RAs adjust program planning during the pandemic


Brynn Lundy/The Lion's Roar

Resident Assistants are still required to hold virtual programs for their student residents for the Fall 2020 semester. The RAs in Washington Hall put up a flyer in the lobby to advertise a Bingo game for the evening of Oct. 5. Brynn Lundy/The Lion’s Roar

Throughout the semester, resident assistants are required to plan programs each month for residential students.

For the Fall 2020 semester, those events and their planning may look different due to the various social limitations, as well as the ever-changing rules and regulations. 

Jaila Golden, a senior biological sciences major, is an RA in Tangipahoa Hall. She elaborated on the online versus in-person aspects of planning the programs.

“As of now, we’re only planning for virtual events, but most of them, if things were to change, they can also be switched to in person. As of now, they have to be virtual,” explained Golden. 

Golden held her first RA program of the semester, called “Planning for a Great Semester,” on Sept. 30. She described what the event entailed for the residents on her floor.

“What I did was I got all the materials together for my residents to be able to make a DIY planner, just to help them with the semester and time management,” said Golden. “Then, we did a Google Meet call where we talked about the techniques that I use to manage my time in order to study for exams and work on assignments and have some free time as well.”

Trevor Fleming, a senior sport management major, is an RA in Louisiana Hall. He described the first program he held for his residents and mentioned his plans for further into the semester.

“I’ve already done a sexual health and safety program, and I plan to complete a fall/Halloween-themed program for October and a stress management-type program as finals approach in November,” said Fleming.

Fleming spoke on the effects the social limitations have had on his overall planning for the programs for the residents on his floor.

“It definitely makes it much tougher, but there are still many different options to deliver programs to residents, such as virtual programs through Zoom and/or Google Meet,” expressed Fleming.

According to Golden, flexibility played a part in planning events for the semester so far. 

“I tried to make sure that anything that I did was something that was flexible, something that could be done virtually if necessary,” said Golden. “Just like the planner program, I was able to give them materials and talk about it on Zoom. So, I made sure not to do anything where you absolutely had to be together to work on it.”

Despite the difficulties, Fleming believes he and the other RAs are working well through the changes.

“I knew this semester was going to be tougher than those before it, but we are still doing programs to the best of our abilities, and I think residents are enjoying them,” shared Fleming.

While she was eager to begin her position as an RA, Golden said she did not anticipate the challenges the circumstances would pose to her role. She shared how University Housing assisted RAs with the situation.

“I was excited for the role and the responsibility, but with something like a pandemic, that’s something that I never considered before,” shared Golden. “Housing has done a good job as far as helping us transition into, just adjusting to all of the changes and making sure our residents are safe and still can have as much fun and support as possible.”