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Roommate Matching Now Available!

University Housing is excited to invite our residents to find their roommate and meet other residents through the RoomSync app on Facebook!

Click the link below to add the app and find your roommate. We recommend that you not click the link from your mobile device; wait until you are in front of a computer. Don’t worry, there is a mobile app that you can add after joining RoomSync.

https://apps.facebook.com/roomsync/?quickAdd=1&L1ID=339&L2ID=1&L3ID=1&PassID=12345

Once you have matched with your roommate on RoomSync, you will need to make your request official by visiting requesting your roommate through My UT Housing.

Happy Syncing!

August/September RA of the Month

Resident Assistants at the University of Tennessee are a vital part of the on-campus living experience. From walking with first-year students to find class buildings, to providing late night support when a faucet is leaking, RAs are on call around the clock and are responsible for fostering the sense of community on their floors.

Cody Carroll: Central Area August RA of the month

photo-2Cody Carroll, an RA in Hess Hall, exemplifies what it means to be an energetic and impactful RA. Cody believes that Hess Hall has a different sense of community than other buildings – a family type of community – and that it’s important to build that sense of family on a daily basis. He accomplishes this by saying hello to everyone he sees, whether they live on his floor or not. The residents on his floor are a diverse group of students, and they all have different personalities and backgrounds. Cody unifies these students through weekly floor dinners on Sunday nights, a very successful program that typically draws 10 or more residents. Through programs like these, Cody hopes that residents learn how to live together and to build relationships with one another. According to Cody, “Everything you do should have a purpose. Academically, socially, you should give every bit of effort you have into everything you do.” These are the kinds of lessons being taught in Hess Hall J2, and Cody’s success and attitude have not gone unnoticed by staff. Cody says he has learned from being an RA, and that you can connect with anyone if you take the time and try. Thank you Cody Carrol for all that you do!

Kaylyn Harris: West Area August RA of the month

image1-6Kaylyn Harris, a Reese Hall Resident Assistant, is a senior majoring in Advertising with a minor in Business Administration. Kaylyn is new to the housing world this year, but it surely hasn’t stopped her from shining bright early in the year. With a majority of her residents being first-year students, Kaylyn’s programs have surrounded a theme of “new adventures”. She hosted an event entitled “Letting Go” in which her residents were able to write on an orange or white balloon a FEAR they each had about coming to college. Likewise, she constructed small orange and white boxes for them to place a GOAL into the box. Kaylyn explains, “Later this semester, I plan to allow the girls to peep into their boxes and determine if they have reached that goal and for us to decide what we can do to achieve it in the spring!” Kaylyn has hosted other programs such as “Pride In You”, “Pajama Party”, and “Breakfast for Parents” with a few of her fellow Reese Hall RAs.

Kaylyn’s favorite part about being a resident assistant is the connections that she has made with her residents! She says, “I remember being a first year student and far away from home, so if I am able to ease any nerves or worries then I am here to do that!” It’s RAs like Kaylyn that make University Housing a wonderful place to live, work, and be. Thank you so much to RA Kaylyn, and all of our other resident assistants out there. We couldn’t do it without you!

Abby Grogan: Central Area September RA of the month

photo-3Abby Grogan, an RA in Hess Hall, is a community builder and a change maker on her floor and in her building. Recognized by her fellow staff members and the residents that live on her floor as exciting, caring, and authentic, Abby goes out of her way to make everyone she sees in Hess feel like they belong there. Building a strong community among residents is important to Abby, and is something that she enjoys being able to do as she lives and works in Hess. Dedication to her position is reflected in her programs, such as the Wet and Wild field day that she hosted in conjunction with J2 and K2 of Hess Hall. Residents were given the opportunity to go outside and get messy, as well as make friends with the people who they share a home with. As an RA, Abby hopes that residents learn what it means to be a Volunteer and how to live out the Volunteer spirit. This includes being open minded, eager to help and address problems, and learning from everyone you meet. Abby Grogan exemplifies this herself as she impacts those around her. You might catch Abby just hanging out and chatting with residents on her floor sometime. When you do, thank her for the hard work that she does!

