Before many of us even thought about returning to school, Eastern’s residence life staff was back and preparing for the coming school year.
The RAs arrived at Eastern on August 13. For senior Bekah Worley and junior Mike Miles, returning to school early is nothing new. This is Worley’s third year as an RA and Miles’ second. Ending summer vacation early is no big deal for Miles. “I don’t mind; I’m ready to come back,” he said.
The RAs spend lots of time together after they arrive on campus. This year they bonded during a canoe trip at Atsion Lake in New Jersey and a community service project in Camden, N.J., under Urban Promise. They also planned games for color groups and decorated their residence halls.
Worley’s hall has a very open-ended theme this year. The theme includes coffee, old photos and photo copies. “Maybe the theme is me,” Worley said.
Miles’ hall theme, Men of God, was inspired by 1 Timothy 6:11, which is on a necklace that all the male RAs received last year. He decorated his hall with pictures of famous Christians such as Evander Holyfield, Aslan, Reggie White and Martin Luther King.
Throughout the year the RAs come up with various hall activities. Worley plans on taking her hall to College Day on the Parkway. Laser tag and movie nights are going to be some of Miles’ hall activities. He hopes to have more hall activities than he did last year.
Preparing for the school year is not all fun and games. The RAs also have to go over safety issues and plan duty schedules. Different departments on campus such as the health center and campus security speak to the RAs about available student services.
Before the other students arrive, the RAs have to perform residence checks which include cleaning the rooms. “Everybody dreads that part,” Worley said. “It’s the worst.”
Being an RA also has its perks. The RAs get free housing, which was one of the reasons Miles initially decided to be an RA.
He also enjoys the responsibility that comes with the position. “I like the leadership role,” Miles said. He discovered that being an RA allows one to be both a leader and a servant.
Worley has enjoyed watching herself grow while being an RA. During her first year in the position, she was very uncomfortable with confrontation – now it is much easier for her to handle.
“Being an RA is a really rewarding experience,” Worley said.