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MU RAs Attend Conference at Northern Iowa
Hannah Schutter
Staff Writer

This was the slogan of the “Hunger Games” inspired Resident Assistant conference held at University of Northern Iowa.

This 23 annual conference hosted more than 400 Resident Assistants from 16 different schools – Manchester University being the first school ever represented from Indiana. The conference presented opportunities to network with other schools, get floor program ideas and – in the case of two Manchester RAs – to present on what has affected their experiences as RAs.

Garver Resident Assistant, Zabrian Mills and, Helman Resident Assistant, Wes Heath gave a presentation entitled “You Can’t Sit with Us!” using their experience with Safe Zone training, the duo spoke to a full crowd with audience members having to sit on the floor due to an audience exceeding capacity. Because Safe Zone training is unique to Manchester University, many RAs were inspired to bring a similar program to their campus.

Helman Hall Director, Diane Hennen also presented a program. Entitled “Say No to Yes,” Hennan’s talk was aimed toward teaching students how to develop positive relationships with their residents and how to be less stressed.

The conference offered a plethora of diverse programs ranging from a henna tattoo floor program demonstration – which Helman’s Kecia Kosins attended – to floor programs on topics such as fitness or volunteering.

Although being a resident assistant is a job only for college-aged students, the experiences gained while working can be used in future careers. “Being an RA helps build leadership and planning skills which can be carried on to a professional setting,” said Kosins, a sophomore bio-chem major.

Mills, a junior psychology major, has enjoyed his RA job so much that being a Hall Director could quite possibly be in his future; if he attends graduate school. “Being an RA has given me great time management skills, which come in handy,” he said.

In addition to Mills, Heath and Kosins, Holly Pawlak, Jeremiah Saunders and Samantha Thumpston were in attendance at the UNI conference.

Kosins called the conference a “learning experience” and said it was interesting to see the wide variety of RAs: some were quiet; others were international students. Mills was in agreement, citing the diversity of RAs as fascinating and calling it a “worthwhile experience.”

The Office of Residential Life is in the process of accepting applications. For more information, attend an RA information session. Applications are due March 1.


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