Wilson Wade: West Area September RA of the Month

img_0007Wilson Wade is a sophomore majoring in Forestry and a first-year RA in North Carrick Hall. Wilson has been an incredible asset to the North Carrick team. He is a ball of energy and very eager to learn.  Wilson always offers his generosity despite the situation to both the North and South Carrick staff when needed. Since his employment as an RA, Wilson held a “Drunk-ology” program with UTPD in the beginning of September, where they brought awareness to our residents about the dangers and risks involved with alcohol consumption. Wilson is very involved with NCRA, where he attends and participates in just about every program, some of which include: Meet & Greet for Sweets, Video-games and Pizza, Paint the Rock Carrick Edition, and many others. Wilson has taken one of the lead roles on coordinating the 3rd annual “Walking Carrick” program, which will take place in October. He has an easy-going personality that his residents and staff love, but he is also a very dependable RA, who always remain calm under pressure. Wilson and the Carrick family continue to make us proud and will continue doing great things for the University Housing department!

Ethan Stanfield: East Area September RA of the month

ra_of_the_month_pictureVolunteer Hall would like to nominate Ethan Stanfield. Ethan is a first year RA that has shown that he is a hard worker and can handle any situation that comes his way. Ethan has come across the most incidents thus far and seems to be the only one around when things happen in Volunteer Hall.  Ethan always handles himself in a cool, calm, and professional manner, no matter the situation. Ethan also shows outstanding patience when dealing with situation that are not his to handle. During the Florida game there was a drunk driver in the parking garage and even though Ethan did not have to, he stayed in the parking garage until the incident was over – 3 hours later. Ethan even tried to get the driver out of the vehicle and talk to him so that he did not injure himself or anyone else.

Ethan’s ability to always be around when something is going down and handling like a pro is not lost on anyone on the Volunteer Hall staff.  The staff has recognized Ethan’s outstanding qualities and want to let him know that he is doing a fantastic job and to keep up the great work, along with Ethan can ask for help when needed.

 

Housing Highlight – Celebrating Orange Hall and White Hall Staff

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By: Marc Sloan & Andy Bowers

The University of Tennessee is changing rapidly as we continue on our Journey to the Top 25 public research institutions. Students can look around Rocky Top and see new construction every day, new programs and initiatives to take part in, and new residence halls to call home. Although this journey may take time to complete, students can already take advantage of the resources being offered to them, like brand new buildings to live in! The first new residence hall in nearly forty years, Fred D. Brown Jr. Hall set the standard for on-campus living. The new Orange and White halls will offer a similar residence experience and foster strong communities based on tradition. This sense of community is cultivated by the staff of these two buildings: a mere sixteen resident assistants and a dedicated Hall Director and Assistant Hall Director.

Flexibility is fundamental, according to Orange and White Hall Director Camille Darby. She and her staff were presented with an opportunity to demonstrate their flexibility when, due to an extended construction timeline, Orange Hall experienced a delay in opening that temporarily placed its eager residents in Humes Hall. Handling this unforeseen development required planning, careful scheduling, and an incredibly motivated staff. When she and Assistant Hall Director Chris Ndiritu hired sixteen RAs in the spring, they were expecting to run one full time front desk in Orange Hall. Plans changed, however, and at this time eight RAs are operating one front desk in Humes Hall, and another eight are operating a second front desk in White Hall. This doubled the hours that RAs were expected to work! They are more than happy to do it, according to Ms. Darby, who said that her RAs are “extremely positive, mature, and dynamic.” This dynamic team has operated two buildings, each with a staff of eight, making them the smallest staffs of any building on campus! Their dedication, creativity, and experience has ensured a positive experience for Orange and White Hall residents so far, and will continue to do so.

Closing a building and opening another one during the middle of a semester is no easy task, but with Camille and Chris at the helm, it is sure to be smooth sailing. Their combined experience, along with the skills of their RA staff, makes for a versatile and competent team that has already proven to be successful. Although they operate as one team, it is challenging for staff to be separated from each other by distance. This hasn’t stopped them from remaining confident and positive! Every RA continues to program authentically for their residents to make a difference in their lives. When Orange Hall opens, collaborative programming between the buildings is the goal. This is only one of the many goals the staff has set for themselves as they run two buildings as one, a milestone in UT’s history. They have accepted the challenge, and are excited to get the process underway! Support from RAs, combined with programs offered by the Orange and White Residents Association, will create a traditions-based, collaborative community between the buildings that will be unlike any other residence hall experience on campus.

