QU Residence Life Structure Revamped

By Abigail Moore
Last May, the Quincy University residence life directors informed students of a dream and were determined to make that happen. Abbey Carpenter, undergraduate residence director, said that dream has sparked a change in energy and positivity within the students on campus.

The residence life structure changed drastically after the resident assistants saw a greater need to provide more support for students around campus and in dorms.

Cooper Harrison, undergraduate residence director, outlined the changes residence life staff wanted to implement.

“Dr. Christine {Tracy} came to us when we were RA’s last year and said, ‘I want to have 30 RA’s and six RD’s’. We looked at each other and thought, ‘Is this really going to happen?’ We only had about 20 last year. The change was huge,” Harrison said.

The new residence life structure has made things easier and more efficient for everyone involved. Carpenter believes the new structure will help security be more present elsewhere instead of being an extra hand to the RA’s in the dorms. She also said the residence directors were chosen based on experience, leadership, and having the ability to make a difference on campus. The residence directors for the 2017-2018 school year are Abbey Carpenter, Genesis Torrens, Derek Lambert, Anthony Winter, Cooper Harrison, and EJ Baker.

The addition of residence directors have impacted the position and duty of the new residence assistants. RA’s now are required to pair up when going on duty, which has brought an element of comfort to the dorms.

“There is an RA on duty in every single building every single night, as opposed to having one RA on duty per two dorms. Which I feel really helps provide a presence of residence life in each dorm,” Carpenter said.

Thirty new and returning residence assistants work in Francis Hall, Padua, Helien, Garner, Willer, and the SLC.

Kay Bettendorf, first year resident assistant, lives in and supervises students in Willer Hall. The experience has been eye-opening.

“Behind the scenes of what an RA has to do is a lot more than what I thought. For example, we have to do one on ones with our residents to build a sense of community. One of the necessary jobs of being an RA is making sure everyone feels at home in their building,” Bettendorf said.

RA’s are also in charge of filling out work orders and being a helping hand to the residence directors.

Harrison describes the RD position as supervising a designated building and guiding the RA’s with their jobs. Each RD has possession of the “duty phone” one out of every six weeks.

“There’s not an RD for we can’t go to. The reasons for having them, one, is so they can help us with whatever we need and two, they’re also kind of there for our guidance and showing us what we need to do,” Bettendorf said.

Although the RD and RA positions differ in duties, one thing that brings the undergraduates together is the comfort and energy that each person brings to the meetings and campus atmosphere. Carpenter relates the energy directly to the positive new staff and their personality depicted in the theme of each residence hall.

Residence life has made it a priority to be the life and energy of campus.

“We’re really trying to make this campus a better place for students to live, but a lot of that comes with the students own attitude towards the school. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing. We want a good experience and experiences don’t just come, they have to be reached for in a sense. Positivity must be built. It’s not just instantly there,” Carpenter said.

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