Optional hall events, better

I have to give props to the Resident Assistants (RAs) we have on campus. They put a lot of time and effort into our residence halls, and much of it goes unnoticed and unappreciated.

Many of their duties, such as putting on programs and events for their wing, don’t reap the turnouts the planners desire.

Maybe it’s every college, or maybe it’s just this one, but the residents living in the halls don’t seem to have much interest in participating in hall events.

As a resident myself, I can empathize. However, I have seen how much time the RAs put into things, and it’s disappointing there are so few who appreciate it.

The residents who live on campus seem to stick to their own schedule. They have their own friends, own routine and don’t seem to be enthralled with group participation. Everyone seems to do just fine finding new friends and things to do on his/her own.

Between classes, parties and myriad other events on campus, students have plenty to do. It’s no wonder they don’t have the desire to participate in wing or hall events. They already have their friends and plans for the night.

I’ve been in the residence halls for two years now, and I’ve gone to about four events total. Some of them weren’t even for my hall or put on by my RA, but rather planned by a friend of mine in another hall.

I went to a few of the events for my wing last year, but only because practically everyone in my wing was friends and we were together anyway.

It’s different when you aren’t familiar with most of the people you live around. As humans, we don’t have a burning desire to step out of our comfort zone and spend time with people we don’t especially know.

I know the RAs are required to put on a certain number of events for their hall each semester, but I have to wonder if it’s even worth it. Why are RAs even required to host events?

Yes, it provides people with things to do other than drink and party. It also gives residents an opportunity to meet people on their wing.

But in reality, if the residents wanted to have those opportunities, they could voice their requests to their RA. This would be a more convenient alternative to RAs being required to plan events. It would definitely save them wasted time and effort to unite the halls.

Residents don’t attend and don’t understand how much work it takes to make the events possible. They don’t appreciate it.

I’m guilty of this too. I don’t have a desire to participate in activities in my wing or my hall. I don’t even talk to people in either place. I have my friends outside the hall and they’re who I choose to spend my time with.

That isn’t saying I wouldn’t participate in these events if I was with people I was close to and wanted to spend time with. If it was something popular around the halls it would be different, but going to hall events isn’t popular. That’s where an optional alternative should come in.

If hosting these events was optional, RAs could ask their residents if they were interested in participating, and if not, it would save a lot of time and effort. It’s a pity to see good ideas and positive motives wasted on residents who don’t really care.

We have really good RAs on campus. While I don’t know my current RA very well, she’s usually been there when I need something. I’m friends with a few others who are in different residence halls and not only are they great at their job, they have great relationships with their residents as well.

I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to put the time and effort into something while knowing it will probably have a small chance of success.

The situation may never change, and it’s unlikely that residents will ever be interested in spending time on residence hall events and programs. It just seems to be the way it is. But if the events in the halls were optional upon request, they would be based on desire to attend, and they would cater more to their residents’ interests and availability.

The optional method for event-planning could be the solution for the lack of turnout in residence hall events.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].