Resident Advisors share common student concerns

Senior Resident Assistants Kate Partain and Drake Vaccaro, and Resident Assistant Katie Kelso answer questions about student common concerns.

by Student Writer Gabby Johnson

Student writer Gabby Johnson sat down with Senior Resident Advisors Kate Partain and Drake Vaccaro, and Resident Advisor Katie Kelsoe for a brief chat about the biggest student concerns in the residence halls.

Q: How do you handle personal issues, such as emotional issues, when your residents bring them to you?

A: Vaccaro said, “One big thing is to start off out the gate with really good relationships, letting them know, ‘Hey, I’m the R.A. of the floor, so just let me know if you need anything at all because that’s what I’m here for’. You just really have to build those strong relationships from the beginning.”

A: Partain said, “There’s also the aspect of liability, so that if we’re told certain things, we either have to handle it the way we’re given by procedure, or we have to take it to an area coordinator kind of thing. There are multiple people who like to work and solve the problem as best as they can.”

Q: What is the question you get asked most frequently?

A: Kelsoe said, “‘What’s the password to the wifi?’ Every day we get calls on the duty phone asking that question. It’s a good question and a lot of people don’t know the answer to it. We’re glad we can provide that.”

Q: Any interesting concerns you have heard or gotten this year?

A: Kelsoe said, “In the new hall (Mattielou), the shower knobs don’t turn 180 degrees. They turn 90 degrees. Girls were freaking out because the knob did not turn all the way. It’s a new hall, and everyone is trying to figure out new things. There are a lot of changes they are adjusting to.

Q: What is the funniest fear you have heard from the incoming freshmen, or is there anything that sticks out to you from any year?

A: Partain said, “The fear is ultimately, ‘am I going to hate the person I’m going to be living with because I don’t know them?’ We do our part to help them out one-on-one and we figure out what we can do to make them feel comfortable.”

A: Vaccaro said, “I always tell people going into my freshman year I met my roommate at SOAR. We didn’t even know each other until then, and it really worked out best. They’re not the first to go through it and they’ll make it. They’ll be alright.”