Residence life at the University of Tennessee is unique, and is made special by the people who go out of their way to connect students with the resources they need. The staff of Orange and White Hall has already proven they are willing to go above and beyond their job descriptions, all for the students they are serving. Led by a team of skilled and genuine professionals, the staff of Orange and White has taken challenge after challenge in stride, and created an environment unlike any other on campus. As a soon-to-be resident of Orange Hall, Marc would personally like to say thank you to those who have worked tirelessly to provide a positive community experience for him and his fellow residents. Thank you, staff of Orange and White Halls!

Marc Sloan

img_2648I am a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, pursuing a Social Work degree. I am passionate about theatre, as well as helping people get connected with the resources that they need, especially first year students on UT’s campus. I have served as an artistic director at Encore Theatre Company, and as an Ignite Serves Team Leader through UT’s Center for Leadership and Service. I strive to bring together my desire to help people and my ability to think creatively in an effort to positively impact my community on a daily basis.

Andrew Bowers

I am currently a senior studying Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee. I currently work with the University Housing department in which I build and reach out to our student body via social media. I am also active as a student assistant in the athletics department, vice-president of the communications Studies Club and working at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. My goals revolve around building a network with the professionals I work with as well as providing myself an opportunity to always learn about my institution.

Vols @ Home: Life in the Penthouse

img_4393Presidential Courtyard: a staple to the University of Tennessee and home to over 2,000 students. With almost fifty years of history, these buildings hold memories for generations of Volunteer families. Students are often drawn to live in the same places as their siblings or parents may have at one time. Resident Jennie Langford explained, “I wanted to live in South Carrick because my sister lived here previously, and my brother in North Carrick, and they both had positive experiences here in Presidential Court.” With the convenience of the café, and being in close proximity to other residence halls, there is no question that Presidential Court is a hot spot on campus.

Presidential Court is a popular place to be, and our residence halls get their popularity from the communities they promote. Our resident assistants plan numerous programs for residents that encourage them to get to know their neighbors for the first six weeks following move-in. As part of this, several floors of South Carrick hosted an event called Carrick Cribs. I had the opportunity to attend the 12th floor, or “Penthouse”, edition of Carrick Cribs.  Through Carrick Cribs, residents had the opportunity to open up their doors, and showoff their style through their décor. img_4355The penthouse girls gathered in the elevator lobby for snacks and icebreakers. The girls wandered from room to room around their floor and voted for the best rooms to add in a little friendly competition! The categories varied from Most Comfy-Cozy to So Fetch and To the Beat of Her Own Drum. Every room we visited was unique; it was so hard to just pick a few! As the program continued, I watched the girls build each other up with endless compliments. Ballots and drumrolls may have revealed the official winners, but the community-building was priceless. Lauren Bachman, a first year-student and 12th floor resident of South Carrick, was voted to have the most “comfy-cozy” room. When asked about her few weeks spent on Rocky Top, she stated, “At first, I was nervous because South Carrick doesn’t have community bathrooms. I was afraid we would be shut off, but floor gatherings, like Carrick Cribs, have been awesome opportunities to get to know my neighbors. Everyone on our floor is super sweet, and I love it here!” Carrick Cribs was a HUGE success for the penthouse, and South Carrick in general.

img_4349Marlee Houk, a third year resident assistant, has made the program Carrick Cribs an annual event on her floor. Marlee explained, “The purpose of Carrick Cribs is to create an event where the girls can get to know each other in a laidback setting. When you have a chance to show off your room, it makes you feel at home.”  Marlee continued, “When you have the opportunity to welcome your neighbors into your space, suddenly your room transforms into your home away from home. I want my residents to be proud of their rooms, and to welcome others in.” As a first-year student, I had the opportunity to have Marlee as my resident assistant in South Carrick as well. Almost my entire floor participated, and I got to know so many new floor-mates that night. I still have the pictures from that night, and I’m lucky enough to be able to look back on that event and laugh. While the evening was light-hearted, I’m certain that these residents will be able to look back and remember programs like Carrick Cribs as part of their University Housing experience.

