The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) welcomes a new Director and Assistant Dean of Students Lucas Christain. Christain joined the team in late June and already has been making an impact.
“When I joined [the OSC], it was the first time we'd been fully staffed,” Christain explained. “A lot of my role is helping actualize some of the visions of the folks that came before me by building the structure of the office and advancing some of the initiatives that we want to get off the ground.”
On a typical day, Christian spends his time doing everything from working directly with students to resolve conduct issues to coordinating with other departments to ensure that students are getting the most of their Northwestern experiences. No matter what he’s working on specifically, though, he’s always working toward his goal of creating a better understanding of and respect for community standards.
“Working with students to help them understand expectations and standards and why those things are relevant in the world is really important when you think about giving someone the power of an education and a credential like a Northwestern degree,” he says. “I look at my job as less about keeping people in line and more about creating a culture where people understand that expectations and standards matter an exceptional amount when you have power.”
Of course Christain can’t reach this goal alone, which is why he said he appreciates the team mentality in the OSC and the partnerships the office has created with various other departments, including Fraternity and Sorority Life and Student Organizations & Activities. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the professionals I get to interact with across campus. There's really incredible staff who are doing really great work and care deeply about the experience of the students,” Christain explained.
Christain spent the last nine years at Carnegie Mellon University working in Residential Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and the Office of Community Standards and Integrity, and he said his time there made him really appreciate working with the driven student population that he has also found at Northwestern.
“I see that students are socially active here and that matters to them. I enjoy that kind of population; people that have a hunger for doing things and working hard,” Christain said. “Our office and work is about helping students find pathways to do that in ways that are safe and allow for them to have their voices heard, but also do those things within the construct of our standards and expectations.”
Christain spends his free time reading, exploring Chicago, and cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins with his partner and two young sons. “My time is often spent thinking about the concept of being a father and having two young boys and spending as much time with them as I can,” he said. “There's a lot of time spent there just the world of exploring being a father and us being a family.”
Christain earned a B.A. in history and minor in sociology and an M.A. in student development in post-secondary education from the University of Iowa.