RA Spotlight: Savannah Gerlach

 RA SpotlightSavannah

Savannah Gerlach

Hall: Morrison 6th floor “Dark Side”

Year: Junior

Major: English

Minor: Creative Writing

Dream job: Publishing and maybe writing someday

Hobbies: Writing, reading, hanging out with friends, teaching herself guitar

Hometown: Hillsborough/Chapel Hill area

Fun fact: “I’m studying abroad in London this summer”

Why did you decide to become an RA?“I just heard really good things. I enjoyed my RA. I was really excited to plan programs and get to know residents. I’ve spent a lot of time as a camp counselor so I kind of enjoy that personal development type thing.”
What are some of the events you’ve planned?“Earlier in the year we had a basketball day where we just came out and played. Me and another RA made smoothies one time. We played Mafia with those little candy cigarettes, which was cute.”
What’s the most fun thing you’ve done with your residents?“The smoothie night and programs where they all come out and get free food and relax. A lot of my residents I think were appreciative of the fact that it was healthier. Sometimes we have pancake nights and it’s not super healthy, but they all just flocked to this. There were people who weren’t even on the hall that stopped by and got some. So they got to pick out their different fruits and it was a fun time to just sit and talk with them. I think that’s the best way to really get to know your residents, to not create hoops for them to jump through with too many activities. Just let them come and hang.”
What do you love about your residence hall?“I really love how social my residents are. A lot of times when it’s nice out I’ll come out and see them all out on the balcony enjoying the weather. They’re super friendly. They’re always really outgoing so it kind of makes my job easier. It’s all sophomores and they’re busy but they still come out to the programs.”
Describe a time when one of your residents did something that surprised you.“I had one resident go out for RHA president, and he didn’t get it but he was just the most gracious person about it. He really stood up for RHA and was really supportive of the winner. I was really impressed by that and very proud. And I’ve had other residents make RA. One of them has already moved to Hinton James so that’s really exciting for her. It’s really exciting for them to step up and do that.”
What else are you involved in on campus?“I’m in Camp Write UNC, which is this awesome camp that we set up for middle school and high school students and we get to teach them creative writing over the summer for free. They have to apply to get in and it’s all made up of fiction writers, nonfiction writers and poets. It’s completely student-run so it has a very entrepreneurial feel to it, and it’s only a few years old. That’s what I’ve been involved with, writing curriculum and lesson plans and just kind of being a counselor.”
Have you gotten close with your staff here?“Yeah, they’re all very friendly and really intent on having that inclusive environment. There are some really funny, creative people on staff. That’s probably my favorite thing about being an RA. We get to have a lot of multicultural sessions and there are a lot of people there that have a lot to say. It’s kind of like an extension of class, but in a more fun way because you just get to talk to your friends about stuff you would normally talk about in class. I like it.”
What are your plans for next year?“I’m going to be an RA in Olde Campus Lower Quad next year. One of the RAs as well is going to be the RA Mentor, so that’s exciting. We’ll have a new community director and it’s going to be super awesome. North Campus is usually a little bit more laid back but hopefully we can gear things up a little and put some energy into that community.”

Residents! If you have a great RA and think they should be featured in a Spotlight like this one, please send in a nomination! RAs! You can nominate awesome residents too!

Send in a nomination

The Roommate Search

Roommates can be tricky – here are some tips to make sure you are set for move-in day.

How Do I Find a Roommate?

Incoming First-Years are able to choose to room with someone they already know if they wish. Both students are to put down the name of their desired roommate on the Housing Application which is due May 15 on our housing website.

To meet other incoming First-Years, students are encouraged to join the UNC Class of 2018 Facebook page where they can post a brief description about themselves and interact with other students. Recommended information to share includes: hometown, desired major, desired location on campus, activities you hope to get involved in on campus, thoughts about visitors, sleep schedules, etc. Read More »

RA Spotlight: Mauricio Barreto

RA SpotlightMauricio Barreto

Mauricio Barreto

Hall: Old West, 1st floor

Year: Junior

Majors: Biology (Pre-med) and Political Science

Hobbies: “If you run all the way around campus it’s a perfect three-mile run so I do that a lot. I also play indoor and outdoor intramural soccer but I’m an alternate because I always end up having meetings during important games.”

