Starting this school year, Goshen College’s Residence Life has decided to place Resident Assistants in the Octavio Romero Student Apartments. Alongside these additions, other aspects of Residence Life have changed as well.

The implementation of RAs in the student apartments began as a response to concerns of students that lived in the apartments who felt they were cut off from the rest of campus.

Students felt that Goshen College stressed the importance of community but, when it came to living in the apartments, there was no such initiative. This concern ignited discussion and eventually the idea to place RAs within the apartments.

Brandy Lowe, a third-year ASL interpreting student and second-year RA, explained that among her responsibilities as an RA, one major focus is the creation of programs.

These programs include events and activities within the apartments in order to create a local community on individual floors and in the apartments as a whole.

Lowe said, “While we want the apartments to connect with one another, we also want to connect these upperclassmen with other areas of campus.”

The plan so far is to plan collaborative events with the Kratz, Miller and Yoder residence hall staff and other groups on campus. So far, these events have not yet been attempted, so it is difficult to assess the success of this collaborative model. These community-oriented goals are not the only reason for the expansion of RA staff.

Previously, Emily Hahn, the current Residence Life coordinator, oversaw over 300 students living in the apartments, Kulp dorms and Intentional Living Communities. With that many students, there is no shortage of work that needs constant attention.

Whether that means work orders, community standards violations or simply paperwork, the four new positions created for these upperclassmen living options will help provide more direct assistance to residents, all while easing Hahn’s workload.

The apartment RAs include: senior Micah Raber, first floor; junior Sandra Rodriguez, second floor; Lowe, third floor; and Alhassan “A.B.” Barrie, fourth floor.