Are you interested in hearing more about West Campus residence halls, or maybe you’re looking to attending an awesome program like Carrick Cribs? Check out our upcoming event West Area Block Party on September 19th, 2016 from 6:00pm-8:00pm right in Presidential Courtyard!

About Me

Whitney Brothers_polo

My name is Whitney Brothers, and I am currently a sophomore studying Public Relations and Business Administration at the University of Tennessee. I work with the Vols @ Home program, which helps incoming and current students find their place on campus through University Housing. I am also active in the community by interning with Alliance for Better Nonprofits, and teaching swim lessons at JumpStart Health and Fitness. As a student, my goals surround becoming involved with the Knoxville community on and off campus while also building a network of professional individuals.

 

 

Vols @ Home: #VNL

By: Andrew Bowers

What’s an on campus event that intertwines new and old students, games, entertainment, and food? Well, of course, it’s Vol Night Long! This event is always a good way to kick off the year, and definitely gets you out of the residence hall and out of your personal shell. This is the first step in getting you used to the Vol atmosphere.

While the Engagement Fair was continuing on Pedestrian Walkway, you could see VNL1staff preparing for this event; an event that would make a memorable night for all students. With inflatable activities blown up, lights and DJ on, the food making its way to the tables, and the students in line to enter, the event looked more than promising. Something interesting about me is that I never experienced this type of event until that night. I transferred from another university where there were events and activities to do for first year students, but nothing of this magnitude. Not only was the entertainment well-thought-out by the event committee, but also there were large amounts of students present and enjoying themselves. Each of these things are different than what I am used to.

I stood near the stage waiting for the performers to start, and I could see so many memories being made. This made me realize something I already knew: this university cares for its student body. Hosting something like this is no easy task, but VNL6the staff (mainly student workers) really make it what it is. Seeing resident assistants from halls getting out with the students and making them feel welcomed was truly something special to witness. The motto, Vols Help Vols, was really exemplified by this. Seeing people who were initially by themselves have the courage to go up to another individual and introduce themselves was also great to see. Whether they continue a relationship of some kind or not, those particular people will remember that this was one of many steps to college, and that the atmosphere here is open and welcoming.

Student Engagement really outdoes themselves as well as all the staff that works this event. It not only pushes everyone to look into more events that occur throughout the university as a whole, but also shows students that there are SO MANY affiliations VNL4and activities that happen throughout the year. Getting inVOLved is simple. Seeing this event made me even more aware of how the University of Tennessee atmosphere is like no other, and that good times never stop; you just have to get out of the residence hall and come back onto campus to make the memories you want. As an upperclassman, I plan to see what more there is to this university than what I’m already involved in. I can make more friends and be a part of something new and exciting because that’s what all of UT has to offer. You as first year and upper division students reading this should do the same. Go get inVOLved and find programs!

 

Andrew Bowers

I am currently a senior studying Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee. I currently work with the University Housing department in which I build and reach out to our student body via social media. I am also active as a student assistant in the athletics department, vice-president of the communications Studies Club and working at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. My goals revolve around building a network with the professionals I work with as well as providing myself an opportunity to always learn about my institution.

Vols @ Home: RA Advice- First Year FAQ

Hey New Vols! After reflecting on my own first-year experience and my years of being an Resident Assistant for many first-year students, I created this list of FAQ just for you!

Why? Because #VolsHelpVols!

Will my professors care if I go to class?

Yes! Most classes have attendance policies that are pretty strict. Believe it or not, I was afraid of talking to my professors. They intimidated me. But one day, my professor handed back a paper and told me I did a great job. and she wanted to speak with me further about my interests in life. That’s when I knew professors care about much more than just having you sit there.

Introduce yourself to your professors. The more they see and know you, the more likely they are to help you when you really need it (for grades or when you are looking for internships!).

I can’t find a club I really want to join. Should I transfer?

No way, friend! Go to Vol Link to search the almost 500 student organizations that UT has to offer! If you still can’t find one you like, why not start one? The information is all online, and what’s a better way to get inVOLved than to start your own club?

