Campus has been quiet for about five months now and it hasn’t been until about over two weeks ago when the Resident Assistants came back for training, which included me. I have learned a lot over this week about being an RA but I am not going to tell you about that, what I am going to talk about is the new coronavirus restrictions and how I imagine they will affect Keene State throughout the fall. As a preface, I will disclose that there is some information I can’t tell the public, so obviously I will be not including those because I really like my job.
It is so interesting being an RA right now It is my first year as an RA so I am well aware of how things would be different if this were a normal year. It is so interesting to me to see how many little things have been affected by the virus that I never really realized would be. For instance, programming and Residential Life duty shifts. But that isn’t what has been shocking me the most. What has really been surprising me and upsetting me is how many people I have seen leave their positions at Res. Life due to the coronavirus pandemic and how many of them are leaving due to disagreements they have with the schools reopening plans. Many of them I never expected to see leave. Many Head Resident Assistants and Pro-Staff, as we call them, have left and it has now fallen onto the people I work with to step up and advocate for their rights as employees. We have experienced many shortcomings and we are working very hard to become a better, more organized staff for our residents. On behalf of my colleagues and I,we are trying our best.
A lot of people working in Residential Life right now are trying to step up and help out more since we have lost many workers, but we are still struggling to work together and communicate. I have witnessed many things as an RA in this time in our nation and one of them would be that the Resident Assistants on my staff are exhausted. They have put in so much time and effort to make everything happen and I really am honored to be on such a hardworking staff. My phone is buzzing through all hours of the night since I am in communication with them all the time. Whether it be for duty shifts, desk assistant shifts, staff meetings or really anything else for that matter. They are always trying to put their best foot forward and are trying to make this a good place for the residents. I am very impressed with the resilience of the staff and though we have lost a few people to the stress that comes with the overexertion of the role, I am very impressed with everyone and all the hard work they have put in.
Lydia Mardin can be contacted at