Although the spring semester is rapidly coming to a close, Anderson University will be far from silent and empty when classes officially end on May 5. In fact, for many people on campus, the end of the semester means preparing to welcome visitors for multiple conferences and camps that will take place at AU during the summer months.
Mitchell Stacy, a junior psychology major, is excited to begin his second summer in a row as an RCA, or Resident Conference Assistant.
“I love getting to see how campus runs behind the scenes,” Stacy says. “As an RCA, you get to work with the Physical Plant Department and Food Services and collaborate with them to get a job done. It’s a lot of fun, and all of us RCAs work so much together that we become like family.”
The responsibilities of an RCA are vast, as RCAs are involved in every aspect of the conference and camp program. Duties include preparation for an event, assisting with day-to-day operations and acting as a primary and emergency contact for groups that visit campus for events. The RCAs are each assigned a building on campus in which to stay and assume the responsibilities of an RA for the summer.
“We live in the dorms and become like an RA, or even an RD, because sometimes the RDs move for the summer,” Stacy says. “We’re in charge of taking care of the building, making sure the rooms are okay by doing room checks. We turn in work orders and communicate a lot with the camps that happen over the summer.”
Stacy says that one of his favorite parts of working as an RCA is getting to work with the other RCAs and Lisa Ragsdale, director of conference and performance events.
“She is really nice and a great leader,” says Stacy. “One of her strengths is individualization, meaning that she works hard to assign us each to a group of people or camp that we are interested in or work well with. For example, artistic RCAs are assigned to work with the artistic students, and the athletic RCAs work more with the athletic camps.”
AU will be hosting a variety of conferences and camps for high school students throughout the summer, including Women’s Soccer ID Camps, Design Camp, Filmmakers Camp and STEM Immersion Camp. Many of the camps and conferences, like the Design Camp, are designed to give high school students the opportunity to look into particular majors and experience studying and staying in a college environment. Others, like the Soccer ID Camp, offer high school athletes a glimpse into college athletics and an opportunity to train with AU’s coaches.
One of the most popular camps that is held annually on AU’s campus is the Orangehaus Music Business Camp, which will host many aspiring songwriters, artists and those interested in music business. The camp will conclude with “OrangeFest,” a free concert open to the public that will feature bands assembled during the camp. The camp offers practical experience for those interested in music production and business. High school students who attend the camp may even apply to receive college credit for their involvement.
The many camps and conferences being held over the summer offer employment opportunities for current AU students. Junior Ellyana Blue will be working at Kardatzke Wellness Center during the summer. As a former high school soccer player, Blue is also excited to spend her summer assisting at the summer camps that AU will host in the upcoming months.
“I’ve always loved soccer, and it will be great to stay here over the summer and get to know the high school students who share that passion,” Blue says. “I’m also really glad I’ll get to stay in Anderson over the summer, because I love it here.”
This upcoming summer will also mark the first time in seven years that AU will not be home to the Colts Training Camp. This year, the Colts will be training at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The official website of the Colts team states that the reason for the shift in location is due to the changing needs of NFL training camps, which are more likely to be held at home than in other cities.
Although the Colts Camp will not be held at AU this summer, campus will still be active with the many events held throughout the summer and the people who will be working hard to ensure that AU is prepared for the fall semester.