Activities: Eating at Lime on Mondays and Sutton’s on Thursdays. “They’ll give me free stuff because I go all the time. If you go often enough you’ll get to know the cashier and then eventually the manager… And then they’ll say, ‘We have extra dessert today! Here!’”

Hometown: Cary, NC

Fun Fact: “I lived in Venezuela for three years as a kid. I also had a pet snake called Billy Bob Joe for several weeks. But then we went on vacation and forgot to leave water for it.”

What else are you involved in on campus? I was a dancer in Dance Marathon for two years and I always loved doing it. I’m also in the student group CPALS so I got paired up with one of the kids in the Pediatric Oncology Clinic and I go visit whenever he’s there. When I was a sophomore my pal benefited directly from the FTK fund so that’s why I dance. I applied for Morale committee after last year’s Marathon because it just looked like so much fun. It’s changed the Marathon for me. You get to know people really well because you’re working on the Marathon starting in September or October. It’s over now and we already miss each other so much. And my best friend Kit is on Morale too so it’s great to hang out with him.
What do you want to do after graduation? I’m going to take two years off before I apply to med school. I either want to do a few years of research or work in the hospital.
Why did you decide to become an RA? My sister was an RA at her university and recommended it to me so I always kept the option open. I’ve always tried to find jobs that I enjoy and that I would be good at and a few of my friends who were RAs recommended this job to me as well so when it came time to find housing for this year I decided to apply.
What is your favorite part of your job? Making stuff. I like doing programs and giving my residents free food. The best part of the job is exactly what you think the best part is, hanging out with the people on your hall and giving them free things.
What’s your favorite event? My favorite or my residents’ favorite? My favorite was when we did pumpkin painting but I don’t think they liked it because none of my guy residents came… It was right before Halloween. We had apple cider and snacks and we all painted pumpkins. Their favorite was probably during finals when I ordered them all pizza. Literally every single one of them came.
What’s something fun you do with your residents? My residents like stealing my door decs. One of them took a bunch and gave them to his roommate. I got kvetched about after that. “To my roommate who stole our RA’s door decoration to make me smile after a rough night: I love ya. Sorry, Mauricio.”

Residents! If you have a great RA and think they should be featured in a Spotlight like this one, please send in a nomination! RAs! You can nominate awesome residents too!

Send in a nomination

Live in the Chinese House!


Ever thought about learning Chinese? Whether you’re considering a Chinese major or minor or are already fluent, the Chinese House Living-Learning Community is a perfect opportunity to get some practice!

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) are groups of students living together who share a common interest. The Chinese House LLC provides conversational hours and cultural programs right in a residence hall (Teague, in this case) so that speakers can become fluent while chatting with their friends and hallmates.

Linda Zhang, the Student Coordinator, has a lot to share about the Chinese House. Currently living in the LLC are four native Chinese speakers and eight learning members with a wide range of proficiency. Read More »

RA Spotlight: Kyle Harmon

 RA Spotlight blog size

Kyle Harmon

Hall: Ehringhaus 4th floor “Woodland Side”

Year: Sophomore

Major: English and Psychology double

Hobbies: Eating, sleeping, laughing “and the occasional Zumba in between the eating and sleeping”

Hometown: Mooresville, NC

Fun Fact:  “Almost two years ago I believe- no, two and a half years ago, I got my wisdom teeth out and my lip has been numb ever since then.”

