Jack Gerker, The Circuit

Many students involved in the student life office have been impacted by the extended absence of Dean Joe Wurtz, dean of students for Benedictine College.

In August, Wurtz suffered an ankle injury during the first week of classes when he fell off of a golf cart at a student event. Because of severity of his injury and a slow recovery process, he has been unable to return to work since the accident.  

According to the Benedictine College website, “The Dean of Students directs and oversees programs and activities involving Residence Life, Student Development, Intramural Programs, Student Health Services, Counseling, Student Activities, and Career Development.”

But these responsibilities haven’t slipped away from Wurtz.

“He calls into our meetings in the Student Life Office, he calls into cabinet meetings, so he is still working,” said Diane Holly, Director of Student Activities.

Holly also meets with Wurtz once a week at his home.

Nick D’Adamo, student government president, has also felt this impact.

“It’s been weird not having him in the office,” D’Adamo said. “[Wurtz] is always working and he is always the go-to person for everything. You can ask him a question and he will always have an answer for you.”

D’Adamo has spent a lot of time working with Wurtz on projects for the school and student government.

Isabell Grisnik has also felt his absence as one of the presidents of Campus Activities Board.

“[Wurtz] has such a charismatic personality that people can just come in and talk to him and bounce off ideas.” Grisnik said. “I really miss him.”

“One of the weirdest things has been the absence of his laugh. It’s so distinct and you can hear it from a mile away,” D’Adamo said.

While there is not yet an expected return date for Wurtz, his most recent surgeries have been going well according to Holly.

“He’s really on the up right now and he’s looking forward to coming back to the office,” Holly said. She said that until then, the best thing to do is offer up prayers for his recovery.