As a second semester sophomore, I have had my fair share of unconventional starts of a semester. I started my first year as a college student only being able to see the top half of people’s faces on Zoom which added to the struggle to make friends.
Although the initial arrival at Fairfield University was a bit rough for the class of 2024 and 2025, since the beginning the Residents Assistants around campus have made life significantly better for students.
I am currently a resident of 42 Langguth Rd and since the beginning of this year, I have made it a priority to befriend my RAs and attend every event possible. Rather than ignore our weekly snack-filled Tasty Hours or yoga on Bellarmine lawn in the nice weather, I embraced the opportunity to make new friends.
Something important to note is that RAs are full time students, so they understand how difficult it is to be a student during the pandemic. With the added stress on students because of COVID-19, RAs goals are even more centered around making students feel safe and comfortable.
Roughly a week before the spring semester started, the RAs began prepping for a return on campus. With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 still being very present at this time, the RAs thought of safe ways to gather within our community.
Junior RA Lindsey Gallagher emphasizes the importance of making students feel comfortable saying, “As a RA, my goal is to support residents in their academic, personal and social lives, doing whatever I can to make sure my residents have an easy transition to campus.”
Gallagher, like the other RAs on campus, has been determined to host frequent events that students will enjoy, as well as give students an opportunity to take a break from daily stressors.
The RAs at Fairfield University are hosting at least one event a night, all of which are open to the entire campus. These programs are in place to facilitate an easier transition to school for students this semester.
Although RAs are in positions of power over students to ensure safe living situations for residents, RAs at Fairfield University go above and beyond to create a mentor-friend environment, which makes students feel comfortable to approach resident staff with personal issues. Personally I believe that for how difficult an RAs job is they do not get nearly enough recognition from the administration of Fairfield University as well as their fellow peers. RAs act as a bridge between the administration and students, RAs have to give up nights to manage residence halls of hundreds of students, and the stipend they receive for their work goes directly towards their tuition, so many RAs have to work second jobs just to have spending money.
In Langguth this year, each RA has made it their goal to have a friendship with their residents because they are students just like the rest of us. I know that I have a particularly close relationship with Chelsey Gabriel ‘22, Jakob Matala ‘22 and Lindsey Gallagher. They are frequent users of the Langguth third floor lounge. With the door often open to hang around with them, I have found myself cooking, watching movies and doing homework with them multiple nights a week.
This is not to say that the other RAs do not have this type of relationship with their residents. I also often find myself waving and saying hello to RAs that I never even had.
The quality of work given by the RAs and the personal connections that each RA has made with me and many other students on campus is impeccable and is deserving of more credit.