Resident Advisors have to deal with a lot: planning events, helping residents, meeting with advisors and of course, balancing all that with going to class. With so much going on, it’s a wonder how they still have the time to decorate those entertaining bulletin boards every month.
Each residence hall has a different way of addressing the topics they will cover and the audience it will be geared to. In Cobb Residence Hall, the RAs are assigned a template each month from their community director. The RAs are then given free reign in how they want to convey that theme on their board.
“I like it because it leaves me the creativity to do it as I want it to, but without having to think of something that’s going to be meaningful,” said Abigail Parlier, a junior RA at Cobb.
Other residence halls, such as Horton and Morrison, don’t have the same restrictions. RAs are allowed to decorate their board however they choose, but they have to rotate with the boards being educational or entertaining.
RAs don’t have to depend on just their own creativity and brainpower to decorate these boards either. They use a variety of resources ranging from Pinterest to reslife.net, a website specifically for RAs to find ideas for bulletin board and events.
“I feel like I’m at an advantage for the educational ones because I have first-year residents, so I can do more stuff because maybe they’re not as knowledgeable as upperclassmen, and they don’t have as much experience,” said Rachel Blythe, a sophomore RA at Horton.
Blythe said her favorite boards are her entertaining ones, such as her current board, “Who Run the World? Squirrels."
However, she also likes the educational ones that highlight various communities.
There are no topics that RAs can’t touch on and often include everything from alcohol education to making friends on campus. Even though there is variety, it is a common theme to have the boards contribute to the inclusive nature on campus.
“I think by having constant exposure to that when you’re coming home everyday is really good to subliminally getting accustomed to thinking in an inclusive way," said Jake Pacheco, a sophomore RA at Morrison.
Pacheco said he was originally nervous about the bulletin board requirements because he did not feel he was creative or crafty enough, but now it is one of his favorite parts of the job. Most RAs enjoy the freedom of creativity and feel it’s a way to express who they are.
Some favorite boards among RAs have included a Pokemon-themed safe sex awareness board, titled, “You Don’t Have to Catch Them All” and an alcohol awareness board “Alcohol According to Beyoncé”.
“The most important things you have to consider are residents and what they’re looking for," Pacheco said.
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