Next year is sure to bring changes in residential life with a brand new men’s dorm, the readjusting of First South Stegenga to its original gender of residents and lastly, the 2011-2012 staff of residential assistants.
Ryan Rydberg, one of next year’s RAs of the North Suites, is eager to be a part of the first residential staff of the dorm. Rydberg admitted that what he is most nervous about is also what he is most excited about – the fact that there are no established traditions or activities in the North Suites. “I’m excited to try to establish these new things but, at the same time, I’m scared that I won’t come up with good ideas.” In addition, Jason Katsma and Adam Verhoef will serve as RAs with Rydberg and will also be formulating the character of the suites through their leadership positions.
Meanwhile, Steggy will return to housing all six of its wings with women. Lindsey Boulais, a two-year resident of the dorm and next year’s RA on First South Steggy, hopes to play a similar role to her previous RAs by encouraging and loving the girls on her wing. “Even a simple smile can alter someone’s day,” Boulais said. As to the changes she’d like to make, Boulais said, “As far as activities go, I would like to do more with the wing and spiritual disciplines.”
Alongside Steggy’s fresh crew of RAs is a brand-new staff in Fern, which will include a new resident director. Corrine Muyskens, a two-year resident of Fern, will be the RA of Second South. “Just watching the RAs do what they do made me want to become [an RA].” Already having picked out her theme for next year’s decorations, Muyskens has a head start with her role as an RA. Beyond that, she’s mastered the skill of making delicious air-popped popcorn – a skill many a Fern RA needs to know.
Similar to Fern, West will start the year with a completely new staff of RAs and a new RD. Devon Cadwell will be serving as the RA for the first floor of West. “One of the main reasons I applied was to be in a position to ensure the qualities of West Hall that I have grown to love,” Cadwell said. The West RA is hoping to interact with his wing by casually hanging out, having good late-night conversations and floor meals every now and then. “I plan on having lots of coffee on my floor next year,” Cadwell said. “Sleep is for the weak.”
Like Cadwell, Steven Ehlers is going to take a similar approach in Coly by making time to spend with his wing and getting to know each of the guys on Second North. “I learned that being intentional is one of the biggest keys to being a successful RA,” Ehlers said.
Micah Czirr will be next year’s RA of First East Coly – formally known as the ghetto. He is looking forward to learning the traditions of a wing that will be new to him. He also hopes to follow his past RA by reaching out to the freshmen. Czirr explained, “My RA this year really helped me out when I was new on campus, especially since I come from Ohio.”
Next year, Hospers will have one returning RA and three new RAs. Wincy Ho, the current RA of the first floor, will return to Hospers to be an RA of the third floor. “As a current RA, I figured there is still more to learn even though I have already done it,” Ho said. She looks forward to returning to the staff with Brittany Caffey, the RD of Hospers. Ho added, “I would love to keep learning and experiencing what different girls have to offer me to grow and try to improve since I have a second chance.”
Joining Ho next year in Hospers is Katee Wyant who has lived there for the past two years. Wyant is looking forward to getting a whole floor of girls together to just hang out. She confided that her biggest fear for next year is quiet hours, because that means she will have to be quiet as well.
It will be nearly a clean sweep for the residential staff next year, but traditions and memories will be passed on and upheld. Because, after all, how much can things really change in just one year?