WHO are the people I work with as an RA?
Throughout this year, there are a couple of things I will constantly talk about: my RA staff, RA life, being a nursing student, my social life and my faith. My RA staff is a big part of my Calvin life this year, but also is a huge part of a resident's life in the dorms!
I am one of the two RAs in second van Reken. The dorm I serve as a whole is KHvR. My staff is the biggest RA staff on campus, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Although a big staff can be troublesome at times, I have my staff behind me for encouragement, prayers, and even just for a laugh.
Why have an RA on a floor?
An RA is a facilitator who helps foster community within a floor, between brother/sister floors, throughout the dorm, and even to the rest of Calvin's community. I and the rest of my staff do this through getting to know the residents on our specific floor and other floors as well. I, as an RA, also have the responsibility of helping plan events for the floor (floor outings or events, as I love to call them). Some of the events that RAs help plan are floor events with other floors, floor dinners and floor outings. I would like to point out that RAs are not there to get anyone in trouble, but rather are there to walk alongside the residents. I am an RA who walks with my resident as they are challenged every day by their classes, people, brokenness, faith, spirituality and more.
I could keep talking about the importance of having an RA, but I got to ask a couple of residents about the importance of their RA at Calvin.
Brendan Murphy: "Tim keeps everything very organized and is really good at scheduling floor dates, dinners and outings with other floors."
Brendan is one of Tim's residents. RAs help foster communities by putting on social events. As an RA, empowering residents to be good students is a wonderful part of our job. However, it's important to have fun as well.
Erin Boersma: "Mary is awesome! I love how she always keeps her door open and says hi, even when I'm just passing by. She always makes sure that everyone knows when we're eating as a floor by sending out a message or walking down the hallway. She is a great listener and just so easy to talk to about anything. I don't think she ever stops smiling. I swear she could talk to anything, even a brick wall. She works so hard to keep everyone included and does a great job of knowing how to support everyone on the floor"
Maggie Kerr: "One of my favorite things about my RAs is that they are friends and get along together and work super well with each other. You can genuinely tell they care about our whole floor. Kaitlyn has such a caring heart and loves Nacho Libre. She could listen to you talk about anything and would always listen to you and give you feedback on it and just be there for you."
Maggie Kerr: "Josh is just a really awesome, chill, quirky guy who likes magic and is one of the most caring genuine guys I have ever met. You can tell he isn’t just listening to you because he has to, but because he actually cares. He can also do really cool card tricks."
Aubrey Laubenthal: "My RAs here on first van Reken have surrendered to God's will for their lives and are committing to community on my floor every day. Their love shines radiantly and permeates the hearts of these people. They care, honor, respect, encourage and support. They exceed all my expectations and I am proud to call them my RAs, friends, and brother and sister in Christ. There are not enough words to thank them."
Heather Hartman: "Bonni is not only my RA, but my suitemate. Coming from high school, where bonding with an upperclassman is almost unheard of, I was shocked by how friendly, open and welcoming Bonni was towards me. She can talk to anyone about anything and keep an open mind and a calm composure. "
I have the privilege of working with Bonni, through whom I am encouraged to fully work for God's glory through Racial Reconciliation and prayer.
Rachel Buick: "I am happy to say a few things about Mary Lepage! She always has her door open when she is home. She asks us to stop by anytime we need anything or just want to talk. She gives awesome hugs, and if you are going through something, she will listen to you as long as you need to talk. And then she will continue to check up on you and make sure you are doing okay. Mary is a blessing, and I can't imagine what my time here at Calvin would be like so far without her! "
Mike Lentz is one of the funniest people I've met. He shows his love with his residents by telling puns! This guy truly knows how to make people feel welcome and comfortable. Mike genuinely cares for his residents and assures that they are able to have fun at the same time.
Brad Lanser: "Mike is the best! He is a good RA because he sticks to the rules, but can have fun, too."
Sam VanderGriend: "What I like most about my RAs is that they are genuinely interested in getting to know me and fostering community on our floor. The descriptive word that comes to me when I think of my RAs is "nurturing." I have had some really great chats already with my RAs, and have a lot of respect for the experience and perspective they bring to such conversations and floor events in general. I'm a first year student, so it's really nice to feel like someone has my back if I ever have any questions or concerns"
Maia Madrid: "Lydia is the sweetest and most loving human. Her door is always open with a smile for everyone. I love her cute, cheerful disposition. I definitely wouldn't have survived this year without her, honestly!"
Jalynn Calderon-Crain: "My favorite thing about Monica is that she is like a big sister. She has such a big heart and is straight-up about everything. There is a reason why she is known as MOMica. She is always there and open to talk about anything and everything, which I find very comforting. She is also very funny and very supportive. She also gives the best advice and knows the ways of Calvin. We love you, Momma Kals!"
William Phillips: "I have Paul for my RA, and I love how open he is and how willing he is to talk about anything of depth."
I am grateful for my staff this year as they are able to grow as leaders for God's glory. Being an RA is not an easy position, but hearing all the appreciation from the residents for my fellow RAs makes the job better! Honestly, the main reason the RAs work hard for is for their residents.
For my staff and for you!
Blessings to all :)
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9–12