Residence hall leaders recognized at dinner
Two weeks before most Highlanders had returned to campus, a group of Radford University students had already made themselves at home.
Resident assistants and directors moved into the residence halls Aug. 17 to prepare for their new housemates. For 10 days, the student-leaders received extensive training for a role that is vital to the university's residence life program. Their hard work was recognized Aug. 25 at the Governor Tyler House during a dinner hosted by President Penelope W. Kyle.
"This is always the first event of the school year because you are depended on so much," President Kyle said. "You are a critical part of welcoming our new freshmen and making them feel at home. We thank you so much for what you do. I hope you realize how important this job is."
One hundred and six RAs and RDs will take on the important responsibility of shepherding the 3,000-plus students who will live in the 15 different residence halls this academic year.
"Resident assistants and directors are the backbone of the residence life program," said Dean of Students Irvin Clark, who attended the reception along with Vice President for Student Affairs Mark Shanley and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Activities and Recreation Kenneth Bonk. "They represent the 'frontline' of the residential experience, and they make a difference in the lives of those they come in contact with."
Returning to her RA position for a second year is Bianca Contreras, a senior transfer student from Tampa, Florida. She took on the leadership role to "experience something new" and to "get involved," she said.
"It has been a rewarding experience," Contreras said. "We really do make a difference."
Sophomore Stephen Mills of Chesterfield will man a floor of Muse Hall this year.
"I love helping people and being a positive influence," Mills said. "So, I thought this position was a perfect fit for me."
Doubly as eager to start the semester are twins, Keona and Deona Guy, and Santanna and Savanna Miller. The pairs of RA sisters are excited to meet their housemates and to "start building that Radford community," said Savanna Miller.
"I want to show students why I love Radford and why they will, too" she said.