Res Life may look different in the years to come here at PLNU. Monday night, all the residential assistants (RAs) and residential directors (RDs) came together in the cafeteria for a new event called ‘Re-Imagining Residential Life.’
“We are taking the semester to look closely at how resident life is in the halls and how we can improve upon it,” said Jeff Bolster, the dean of students.
With PLNU expanding its freshmen class in the past couple of years, RDs agreed to take a look at restructuring the RA program and life on campus as a whole. Res Life and ASB board members were invited to this extension of Res Life’s normal Monday night meetings.
Approximately 75 people made up this group of 10 RDs, about 60 RAs, Bolster and Caye Smith, the vice president for student development.
Bolster led the event organizing the RAs and RDs into groups of 10. Paper and pens were provided at each table and student leaders were asked to brainstorm ways to make a better campus for all students.
“If we were moving to PLNU next fall and were told we had nine dorms on campus, an apartment off campus and several on, what would we need to do for freshman, sophomores, juniors or seniors? Dream big,” said Bolster to the students.
The RAs and RDs did just that. One group split their paper into four sections, one for each grade level. They then went and made a list of what each grade needed or what worked well. Groups were given fifteen minutes each and then had to mingle to create a new group of ten. After switching four times, the groups came together and shared what they had written down on each paper.
Common themes included: cleanliness in the bathrooms or dorms, good study habits with encouragement to use the Tutorial Center and to encourage spirituality by attending chapel, joining a discipleship group and worshiping at church each Sunday.
“Students should have more involvement in residential life,” said Jaime Smith, resident director of Colony Apartments.
Both RDs and RAs were eager for the ideas they brainstormed and hoped that some, like a better workout facility, may actually happen on campus.
“I think this meeting is important because as the freshman classes tend to expand, we need to expand the resources that we provide,” said RA Maddy Trattles.
This was the first meeting to brainstorm new ideas for Residential Life; RDs will decide if they should continue the discussion in another meeting or in their resident halls.