By Sakhile Vanqa
“This is a leadership position, and strives to build community” is a phrase we were told and aspire to grow into. I am now eight weeks into being an RA (resident adviser), and my one year anniversary has come and gone in this city. Where has the time gone! It’s not in my pockets; have you checked yours?
I was laughing with Mickey Hart (director of residence life) after he informed me that we were running up to week eight. It’s still unclear as to whether the laughter was coming from a place of denial or mild insanity.
With that said, we are students too, which means that there will be a lot things that we the RAs have in common with you that you can come and talk to us about. We have lived through instances such as praise for the hard work you put into a project, the roommate that just won’t wash their socks, and figuring out which direction you want your work to go in. We want to hear it! Believe you me, nothing beats an awesome high-five following a good critique on your work, especially when it means you can sleep afterwards.
One of the most important roles of an RA is to ensure your comfort and safety on campus. This can take the shape of helping you through making sure the transition from home to college is as smooth as it can be, or if you have being away from home down to a science, then being there for you where you need the attention.
Alluding to the idea of community that we aim to build, the RAs organize events aka ‘programs.’ We take to figuring out what you enjoy more, and then plan something around that. They help you blow off steam and forget about your homework for a couple of hours. At some point, it is said, our rivals were the Student Programming Board when it came to organizing student events; we’re that good.
And sometimes, we just want to be silly. Don’t you want to be silly? You spend long periods of time with color wheels and the echoing sound of your professor’s voice lulling you to sleep at the end of every day. After a while, I would like to think, you want to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with homework.
Oh, and did someone say food? We try to have it at as many of our programs as possible. The phrase “starving artist” is something that pertains mainly to an artist’s lifestyle after they graduate and venture off, but here you’ll learn that it’s because we are always hungry. Unless I’m the only one with an abyss for a stomach. Let me see some hands in the air, people.
Your experience may sometimes feel like the stereotypical economy-class discomfort: there’s a baby wailing, and you’re sandwiched between the proud grandmother and a neighbor that’s fallen asleep and mistaken your thigh for the armrest. It’s about that time when an RA would be great to come to.
We know that everyone’s a snowflake, so we get to know everyone on an individual basis. It should come without saying, but we really do care about you all. We are an incredible team of people, working for an incredible group of people.
Sakhile Vanqa is a junior majoring in Cinematic Arts who enjoys humor, cycling, and aspires to shoot for National Geographic.
The Life at CCAD blog brings prospective students and their families into ongoing conversation with CCAD students, admissions counselors, and financial aid staff—including occasional visits from other members of the CCAD family.