The new Director of Student Life, Dazhon Darien, is now the former director of Student Life.  After less than a semester Darien was dismissed from his position. The university says he was not a good fit, but Darien says he was fired.

During the fall semester, Colorado Mesa University had hired Darien to replace former director Shane O’Neill. According to student leaders, such as Associated Student Government President Beau Flores and Editor in Chief of The Criterion Chris DeLeon, Darien seemed to be the one for that position. Flores and DeLeon said he came in strong and ambitious, and had a great attitude and seemed to be just what Student Life needed. Before the spring semester had begun, Darien was dismissed from his position.

When asked about the sudden dismissal of Darien Vice President of Student Services John Marshall said, “So for us, I think it’s entirely possible, and this happens to us from time to time, where we bring somebody in who we think is going to be a great fit and despite the fact that they are well credentialed or a great person, whatever the case might be, they’re just not the right fit. My observation is that Mr. Darien is a great guy. Loves students, but wasn’t the right fit.”

For now the position remains vacant. “We intend to reopen the post and search for a new director here this Spring, and hope to land somebody that is a great fit,” said Marshall.

Upon contacting Darien about why he left, he stated, “I was fired. Ultimately I don’t think some students and members of the Students Life team was ready for a Director who had vision and wanted to change things,” Darien said. He was then asked for clarification on what his vision was. He did not respond.

Crite Staff | The Criterion
Beau Flores and Jeff Vela

When questioned about the situation, Flores said, “His views were ambitious, but most of the time did not correspond with the student views here. Student Life is so heavily ran on students. Money is all from students, the media and everything is all done and approved by students. So when you try to change something to make it where student life is in charge or the directors are, of course you are going to butt heads. Because our flow is students, students, students. He wanted to kind of change that view and kind of be the head of all these things, but when it needed to be brought to, approved and acted upon by us.”

Only time will tell if the university will find a director of Student Life that will in fact be a good fit.


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Susan Moore
Susan Moore is 43 years old and grew up in Houston, Texas. She recently received her AA in Business Administration, Liberal Arts-Humanities and Liberal Arts-Social Science in December 2017. Moore is working on her BBA Management. Moore has been currently married for seven years. She started her college education in Santa Barbara, California, then she attended college in Venice, Florida and she is finishing here at CMU. Moore moved to Grand Junction almost 3 years ago.


  1. Should have done some more digging here. What ideas did Mr. Darien have that were so offensive as to have him shown the door? This is a puff piece without some kind of example.

  2. Great point Andy. In less than a semester a decision was made that he looked good on paper but the students didn’t approve of him running the department. Guess outsiders aren’t welcomed.


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