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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Hall directors provide activities for residents

Friday, December 7, 2007  
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By Wendy Sanders

Freshmen and sophomores are finding a more welcoming atmosphere in the dorms. Hall directors are trying to get students more involved with each other in new and creative ways.

Jessica Estes and John Oritz have been hall directors for a few years and experiment with different activities to help students get to know each other and build relationships.

“A lot of our students come knowing people or being connected at church or in a social club or in sports, but we have some who don’t really know anyone yet who are here hanging out, and they can make some friends and have some positive interaction with people,” Estes said.

April Knapp, a Tinius RA, has been working with the girls for the past few months trying to get them to branch out and get to know each other.

“I think its a good way to socialize and take time out of the girls busy schedules to just relax and have some fun and free food,” said Knapp.

Some of the activities the girls have done in the past include Easter egg painting, ornament decorating, board game nights, and movie nights.

So far this year, girls have painted pumpkins, held monthly birthday parties and had float nights throughout the dorms.

“Anytime we do a crafty thing in the dorms, the girls love it,” Estes said.

Estes and Oritz said the boys tend to gravitate toward the food and the sports competitions.

Most of the freshmen and sophomore boys attend the monthly activities when they are volleyball, basketball, football or ultimate frisbee.

The very popular pancake night is also always a large success in both the boys and girls dorms.

Oritz began a competition between Fails and Warlick years ago when he became the hall director for both dorms.

“Each dorm that wins gets the bragging rights for that month. So far Fails, is winning two to one for the past few years,” Oritz said.

Along with Warlick and Fails’ competition, Jason Harvey, an RA in Wilson had his own get involved in some sports competition. Wilson held their own volleyball tournament one night and had a total of six teams compete.

“I think the events help the students at the very least to have a good time and maybe to get a break from homework and possibly meet someone new for a change,” said Harvey.

All of the dorm RAs are very involved in the planning and participation of the events occurring in the dorms.

The hall directors typically get together with their RAs and incorporate suggestions from the other students as to what to do for their activity for the month.

Many of the RAs are leading devotionals in the dorms and hold regular weekly get-togethers to pray and discuss.

Warlick started a small Bible study on Sunday nights meeting at 11 p.m. called Band of Brothers.

“We support each other, and depend on God, and look through the Bible. If problems arise, we try to help each other using the Bible. It’s a good time to get together and pray,” said Oritz.

Autumn Denton works in Gunn Henderson and is involved in one of their bible studies that meets on Thursday evenings.

“The events help us build a stronger bond with so that they feel comfortable coming and talking to us if they have a problem. Whether it is a school crisis or a personal one, they are comfortable confiding in us,” said Denton.

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