Where is the best place to grab food with friends?

I love the convenience of Presidential Court Building (PCB)! There’s plenty of space for you and your friends and so many options ranging from a salad bar, pizza, cereal, sandwiches, and various hot lines! Go between 10:30am and 2:30pm to get all your options: only the salad, pizza, dessert, and cereal are available between 2:30pm and 4:30pm.

I’m feeling a little (or A LOT) homesick (or sad). Help?

Leaving home is a big transition. My family is 5 hours away and can’t afford to come visit. What helps me is to FaceTime or Skype them (Skype is free!). I also find being alone isn’t the best for me when I’m missing home. Ask you roommate or RA if they want to grab dinner or play some video games. If you ever feel like you need more than just a friend, you can always call 974-HELP in times of crisis. UT cares about you and trust me, you’re not the only one struggling. Please utilize the Student Counseling Center!

Books are expensive. I can’t afford them!

It is no secret that college is expensive. The UT Bookstore is super convenient and offers a price comparison tool that lists various online sources and their prices: just type in your Net ID and Password! Sometimes I’ll rent my books for the semester.

Where is a peaceful place on campus to study or relax?

I love to sit in the Hess amphitheater off Pedestrian walkway! I also love Blueberry Falls (by the Student Union) and the University Gardens (on the Ag Campus). Pretty close to campus is World’s Fair Park: go kick around a soccer ball or toss a Frisbee with friends!

Adam Hathcock_polo smallMy name is Adam Hathcock. I’m a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee, and I am attending Arkansas Tech this fall to pursue a Master’s in College Student Personnel. My ideal career is to work with first generation college students.

 

 

Vols @ Home: Painting for a Purpose

By: Whitney Brothers

I loved living in South Carrick my first year at UT so much that I am living on campus again for my second year! There is always a program or fun event going on either in the hall or on campus when I’m not studying for my classes.

One of my favorite memories from living on campus was a program called Painting for a Purpose. The resident assistants provided canvases and paint for us to get creative. I painted a Knoxville Skyline sunrise with lots of orange, purple, and pink colors to make it pop! Honestly, it was some of my best artwork yet! We sat in the front lobby painting our canvases. While we painted, we were able to have great conversations with the other girls in our hall. Overall, we had a blast! It was a great break from studying for my biology exam! I spent almost two hours enjoying time with my friends and the RAs until I was finally happy with the finished product!

After all the canvases were dry, the RAs hung them up in the front lobby with a number on each of the paintings. At the front desk was a binder with a picture of each painting, so that residents could bid on them. All of the proceeds from the silent auction went to benefit Habitat for Humanity, a charity that builds houses for families in need.

University Housing does various fundraisers throughout the year and Painting for a Purpose is a tradition in South Carrick! Every day, I would check to see what the highest bid was on my painting. It actually got up to $25! There were over 50 paintings done by some really talented residents. Some of them were just funny like potatoes in space, and others were almost good enough for an art museum. I loved Painting for a Purpose because I got to meet other girls living in my hall! I got to be really creative with my painting, and it was all for a good cause. I actually plan to go over to South Carrick and paint again this year if they will let me!  Be sure to be on the lookout for Painting for a Purpose and other great programing happening in your residence hall this year!

About Me

Whitney Brothers_polo

My name is Whitney Brothers, and I am currently a sophomore studying Public Relations and Business Administration at the University of Tennessee. I work with the Vols @ Home program, which helps incoming and current students find their place on campus through University Housing. I am also active in the community by interning with Alliance for Better Nonprofits, and teaching swim lessons at JumpStart Health and Fitness. As a student, my goals surround becoming involved with the Knoxville community on and off campus while also building a network of professional individuals.

Vols @ Home: My Favorite Memory in a Residence Hall

By: T’Angela Knight

My first year living on campus was amazing because I gained six new best friends by joining my residence hall association: Hess Hall Council.

When I moved into Hess Hall in August, I was terrified that I would be alone and that no one would want to be my friend. I had grown up as the only child in my home, and all of my friends from high school decided to attend different universities. So there I was: alone—completely alone as my family traveled seven hours back home to Memphis. I had no idea what steps to take in finding a new community, and I did not want to get out of my comfort zone.

