I was offered a Resident Advisor (RA) position in Christensen Hall back at the end of February, which I was really excited about since that’s the dorm I live in now, and therefore know the ropes pretty well. Since accepting the offer, there have been a few follow-up requirements to fulfill the position before becoming an RA in the fall. The incoming Christensen RAs had to meet with the current hall director of the dorm for a one-on-one interview so she can strategically place us on a floor based on our personalities and leadership types. All new RAs had to complete a two-hour class with the main focuses being time management and what makes up a good RA. Each session had roughly twelve or so new RAs, a current hall director, and a current RA who led a question and answer session in addition to advice and tips to help us out next year. We even provided a piece of advice that our own RAs told us regarding the position.
We all then had to attend an orientation this past Sunday, April 7th for all new and returning RAs so we could meet our fellow staff members, hall directors, and UAHDs (Undergraduate Assistant Hall Director) if there is one. The new RAs were welcomed quite warmly by the current RAs by swarming us with a medley of cheering and a tunnel of high fives as we entered the room. From there we all played a quick ice breaker together, heard an inspirational speech from a hall director and former RA, and watched a hilarious video created by the UAHDs before breaking into groups by dorm. From there, we all introduced ourselves playing yet another ice breaker and proceeded to take over two large tables at Holloway Commons for dinner since the staff is so big! Also, since it happened to be a Sunday evening, many of us followed our dinner by walking over to Philbrook for a classic “Sunday sundae”. This will probably become a weekly tradition for us since Philbrook is located right by Christensen.
The next and final step in this process before RA training begins in August is known as the “pass-down ceremony”, which I have anxiously been awaiting since I am a Christensen resident, and therefore know many of the RAs in the building. This ceremony will be held during a staff meeting at some point over the next few weeks for current Christensen RAs and the incoming RAs are all invited so we can find out what floors we are being assigned for next year. Each RA passes down his or her room to the new designated RA of that floor by providing a gift that represents either that room or something that he or she used well while being an RA. I think the entire current Christensen staff would agree this ceremony needs to occur sooner than later because I have asked almost every current RA multiple times which floor he or she predicts I will be put on and why!
As for the future RAs of Christensen Hall, we all seem like a very enthusiastic, close-knit staff that is ready to work in this large, all-freshman dorm! The staff consists of two returners and fourteen new RAs. Nothing felt more welcoming than waking up to a sign posted on the wall outside my room by the returning RAs that says “Welcome to the Big X, Rachel!” The returners snuck around campus putting them up by the new RAs rooms and we all loved it! We have already coordinated a few staff meals and we already feel like a family! I am definitely looking forward to working with this staff next year and helping our freshmen residents adjust to college life!
Written by Rachel Afrow, UNH Class of 2016.