Sylvester Rodriguez and many other dorm residents poured into the Sid W. Richardson Center after dark on Wednesday looking for some late-night fun.
“I needed some time out of studying,” said Rodriguez, a freshman biology major. “I mean, I study a lot and I just need some time to myself and to have some other people around.”
Rodriguez threw on his swim trunks, ready to mingle and enjoy his first RA event of the year, a pool party that lasted from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Stella Russell RA Anthony Harper II and two other RAs hosted the party.
“It looks like fun,” Rodriguez said. “I like the music and I’m going to go swim.”
Stella Hall Director Jeremy Hunt says the goal of RA events is to get students like Rodriguez out of their rooms and interacting to form a sense of community among residents.
“We have RAs create events because our goal in residence life is to cultivate an on-campus living experience for our students,” Hunt said. “Whether its educational, social, or cultural it’s just a responsibility that we have in residence life.”
The goal of the pool party was for students to have fun, said Harper, a junior forensic accounting major.
“We have different credentials or requirements for our events to have like education, social event, Ram pride,” he said. “This one is obviously just a social event.”
Harper said RAs are typically required to do one event per month, though that can change.
“It really just depends on the RAs,” said Harper. “For most of mine I try to do the ones I plan but we’re required to do at least three per semester and there are those that do four or more. I know for me if I get three and if I can’t really think of another one then the three’s it. It just depends really. Like some events you think about and ‘it’s like, nah that won’t work’ and you’ll move on to another idea.”
Hunt trusts his RAs to deliver.
“For me it’s not about who doesn’t come to an event, it’s about who does come to an event,” Hunt said. “My definition of what it means to be successful is as long as we get someone that comes out and they have a good time and they get to know an RA or they meet someone new or just the fact that they come out of their room, to me that’s a success.”
Rodriguez said the RAs are awesome at their job and awesome people in general. He can’t wait for the next event.
“I would go to future RA events because my friends are going to be there, the RAs are going to be there and I’m just going to talk to people,” Rodriguez said.
Hunt said there’s definitely more events coming up, including a Family Feud night on Sept. 29.
However, he said, until then there’s the traditional waffle night, which is every Monday at Stella.
“I’m really liking the waffle nights because my RAs are there but there not like making waffles constantly,” Hunt said. “There’s residents that are doing it. Which is what we wanted for residence to come in and make waffles for everybody, building that community.”