Why did you decide to become an RA? I had sort of a rough transition to college and I remember one night at like three a.m. I was bawling my eyes out and I texted my RA and was like, “Are you here? I don’t want to be alone in my room right now.” I talked to her and she responded in the exact way that I needed. That’s when the idea popped into my mind. I thought “I can do that! I can comfort people at three a.m.!” I sort of wanted to return the favor. And I discovered that helping people with that transition was something I was really passionate about.
What do you love about your residence hall? I really wanted to be an RA for first years because they just want to get to know literally everyone, do everything and make friends and be loved and love college. I feel like first years actually want a relationship with their RA and want the help of someone who has been around the block. I love being in that environment. Everyone comes to programs and everyone likes each other. It makes for an exciting time and it’s definitely infectious. I also love the staff. I knew we were going to be close but I didn’t realize the amount of love that was possible. They are the most supportive, fun, wacky group of people, and we’re all so different, but we all work together so well.
What kind of events do you do? I am a big believer in ‘if you bake it, they will come.’ If there’s food people will come for the food and stay for whatever is actually going on. I did “Cupcakes and Questions” at the beginning of the year during the first week of classes. I’m a big fan of mental and emotional wellness so we did “Smoothin’ Out The Psyche.” We made smoothies and we had Carolina Dining Services and Counseling and Psychological Services come and they both did presentations. One really fun one I had was right before we left for Thanksgiving break. I got two pies and some yummy cookies and a big poster and wrote What Are We Thankful For? My residents came by and grabbed some goodies and wrote what they were thankful for and it was hilarious. Someone was thankful for carbs. I hung it up in the lobby for everyone to see.
Tell me about a time when one of your residents surprised you. I always get pleasantly surprised when I’m not just their RA anymore; I’ve crossed into friend territory. After the Duke game we rushed Franklin Street and one of my residents were there. I was like “Oh hey you!” and then I was looking around at all the people up on other’s shoulders and said “Oh, that looks like fun” and he was like “Get on my shoulders!” And I was like “What? Okay!” It was just this incredible moment and I thought “Wow, we have a relationship that’s an actual friendship.”


Residents! If you have a great RA and think they should be featured in a Spotlight like this one, please send in a nomination! RAs! You can nominate awesome residents too!

Send in a nomination

On that note, have an awesome spring break, Tar Heels!

Spring break

Pretty As Pi

Hardin third floor RAs hosted an event about body image and the importance of indulgence

At an event last night hosted by Hardin RAs Laura Gamo and Kim Lassiter, residents learned the importance of a little indulgence.DSC_0487-2

Laura and Kim hosted “Pretty As Pi” to celebrate upcoming Pi Day (March 14, or 3.14) and to raise awareness about eating disorders. Read More »

A 180° Turn With 70° Weather

Snow angel artists were spotted near the Old Well.

Snow angel artists were spotted near the Old Well.


With temperatures surpassing 70 degrees in Chapel Hill the past few days, it’s easy to forget that just about a week ago the biggest snowfall we’ve seen in a while hit Chapel Hill. Since Wednesday’s snowstorm wasn’t preceded by the usual flurries, many people were caught by surprise. Most of the Triangle tried to leave offices at the same time and many people were stranded on the roads for hours just trying to get home. On a lighter note, UNC students made the most of the weather.


Read More »

DTH Housing Fair Winners Announced!

Ah, a snow day. Fluffy white flakes swirling in the crisp air, hot chocolate by the fire radiator… And you, finishing your 2014-2015 Housing Application! That’s right, it’s due tomorrow, February 13, at noon and now that you don’t have class before 11 am, you’ve got no excuse. Head over to myhousing.unc.edu to apply!

Now that the important stuff is out of the way, let’s talk about free t-shirts and donuts. By that, I mean the annual Daily Tar Heel Housing Fair on February 5. As always, the fair was a huge success, with thousands of students stopping by throughout the day. We’d like to congratulate the winners of the drawing at our booth, Ashley Beauchamp, Rachel Lerner, and Gabrielle McHarg. On the topic of contests, our Housing Q&A winners are Srihita Bongu for the best question and Amber Weber for the best answer, and Tyra Pearson was the winner of the Daily Tar Heel Twitter Photo Contest. Our Facebook photo contest winners have also been announced: Read More »

With the recent crimes happening on North Campus, would you still consider all the dorms equally safe?

What is the best room on campus?