Cultivating Community as a Resident Assistant
My name is Jon Evanick. I am a sophomore majoring in Public Health with a minor in Economics and I plan on graduating in the spring of 2025. During my first year at Kent State, I lived in one of the Tri Towers – Koonce Hall. The number of friends I met in the elevator shocked me.
The students here are easy to talk to and I guarantee you will build community in some of the most surprising places.
I never considered becoming a Resident Assistant (RA) until one of the residence hall directors recommended the position. I always trust the guidance of staff and faculty at Kent State, which led me to apply for the role. Taking this job has been a pleasant surprise. I am proud of the safe environment and home I helped to create for Olson Hall.
My typical schedule as an RA varies from day to day, but I always plan floor events at least once a month. We do anything from football scrimmages to video games and pizza parties. My residents know that my door is always open for them. I always appreciate it when people stop in for conversations later in the day.
We have all played a crucial part in creating a solid community on our floor. I have the honor to represent that.
My favorite moment of being an RA is waking up and seeing the friendships I helped develop and restore. It is common to get into a disagreement when living in a room with the same person for an entire academic year. I feel fulfilled watching people bonding in the hallway after helping resolve conflict between them days earlier.
This position has helped form my commitment to professionalism because I don't clock in and out of work. I have realized that I am continuously representing my floor, meaning I must always present myself to the best of my ability. I have learned to become thankful for this responsibility as my passion for this position has developed.
Being an RA has tremendously helped to shape my KSU experience.
The number of connections I have made as an RA has been insane. I have residents that are photographers, graphic designers and barbers. I go to them before anyone else and will continue to if they leave the community and live elsewhere.
To any high school student considering attending Kent State, I would say you are on the right path. I have been here for less than two years and have grown exponentially. The main factor for my growth has been the camaraderie that the faculty and students at this university provide.
We genuinely want each other to succeed. Everybody here has equal opportunities and treats their neighbor as family. So many doors will open when you show the world your authentic self. Kent State is the place to proclaim that.