Meeting new people can be a challenging part of college, but attending programming designed and run by the resident assistants (RAs) is a great place to start. Programs raise awareness about an issue relevant to college students, promote personal development and foster community. Oh—and they're also a blast.
RAs are constantly coming up with exciting new programs, so it's impossible to provide a complete list, but listed here are a few examples:
More than 175 students showed up to participate in a dodgeball competition in the Gambrill Gymnasium. Amid the hurling and dodging, students made new friends and discovered their hall spirit.
Where in the Coblentz?
Students from Coblentz Hall met in the lounge, where they were given their first clue in a building-wide scavenger hunt. While they were hunting and decoding clues, students got acquainted with the numerous resources available in Coblentz.
RA programs always strive to combine social and educational components. “Stress Blows” was co-programmed by one RA from Smith Hall and another from Shriner Hall. During the program, residents got to express their crafty side by making homemade stress balls while also learning about time management and stress-reduction tips. The best part of this program? Students got to meet not only people from the other floors of their building, but also from an entirely different residence hall while learning how to be successful at Hood.
About Last Night…
“About Last Night …” was a program put on in conjunction with Alcohol Awareness Week, in which students were invited to the Meyran Hall lounge for “drinks” (root beer) and a party. Afterward, the partygoers were instructed to look at the bottom of their cups, where they found hypothetical scenarios for how their night might have ended if they had made different choices. It was an opportunity for students to consider the freedom and responsibilities that come along with life in college, and to learn more about responsible, healthy decision-making.
RAs often capitalize on the resources of downtown Frederick. During the “Frederick Explorers” program, an RA from Memorial Hall led a walking tour of the historic district, highlighting favorite restaurants, galleries and shopping areas, and acquainting first-year students with their new neighborhood.
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF
Responsibility to the larger society is often a key element of RA programming, and it's not unusual for a program to bring the community together to benefit a cause. Each participant in this program received a “Trick-or-Treat" box that they carried to classes, athletic events, club meetings and meals for three weeks to solicit donations. At the end of October, the money was pooled and donated to UNICEF.
Hood College is fortunate to have a diverse student body with a wide array of cultures and traditions, and RAs often help residents gain exposure to different cultures by designing programs with one of Hood's culturally affiliated clubs or organizations. One RA from Shriner brought a group of her residents to the Muslim Student Association's annual Iftar dinner. There, they learned about the breaking of the fast (called Iftar) during the month of Ramadan and participated in a discussion about the custom's significance.
Have you ever had a first impression about someone that was completely wrong? This program helped residents examine first impressions and explore gender-based assumptions that we make every day. Residents looked at pictures of male and female residence hall rooms and discussed what they imagined the people in those rooms were like. Afterward, the RAs led a talk about how gender-based stereotypes affect today’s youth culture.
One way that RA programming helps residents succeed is by teaching them how to stay healthy. In germ bingo, instead of the traditional letter-number combinations, the bingo boards featured different bacteria and virus names. Along with calling out the germ names, the RA also shared information about transmission, treatment and tips for wellness. Prizes included health-promoting goodies like hand sanitizer, tea and tissues.