IMG_5330But being the ambitious student I am, I jumped on the opportunity to apply for a leadership position in my hall. I interviewed for the Historian position of Hess Hall Council (HHC), and I was soooo excited when I was notified that I was chosen for the role.

When I met the other members of HHC, I’ll admit that I was a little hesitant to let down my guard because everyone was so energetic and outgoing. But 10 minutes into our first conversation, I knew I was going to love being around my fellow officers because they brightened my mood instantly.

We were all so determined to create our own legacies at UT, even in our first year in college. Also, we were super competitive, so when we had to go head-to-head against other hall associations at our fall training, we bonded even closer. The theme had a James Bond feel, and we definitely killed it! ?

Our programs were the best too! We had a Fall CarniVOL, Finals Tree, Café Hess, Wingsday, and so much more. But most importantly, we wanted our residents to enjoy living within our hall. HHC was given the back portion of the front desk, and we basically lived there, lol. Any time you would walk by, at least 3 of the 7 members of HHC would be at the desk, and we used that opportunity to cheer any of our residents up if they were ever down.IMG_5567

Their optimism was contagious! Whenever I was stressed out, they were always there for me—whether they knew I was sad or not. I also cannot forget our amazing advisor, Timothy, who was the Assistant Hall Director of Hess during our term. He always kept it real with me and encouraged us to be our best because #HessIsBest.

Now I am an incoming sophomore, and though I’ll be living in Hess as an RA, most of the rest of Hess Hall Council will not be. It saddens me that I won’t be able to see their faces every day, but the joy they brought me will forever resonate in my heart. ❤️

About Me

TAngela Knight_poloMy name is T’Angela Knight, and I am a sophomore double major in Marketing and Psychology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. I am currently an RA in Hess Hall  . Also, as a founder of Collegiate DECA, a business organization, at my University, I helped successfully recruit 100 members into our organization within 6 months as a freshman. I really enjoy understanding the human mind and sharing my experiences with others, which is why I have maintained my job with the Peer Power Tutoring Foundation back in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee for 4 years. Because of my desire in business and psychology, my career goal is to open my own advertising agency in which I employ marketing strategies centered around neurotransmittic activity and consumer purchasing motivations.

Reese Hall Changes

University Housing is excited to announce upcoming changes to Reese Hall at the University of Tennessee.  Beginning Fall of 2016, Reese Hall will become a co-ed residence hall, housing both men and women on alternating floors and wings.  Students that select Reese Hall during Room Selection will move to Stokely Residence Hall in January 2017.

Stokely Hall will house 684 men and women at the University of Tennessee, and will feature a dining facility, POD grocery station, and a coffee house.  Read more about Stokely Hall here.

Residents that select Reese Hall will be responsible for the Reese Hall billing rate for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Stokely Hall rates for the 2017-2018 academic year will be announced in Fall 2016.

 

Questions? Please contact University Housing at 865-974-3411 or email housing@utk.edu.

Vols @ Home: Reese Haunted House Gives Back

By: Austin Deal

Hallreese3oween just came to an end, and I wanted to take a moment to share the commitment University Housing has to giving back to the community. Every year, we support a non-profit organization called Habitat for Humanity. We usually support building a home, and throughout the years, University Housing has built 13 homes for families in the Knoxville community. All of the residence halls on campus have hosted programs to help raise money for this organization. It ranges from Penny Wars to an annual Haunted House.

Habitat for Humanity is an international, non-profit organization that focuses building new homes for families in need in the local area. Habitat for Humanity services include fundraising, family selection, support, construction and mortgage services.

As a department, we focus on giving back all of the time, prioritizing different charities. Every October, we gather as a staff and pledge how much we would like to donate from our pay check. The fundraising campaign is called Campus Chest. Though this university program, the University of Tennessee campus raises a lot of money that goes to charities all year.2

The Reese Hall Haunted House is an annual event where the staff and residents take over the basement and turn off all of the lights. Each Resident Assistant is assigned a “room”, where they are in charge to decorate each room. All of the rooms flow together and continue through the entire basement area. When you walk in, it is pitch black. This process is actually spooky, so you are with a tour guide the entire time so that they can walk you through with a flashlight. The hallway process had to be one of the scariest parts, there is people running at you, slamming doors, and screaming the entire hallway, which seemed like an intercity. This year, they raised $1,922.75 for Habitat for Humanity, and recorded about 637 participants.

