University Housing staff make a difference every day.

University Housing staff make a difference every day.

Here is one staff member’s story in his own words. 

Nathan D., C.L.A.S.S. Advocate in Brumby Hall  

If I could write one word to describe being a CA, it would be community. I bet it sounds pretty basic considering that’s the role of residential staff, but I truly believe it. During my freshman year, community just meant living in a residence hall with hundreds of strangers, but now I’ve realized it means so much more. Last year, I saw community as learning about my hallmates in Russell. Behind every door, there is a new person with different experiences, beliefs and ideas. For example, my neighbor and I shared the passion for soccer, and this led us to becoming best friends. It’s the connections like these that I feel college is about. From waking up at 5 a.m. to watching a World Cup game or sharing laughs while playing Fifa, this is what community is about. Friendships are built on similarities but are reinforced through hundreds of memories and stories. Coming into college is nerve racking, but building community alleviates lots of the stress. 

I feel my view on community has taken a different lens this year as a C.L.A.S.S. Advocate. It’s my role to build community instead of solely being a part of it. As a CA, it’s my job to ensure I’m advocating and supporting the African American residents. To me, this was important because sometimes I felt a bit lost during my first semester. However, my CA last year helped introduce me to different people and organizations around campus, and I saw myself grow in confidence. My favorite part of being a CA is seeing my residents around campus and having a genuine conversation with them. It could be about academics, football or even about movies. It’s these conversations that matter. I want to be there for them as my CA was for me. For a while, I struggled with the belief I needed to do everything perfectly, reach out to all my residents, and be the perfect role model. But that’s just not practical. I am lucky to share this role with another CA who I feel compliments me well. In my faults, she helps me out and vice versa. Together, we both do our best to fully support our residents. 

I also feel community extends to other staff in the residence hall as well. Many times, if you see one Brumby RA/CA, you’ll see another. We’ve cultivated a community within ourselves that supports one another. As a first-year staff member, I was nervous that it would be hard to fit in, but it has truly been special here. It might be the little things such as going to grab dinner together, or even quick Trader Joe’s trips, but these memories last. If you have a chance to look in the staff workroom, you’re bound to see at least someone there studying or chatting with another staff member. It’s always nice to pop my head in and have a quick conversation with some RAs. 

Ultimately, I know my training and experience as a CA will extend to my future success. With my eye toward becoming a sports medicine physician, advocating and supporting patients is of great importance. Patients need to feel secure and confident in my abilities to rehabilitate their injuries. Thus, my role has laid the groundwork for the rest of my professional career. Looking back on my decision to apply, I truly have no regrets. The chance to leave such an impact on residents cannot be overstated enough. I am blessed to be in this role in such an amazing community.