The Office of Residence Life requires Resident Assistants (RA) on campus to host four programs each semester for the residents in their dorm buildings. Programs can range from hall wars to lectures. However, it is very difficult to have students attend.
Some RAs admit that they do not expect a high level of attendance. The purpose of these programs is to educate and build relationships between RAs and residents. Although most of the programs are held in a study lounge, the RAs decide where to host the program.
RA and senior Marketing major, Sanger De Vine, said he has experienced the disappointment of holding programs where few students have showed interest. He called his first program, “Beach Ball Social,” which was created for residents to get to know each other. Unfortunately, only a couple of students showed up.
However, he held a sexually transmitted disease awareness seminar called, “Let’s Talk About Sex,” where he offered free condoms. Fifteen students attended this relatively popular program. “Is it a problem that students don’t show a lot of interest in our programs? No. But it is sad,” he said, pointing out that he spends a lot of time planning the programs.
RA and junior Earth Science Education major, Natasha Vaughn, planned to hold an event called, “Social Media Showdown,” where she would show students how to use social media and how to explore how much information on each student is on the web. However, the program was canceled because only two students showed up. In order for it to be a successful program, there has to be at least five or more students, according to Vaughn.
“I think RA programs are kind of a waste. I recently went to one, and only me and someone else showed up because it was something to do,” said junior International Business major, Nicole Urbonas.
“It’s like I’m doing a lot of work for nothing,” Vaughn said. This is her second semester being an RA. She believes that there is a lot that RAs can do to get more people to attend programs such as putting up more flyers and holding the programs at a more convenient place like the dorm lobby.
However, for some students, the RA programs might be worth attending. “Some of them are fun because you get to meet new people and what not, it all depends on the program,” said junior Criminal Justice major, Craig Roth. His favorite program was one where he paid to throw a pie in a RA or Residence Hall Director’s face.
The RA programs that some students seem to find popular are the ones that include other dorms and those that get everyone involved, according to De Vine. He held a program at SUNY Canton, where he also was an RA, called, “Speed-dating in February,” which had a huge turnout. He is thinking about doing a similar program here at Post.
The most popular program in Brookville Hall last semester was called, “Sex Jeopardy,” said Brookville Hall RA Tina-Marie Fisco. She estimated that between 30 to 40 students showed up.
RAs are required to hold these programs in order to build a sense of community. A program proposal must be submitted to a Senior RA (SRA). It is then reviewed again two weeks prior to the date it is supposed to be held, once it has been approved. RAs choose what kind of event they want to do, as long as it is approved, Fisco said.
For more information on future programs, contact the Office of Residence Life Staff at 516-299-2326.