By Elisha Deluhery
Dorms are a weird thing to think about. A bunch of people on the verge of adulthood, all cramming together for the sake of community. That being said, AU has a rich tradition of dormhood on its campus.
Throughout the ages, the dorms here at AU have begun to emit characteristics of their own. From the jock-esque nature of Smith Hall to the proverbial chillness of Dunn Hall, every dorm has its own unique traits and quirks.
At the heart of these dorms lies the resident assistants. Tasked with running a smooth and safe floor, these RAs help promote and protect the storied history of these sacred dorms.
“My role as an RA is to be the person who helps build a safe, fun environment on my floor,” said Aubrey Davis. “Which means I get to have some great conversations, and occasionally some hard ones, plan some amusing events and make sure all of the conduct rules are being followed so everyone feels comfortable in their home.”
While this seems to be a fulfilling role, navigating the security of any hall can become challenging. The amount of people on one floor of Dunn, Myers, Morrison, Smith or Martin Hall can seem daunting, let alone an entire building of students. That’s a lot of people; with the increase of people comes accountability. The RAs at AU are under an immense amount of stress to create a fun environment while also promoting safety.
“I always tell my residents that my job is to love them well and the best way I can do that is to talk with them,” said Davis. “I do a lot of personal, one on one time when situations arise. I think it’s the best way to keep healthy relationships and to have more fun in the future.”
RAs are also tasked with the job of helping students with whatever problems they may encounter throughout the school year.
“As an RA, my job is to keep students safe and to provide assistance to them when they need it,” said Brayden Collingsworth. “Some of that may be letting them in their room when they’re locked out or even just hanging out with them.”
The RAs have created a sense of community between the residents and staff protecting them, which has allowed for some extracurricular goofiness such as Smith Hall’s “Man Week” to ensue. These hall-specific events further push a sincere dynamic between the RAs and their residents.
“I feel like I have pretty good relationships with the men of Smith Hall,” said Collingsworth. “I love to joke around so I feel like that helps define the kind of relationships I have. I’m a fun loving person.”
“I personally feel like we have a really fun connection with the other dorms. Since our staff this year is so small compared to the other staff, each of the other dorms took turns ‘adopting’ us into their staff so that we would feel included and loved,” said Davis.
This burgeoning sense of community has helped shape how the dorms are today and how they will be in the future. If this helpful dynamic of RA to student continues at AU, then we are primed to see a growth in dorm neighborliness and student involvement.
“Myers Hall is a forgotten treasure. The building has so much history and the residents this year light up the halls. We have this wonderful mixture of different people and personalities. It’s been a joy to see everyone fall into their place here on campus,” said Davis.
“I became an RA because I wanted to give students the same great experiences I had when I was a first year,” said Collingsworth, “I feel like Smith Hall is pretty chill this year. We’re all still very competitive, but I mean, we are Smith Hall. Also, Smith won the Hall Olympics—just needed to throw that in there.”
Many of the students have been experiencing these efforts as well. Some of them willingly participate in hall events, diversify their campus experience by going to CAB events and strengthen their community by joining clubs and social clubs, such as Boosters, Adelphi and Dativus, throughout their time here. A small part of that has to be contributed to the hard work of the various RAs here at AU.
“I’ve really enjoyed living in a dorm the past two years,” said sophomore Kyle Gardne. “I feel like the RAs are a big reason why the dorms feel fun, but safe at the same time. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”