Aug 222011
 
Authors: Katie Salvato

As a resident assistant returning to Westfall, Megan Southward has formed bonds with many students that last beyond the first and final days of school.

“I keep in contact with a lot of old residents,” said the senior biological sciences major. “One of my former residents became an RA, and we got to hang out together during training.”

Resident assistants are the first contacts freshmen make when they move into the dorms. The RAs are hired to enforce rules, help new students make the transition from high school to college and be a primary source of information.

Southward said she has formed lasting friendships with many people from the dorms and finds it rewarding to catch up with former residents and see how they are doing.

“It’s so great to see my old residents walking around campus,” Southward said. “Not everyone remembers their professors, but everyone remembers who their RA was.”

Southward became interested in becoming an RA her freshman year.

“My RA was really cool and she recommended me for the position,” she said.

She has worked as an RA for three years and can’t wait to start making new memories this year.
“I want to enjoy this year as much as possible since it is my last year here,” she said.

Southward said she does not find it intimidating anymore to meet the incoming freshmen. It has become an old routine, and she feels very comfortable in her position.

“I love meeting new people, and I enjoy spending time with my residents,” Southward said.

Danielle Meier, a first time RA in Corbett, is excited to begin making similar connections with the students livingin her hall.

“I have 47 students on my floor. Getting to know them all will be a challenge, but a fun challenge,” Meier said.

Meier wants to make herself as accessible as possible to all of her residents. She’s prepared to take on the challenge of balancing her professional duties with being an approachable friend.
Krista Donnelly, a freshman in Corbett, said that her RAs have been nice so far.

“I could see myself being friends with them. They’re cool,” Donnelly said.

While both Southward and Meier want to make the dorms a fun experience, they also strive to create communities that are safe and supportive. Meier said she wants to create an environment where the residents respect each other and feel comfortable.

Collegian writer Katie Salvato can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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