Category Archives: RA Spotlight

Why RAs Are Actually Superheroes

Guardian Angels. Life Savers. Free Therapists. Housing Heroes. Resident Advisors.

Contrary to popular belief, a Resident Advisor (see also, “RA”) is not someone who’s out to ruin your life. In fact, anyone who has ever actually lived in a UNC residence hall probably knows that’s the complete opposite of what any RA wants to do. Keeping residents safe and making sure people are following community living standards are definitely important, but that is only part of the job description.

RAs are there to be your friend; they are there to guide you, help you, work with you, laugh with you, look out for you, and occasionally even feed you.

Continue reading Why RAs Are Actually Superheroes

RA Spotlight: Jovonnie Quintero

 

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Jovonnie Quintero

Year: Junior

Residence Hall: Morrison

Major: Sociology

Other Extracurricular Activities: Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Honor Court, NC Fellows Class of 2017

What is your favorite thing about being an RA?: I have 17 siblings, so I grew up valuing the importance of creating relationships. My favorite thing about being an RA is just that – making connections with residents and staff members through appreciating our diversity in identities, opinions, personalities, and interests. We are all dynamic, we have multitudes, and it is always nice to experience those with each other.

What is the most fun thing you’ve done with your residents?: There isn’t one exact moment, but a collection of small instances. I’m a giver. I love giving my residents snacks or baking treats for them. Whenever I have leftover candy or sweets from a program, I make sure to give all the extras away to my residents. I just love how excited they get when I offer them free food! I know it’s not conventionally “fun”, but I so enjoy making them smile through food.

What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about becoming an RA next year?: Don’t let your doubts keep you from applying to be an RA! It is natural to be hesitant or worried throughout the application process, but don’t let those concerns hold you back from meeting amazing people at UNC and from bringing your charm to the residential experience!

 

RA Spotlight: Jennie Lugten

 

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Jennie Lugten

Year: Sophomore

Residence Hall: Hinton James

Major: Psychology

Other Extracurricular Activities: Summit College

What is your favorite thing about being an RA?: I love having the opportunity to provide an environment that is welcoming and for my residents to know that they are loved and appreciated.

What is the most fun thing you’ve done with your residents?: A few of my residents and I went swing dancing at a Cru event one night!

What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about becoming an RA next year?: Talk to as many RAs as you can! Write down different programs they have done, bulletin boards, and ways they interact with their residents. It will give you an opportunity to know what has and hasn’t worked and get you thinking ahead for next year!

 

RA Spotlight: Stephen Hansen

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Stephen Hansen

Hall: Hinton James, 6th Floor

Year: Junior

Major: Business Administration

Dream job: Scuba Diving Guide

Favorite cereal: Cocoa Puffs

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Favorite quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

-Ghandi

What is your favorite thing about being an RA? “Watching how my residents grow and become acclimated to life at UNC.  It is cool to see [the residents] arrive as freshmen not knowing anybody, and then form their own circles by the end of the year.  I would also have to say it is awesome when my residents do my laundry for me.”
How did you decide on Hinton James as your Residence Hall? “I just wanted to work with a first year community on South Campus, and I was assigned to Hinton James.  I was in Craige last year, and I have enjoyed them both.  I feel like I can be the most help to residents when they are first years, as opposed to returning students, so that’s why I chose a first year community.”
What’s the most fun thing you’ve done with your residents? “I love having prank wars with the other RA’s and getting our residents to help out.  This year a girl fake-cried on the balcony and told the RA on rounds that she saw some kind of huge animal in her bathroom.  When the RA went to check it out, it was actually one of my residents in a bunny suit jumping around behind a shower curtain.”
What are your favorite things to do on South Campus? “Going to basketball games at the Dean Dome.  The rest of the stuff doesn’t come close.”
What is a good piece of advice for first year students that are setting up their first residence hall room? “Bunk your beds! It will stabilize the top bed well, but more importantly it will give you more room for activities.”
What else are you involved in on campus? “A few of the more interesting things are Ted Talks, and probably…my supporting role to the Women’s club soccer team as a water boy.  I have gotten to hear a lot of really interesting people speak with Ted Talks, and I am easily the biggest women’s club soccer team fan on campus.”

Note: Hansen’s significant other is on the women’s club soccer team.

What would you tell someone that is deciding whether or not to apply to be an RA next year? “Ask yourself, would you enjoy adopting 30 college kids and helping them with whatever comes up? You have to have a desire to help other people, but if you do have that desire, it is a lot of fun.”
The deadline to apply to be an RA is quickly approaching! Be sure to submit your application by this Friday, December 5th.  Here is the link to do so: https://housing.unc.edu/employment/resident-advisor-ra

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!

RA Spotlight: Kyle Harmon


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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