Senators, resident assistants paired up

Tyler McNulty, News Editor

Student government members are trying a new strategy to improve communication with students.

Last semester, student government members were paired with resident assistants to facilitate students becoming more involved on campus.

According to student government senator Julia Adams, the process wasn’t finalized until this semester.

“It was difficult because of the new (resident assistants) hired,” Adams said.

Adams said that a student government member is to send weekly agendas to their paired resident assistant about what is to happen on campus.

The resident assistant is to pass that information on their residents.

Student government members who are already resident assistants will not be paired with another resident assistant, according to Adams.

Student Affairs Vice President Shawn Brooks said student government’s interest is expanding in regard to sharing and gathering information from students.

In a meeting with the government’s executive board, Brooks said he challenged members to have more impact on campus.

Pairing senators with resident assistants is one of the ways the executive board came up with, Brooks said.

Residence Life and Greek Affairs Director Shaun Hemphill said the former student government vice president approached him about potential pairing.

“My team and I met, shared it with the rest of the (residence life) staff and thought (the pairing) could work, as long as it was used as a forum for realistic positive change,” Hemphill said.

Hemphill added any collaboration between students that may not normally have the opportunity to work together has the potential to be successful.

“The goal is to inform students of the benefits (student government) offers and meet personally with their peers.

“In turn, students will be able to share what they would like to see out of (student government) and campus as a whole,” Hemphill said.

Adams said student government members are hoping to achieve better communication and campus involvement, with the pairing.

“We are encouraging students to become more involved on campus by passing information between the two groups of the student body. It will give every student a voice,” Adams said.

“Student government and resident assistants are the largest voice and group leaders on campus,” Adams said.

If a student is a commuter with no resident assistant, Adams said there is still a way for the student to stay connected with campus activities.

“Commuter students who do not have rooms (or a resident assistant) are always welcome to come to the (student government) office with any questions, comments or concerns they may have,” Adams said.

She said the commuter students on student government do their best to represent other commuters’ views.

“With the new (pairing) system, we hope to target more students, since (the resident assistant) is responsible for a set group within a housing block,” Adams said.

Student government senator Taylor Rozich said it’s a good idea, and the concept of the pairing makes sense.

“I get to hear the voices of (Pitt-Johnstown) students directly. My assigned (resident assistant) and I want to hear the concerns and questions on campus.

“The students of (Pitt-Johnstown) know what they want and what needs to be done. (Student government) wants to hear what the students have to say, and this is a great way for them to be heard,” Rozich said.

Adams added student government members are working on implementing a better connection among the senators (of student government) and students they represent.

“Coming together as a campus is important, and our end goal is to represent every student and student organization on campus to the best of our ability,” Adams said.