave was setting up a carnival for the incoming freshmen class. “She came home at about midnight after RA training, just in time for me to leave. That’s what orientation’s like. We really don’t see each other,” said Dave.
Even though their schedules can differ dramatically, the two still make time to see each other, venturing into Milwaukee for brunch regularly on Sundays. Both Dave and Kelsey admit that this is not a normal lifestyle and only happens for three or four years. For those three of four years though, it is everything. Kelsey said that this job is not for everyone, but it seemed to work out for her.
“It’s not just a job. It really is a life. It’s a lifestyle. It’s something that personality wise and skill wise, it’s a good fit. I applied to be an RA by chance and I have no idea what I would be doing right now if I hadn’t.”