Rutgers dean partakes in 3rd annual Tower Jump
The story of the first Rutgers administrator to jump the diving boards at the University’s Olympic Pool is a redemptive tale.
Jeff Broggi, associate dean of students for Rutgers—New Brunswick Student Affairs, lined up alongside approximately 100 students ready to make the more than 30-foot plunge from the Sonny Werblin Recreation Olympic Pool 10-meter diving tower last month during the third annual Tower Jump, according to an article from Rutgers Today.
“You’re standing on that platform for a good 15 minutes and your mind is going all different directions,” Broggi said in the article. “When they called my name, rather than looking down I just went. It was quick and painless to hit the water.”
This is not Broggi’s first time off a diving board, but it is his most recent attempt since a childhood belly-flop incident left him wary of them.
“I have a distinct memory of being 10 or 11 at my grandmother’s pool and thinking ‘This looks like fun,’” Broggi said. “I did a belly flop and haven’t been on a diving board since.”
This is the third year in a row that members of the community have made the jump.
As a dean of students, Broggi helps foster the personal and educational development of students, according to Rutgers Student Affairs. Alongside other administrators, he works to instill leadership skills, social justice and civic responsibility among students from communities across campus.
Last fall, Broggi committed to the challenge if he managed to raise $1,000 for the Emergency Assistance Fund by running four races — 5K, 10K, half and full marathons — in four days at Disney World, according to the article.
Making the jump was not just about conquering a childhood phobia, but it presented an opportunity for students to see the dean as more than an administrator, he said.
“It shows that we are human,” he said. “I want them to know I’m not just here from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If they see we care that much, they may feel more comfortable sharing their worries, fears, challenges and struggles so we can come to resolutions together.”
When challenges cannot be corrected with academic advice, Broggi directs students to the Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides students one-time supplemental financial aid to those experiencing unusual and non-chronic financial hardships, like house fires, burglaries and medical emergencies, according to the article.
“We see things every day that would make you shudder — students living in their cars or whose houses have burned down — these things make you realize all the challenges our students have to face daily,” he said. “To watch them overcome and succeed in and out of the classroom with these challenges makes you want to battle for them.”