University Housing would like to extend another thank you to the wonderful RAs who serve in our residence halls! They work tirelessly to make sure students are well taken care of and are on call for numerous situations. Through RA Appreciation Week there were a variety of activities that took place, as well as gifts and appreciation given. Banners could be seen hung from desks at each residence hall, gifts were presented, and the act of painting The Rock are just a few things that highlighted the week for our residence assistants. Although RA Appreciation Week is over, please remember that you can always say thank you to your RA at any time. Thank you RAs and Go Vols!
Derrick Sherrill is a second year Resident Assistant at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has a community of about 45 residents in Clement Hall, home to almost 700 residents with most of them being freshman. Derrick has proven himself as a leader this year on staff with helping the new Resident Assistants on staff, helping to advise the Clement Hall Residence Association (CHRA), and this month especially, being one of the main campus leaders getting our hall ready for Homecoming competitions. Derrick put his classroom engineering skills into practice and became a leader in creating Clement Hall’s “Vol Navy” boat. He gathered other members on staff and worked for weeks encouraging residents to donate plastic bottles for the fully-recyclable boat. Not only did the boat make it down the pool without sinking, the boat also won in its race heat. Clement was the only residence hall to compete in this competition and residents were so excited to attend this event and see themselves represented.
In addition to making the boat this month, Derrick also participated in other Homecoming events including the chalking competition, basketball tournament, and Smokey’s Howl which is a cheer and dance competition. Derrick devoted a lot of time and energy this month to representing Clement Hall and being a good role model for other residents to get involved. Derrick is an amazing example and a good leader for how an RA should be. He cares about Clement Hall and wants to make a memorable experience for our students, especially leaving an impact on our first year students.
Nate Hogan is a second year RA in Reese Hall and is involved in many facets of both housing and university life that exemplify what it means to not only be a good student leader, but to be a good RA. In October, Nate was largely involved with the Reese Hall tradition of Fright Night. Nate has been extremely passionate about this event and took it upon himself to be the point person for the entire planning process. He created a planning calendar to make sure deadlines were being met, including when the basement would be set up. Along with another RA, he presented in front of the United Residence Halls Council to ask for additional funding so that we even had money to buy the tarps and additional supplies for the event. Nate coordinated the entire marketing process and had the brilliant idea to release various forms of publicity over time. This involved putting different versions of flyers up across campus every couple of days, and releasing a new teaser video on social media once a week leading up to the event. The positive reception and word-of-mouth for Fright Night was evident. Nate was integral in putting the pieces together and bringing ideas together to make Fright Night reach its full potential. In the end, the event saw around 1000 participants who navigated our terrifyingly pitch black basement and raised over $2500 that was donated straight to Habitat for Humanity. Fright Night would not have happened had it not been for Nate’s passion and leadership surrounding the entire planning, logistics, and behind-the-scenes work that it took for this program to happen.
Taylor Owens serves as a first-year RA in Massey Hall. Taylor is passionate and committed to her role as she shows concern and respect for each student she encounters in her role as a Resident Assistant. She plans meaningful and educational programs to her residents, motivating and empowering them. Taylor goes out of her way to make sure she is being as helpful as possible, not only to her residents but staff and head staff as well. Ta ylor is intentional with her interactions with her residents making sure it’s more than a “Hi, how are you?” she gets to know when exams are, what clubs they are in and other small nuances going on in their lives so she can better serve them. Taylor serves as one of the RA liaisons for Massey Hall Council. She is a superior mentor to the executive members, assisting them with the planning and execution of programs. Recently, Taylor helped with the MHC Fall Fest, an event where 200 students came together for food, pumpkin painting, corn hole and mug decorating. Taylor helped with set up, food purchasing, pumpkin shopping and clean up. Through events like MHC Fall Fest, and many other events, Taylor exemplifies leadership to each of the MHC executive members. She is dedicated to this position and is always willing to help out. Her friendliness and positivity go a long way in making Massey feel like home to many residents.