Due to COVID-19, many students ‘returning’ to campus this semester have never actually been on campus in the first place. Because of this, many students have little knowledge about campus life and the resources available to them, such as Community Assistants (CAs). How can CAs help these new residents, and what’s it like to work as a CA during the pandemic?
Isaiah Jones is a junior pre-pharmacy major and a CA for the University Courts. This semester is his first semester as a CA, but he does have prior experience as a Peer Leader.
“Some of our responsibilities include being a resource for our residents, and also conducting one-on-ones with the students. We also try to arrange programs each week, like trivia or game nights,” Jones said.
“One-on-ones” involve meeting with their residents, asking how they’re doing, seeing what they are involved in on campus, and talking about their degree progress.
Every CA is on duty one weekday from 8 to 12 p.m. In addition, they have to serve one weekend shift a month.
“My favorite part of the duties is being able to be a leader. It’s nice to have people rely on you and it’s great to have people comfortable with you being a reliable source,” Jones said.
Another upperclassman CA, who wishes to stay anonymous, admits that the job can be taxing, and they often need to take extra care of themselves when helping residents deal with mental health crises and other emergencies.
“When I have to deal with [those] sorts of issues, I like to allow myself some ‘me’ time to decompress where I will take a nap, do a face mask, watch a movie, and self-care things like that,” they said.
Something both of the CAs discussed was the increase in resident participation this semester.
“I’ve definitely noticed more people are coming to events now. Students are getting used to the readjustment and grateful to not be in isolation anymore,” Jones said.
The other CA had a similar view of these post-quarantine times.
“There has been much more resident participation in events this year,” they said. “Also, the residence halls have much more of a community feeling, where residents are actually getting to know their neighbors and hanging out with others in the hall, rather than spending the majority of their time in their rooms.”