Issue22_Features_RA

Voting begins for Residence Life awards

Mar 29 • Features, Top Stories • 639

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Students have the opportunity to recognize members of Residence Life who have gone above and beyond during the 2016-2017 academic year.
The Office of Residence Life Special Events Committee is currently accepting submissions until April 5 via EngageU to commend Resident Assistants (RA) and Professional Staff Members through a set of annual awards.
The first award is the Office of Residence Life Resident Assistant (RA) of the Year.
RAs are selected by the Office of Residence Life during the beginning weeks of the Spring semester and must go through an intense application process to earn their positions.
They are assigned to specific buildings on campus and are responsible for looking after residents in on-campus dorm rooms and apartment buildings.
The Resident Assistant of the Year award serves to recognize an RA who has put a substantial amount of time and effort into forming relationships with his or her residents as well as staff members, campus partners and other building residents.
In addition, nominated RAs should have done an excellent job balancing personal and academic responsibilities with their responsibilities for Residence Life.
Wehrle RA Steve Pitcairn encouraged his residents to vote for him for the award, stating, “I work hard and balance [being an RA] with school very well. I like engaging with residents and planning cool programs to meet their needs. It has been a great time building a good community in Wehrle.”
The second award is the Office of Residence Life Program of the Year.
The Program of the Year award recognizes the most innovative and engaging student-implemented program of the academic year.
RAs are required to plan multiple programs per year for their residents, and much goes into planning these programs, according to sophomore physician assistant major and Harborview RA Rachel Nye.
“When it comes to planning a program, it all comes down to the needs of your residents,” she said. “For example, first-year students may need more programs about scheduling or adjusting to college, while upperclassmen need programs that help them relax amidst the stress they feel in their classes.
“Most of the time, I stick to programs that involved food since I have upperclassmen athletes on my floor and all they want to do is relax and eat.”
Programs nominated for this award should demonstrate superior work by the RA implementer and can include themes of advertising, use of campus resources, creativity, dimensions of LIFECORE, and/or wellness, leadership, service and globalization.
Popular programs this year have included “Painting with RA Steve” at Wehrle Hall, Evan DeFalco’s water balloon fight at North Hall. and Mark Wesley’s recent “Jam Session” at Harborview House Apartments.
“I came up with this program because I wanted to find residents who share the same love for music as well as give those who may be interested in music a chance to play instruments and learn,” Wesley said.
The final award is the Office of Residence Life Professional Staff Member of the Year.
This award recognizes a staff member who works with the Office of Residence Life who has provided transformative and meaningful experiences for Gannon students in residence halls and beyond.
Those nominated should be dedicated to fulfilling Gannon University’s mission, Office of Residence Life and Student Development and Engagement initiatives.
Maddy Hauck, Finegan Hall resident director, said it is very important that students nominate individuals for these awards, claiming, “… our RAs [and professional staff] dedicate a significant amount of time connecting with their community, engaging them with hall programming and campus life – they do this without any expectation of being thanked or recognized.
“These awards give residents an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and recognize their RAs because, while they might think RAs already know they’re doing great things to support their communities, it’s always nice to get direct feedback from their students.”
Awards will be given out at the Residence Life Banquet April 28.
RAs and professional staff members will be recognized among campus partners and staff with a small trophy.
The nomination form can be found under the Office of Residence Life’s EngageU page, under the “forms” tab.
To nominate an RA or professional staff member for these awards, please place your vote prior to 5 p.m. April 5.

KATE ROBB
robb004@knights.gannon.edu

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