Dorm staff and campus events encourage community

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Dorm life is an experience that is hard to replicate anywhere but on a college campus.  It’s a unique experience of communal living, learning to live with people you have never met and adapting and changing to fit into a community that is larger than the typical family.  The dorm is where you really grow and learn about relationships and people, and the interactions there will shape how you change during your time in college.

In the first week or two of school, there will be an influx of new faces and a confusing mix of names that hopefully match to faces.  There are a few people, however, that are especially handy to remember!  The Resident Assistants on your floor and throughout your building are some of the most essential people, because they are the number one source information and support for you, particularly in the first few weeks of school.  The RAs are more than just rule-keepers — they are fantastic and enthusiastic people who want to feel connected to you and the other residents of the hall, so remembering these important people is good for you as well as for them.

On every floor, there is also an Activity Coordinator who will be planning events for the floor to help you meet and bond with the other residents on your floor and in your building.  Activity Coordinators will organize floor outings, “dates” with other floors, and, depending on which dorm you reside in and what they have chosen for programming this year, weekly evening activities.  Each dorm will have a dorm retreat organized by the ACs in the building, and it’s a weekend that shouldn’t be missed.

The Barnabas Team organizes dorm worship and bible studies within the dorms.  Both of these activities are wonderful ways to meet people in your dorm, and definitely worth looking into.  Cultural Discerners (CD), Programming Assistants (PA), and Community Partnership Coordinators (CPC) also plan activities within the dorm, and attending their events is a fantastic way to make connections with the other students in the dorm.

Opportunities to meet other students on campus will not be few and far between.  If you are an incoming freshman, Labor Day trips are a marvelous way to mingle with other students in your grade.  The trips range from Craig’s Cruisers to river tubing and Michigan Adventure.  While some of these trips cost ten or fifteen dollars, they are a perfect way to have a great time and meet new people.

Fast approaching is Chaos Day, a riot of face paint, screaming and an intense amount of dorm pride.  While standing on the sidelines and cheering on the other competitors in your dorm is fun, participating in the activities is the best way to really take advantage of the event.

Buck Fridays are another popular on-campus event where you can unwind and meet new people.  Every Friday from Sept. 7 until Oct. 19 there will be an event either on or near campus that costs only a dollar.  For more information, you can visit their Facebook page “Buck Friday) or

At the end of the day, the opportunities to meet people and develop relationships with people on your floor, in your dorm, and campus wide are there — it’s all about what activities you choose to participate in, where you choose to go and how excited you are to be meet people and create those relationships.  The activities are already planned, created specifically so that you can meet people and have an awesome time — all you need to do is attend!

About the Author

Michelle Ratering

Michelle Ratering is a Chimes alumna contributor for the 2012-13 school year.

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