This archived article was written by: Shadayah Jones
e to make sure that students on campus are safe, comfortable and happy. They are always one or more of them on duty 24/7, and they are always there when students need help. That’s right, we are talking about the resident advisors on campus at USU Eastern. The RAs work hard and are dedicated to their jobs. To help them grow, develop and excel in their positions, the Association of Intermountain Housing Officers hosts a yearly conference every October. The Association’s purpose is to work for continual improvement and coordination of housing and food service operations for students and staff members in institutions of higher learning.
This year Angelica Gomes, Chelsey Sorensen and Blaney Hanvey represented USU Eastern and attended the conference held in Moscow, Idaho. At this conference, there were many activities that were used to help the RAs improve their halls and get new ideas to make them better. During the conference, schools submit presentations to be judged by a committee composed of peers and administrators. The presentations are based on quality, uniqueness and applicability to other institutions. USU Eastern had three programs selected, Shuffle-It-Up, First-Pumpin’ and Rock It. All of the presentations were successful, but Shuffle-It-Up was awarded Best Community Building Program out of the 32 intermountain universities in attendance.
Each person has their own beat and together as a community a new beat is created. To help residents develop and grow as a community Gomez, Sorensen, and Hanvey presented “Shuffle It Up.” Residents picked a song off their phones, I-pods, mp3 player, or pick from a rockin’ collection. The residents performed as a group or solo. They are then blind folded and listen to the song with head phones on while performing. Without receiving any feedback from the audience while performing, residents are able to share with the community a part of themselves and connect through music and laughter.
Every wonder how you are going to help resolve issues between roommates? The First Pumpin’ program takes real issues from reality TV show “Jersey Shore” and provided helpful hints in managing conflict between roommates. Gomez, Sorensen, and Hanvey explained the TV show and compared examples that residents face when living with roommates. This session will gave new ideas and solutions to problem solving with residents
In the final program Rock It, attendees learned a fun way of introducing residents to each other. It was also a new creative way to have residents introduce themselves to their community. Residents are given rocks and ask to create an image of their identity on the rocks. Time will be given to process and share with others about their creations. This helps people discover and share their individual personalities and get to know others at the same time.
Chelsey Sorensen, Burtenshaw Hall director, said, “the conference was a great way to network with other residential life staff and gain new programming ideas for USU Eastern Halls.”