Every year, I attend the Reese Haunted House to support this great cause, and every year the thrills get scarier and scarier. I cannot wait to see what other residence halls do to raise money for Habitat for Humanity!

 

 

Aus

Austin Deal is a senior, majoring in Political Science. In his free time, he is usually headed to Sonic with his friends.

 “I love living on campus because I have been able to meet some of my closest friends.”

 

 

 

Vols @ Home: What I Love Most About Living in a Community Style Hall

61656358843137.umEV9jy3Hs22vUT2V5J4_height640By: TreDarius Hayes

When people think about living in a community style building in college, they cringe at the idea. They can’t imagine living in a building where they have to share a bathroom with the entire floor. They judge it before they even give it a chance. Well, after living in all types of student housing, community style is definitely my favorite one.

Each type of student housing serves a specific purpose, and a specific population. However, if you are new to the university and want to make friends were you live, living in a community style building make be the best fit. It’s inevitable that you will be close to more than half of your floor, even if you try just a little. That’s an experience you can’t get everywhere.

So what makes living in a community style building so great? Well for one, you share a bathroom with your floor or your wing. Each community building either splits its floors, sides, or wings by gender for the sake of having single gender restrooms for health and safety. So you would only share the restroom with others like you, who may have the same shaving and showering habits as Massey-1you. That eliminates messiness and long waiting times. And having separate gender restrooms is a great way to make sure everyone is comfortable.

Making friends is a little bit easier when all you have to do is speak to someone on your morning commute to brush your teeth. It doesn’t take much effort to get involved on your floor in a commu61656358843135.MYWGMtWCj5KhYUhH4fJ1_height640nity style building. Just having the restroom down the hall opens a window of opportunity. Everyone has to use the restroom at some point in the day. That increases the likelihood of seeing people on the floor. This visibility allows for residents to have conversation. Community in a community style building develops itself.

Community style buildings offer community spaces on the floors equipped with a kitchen, television lounge, and study areas. It’s rare to find these spaces unoccupied, especially at night when everyone wants to catch up and get some homework done in company. For someone who isn’t fitting in or not getting to know others on the floor, I would recommend they visit the kitchen a few nights a week to make new friends.

Having lived in other style buildings before, I could not experience all of the things that a community style building offers. While living in other 61656358843139.VqI90AvHHP5ao3xAZkjh_height640buildings was great and I cherish those memories, I wish that I had applied to live in a community style building earlier. It’s not something you can explain easily to someone who doesn’t know what it’s like to live there. Once you do, you’ll understand why many people chose to come back and stay in a community style building beyond freshman year. If you’re like me and love to meet new people and become close with them, you may want to look into staying in a community style building.

 

 

TreyTre D Hayes is a Senior majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media. In his free time, Tre makes all sorts of design materials, some to be used for work and some for fun like t-shirt designs.

“What I like best about living on campus is how affordable it is to live so close to class and your friends.”

 

 

Vols @ Home: Vol Around the World

By: Adam Pani

A few times a semester, the Central Program Council at UT hosts an event, Vol Night Long.  It is open to all students, usually on a Friday from 9 p.m.-midnight. Before I continue on about Vol Night Long, I think a brief description of the Central Programming Council (CPC) and what they do may be helpful.  The CPC aims to provide the University of Tennessee community with a “balanced and diverse array of cultural, educational, and social programming. One of the main goals of the CPC is to help enrich the education of the student body as a whole, and “Vol Night Long” is just one example of the events the CPLip Sync-1 2C hosts. They also host Volapalooza, Fall Fest, Campus Cookout, Art Exhibitions, Take Back the Night, Women’s Empowerment Summit and much more! They are definitely a stand-out group and should be considered when thinking about joining a group. (http://go.utk.edu/cpc/)

The most recent Vol Night Long, a variation called Vol Around the World, just may have topped them all. While originally scheduled for September 25 at the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) amphitheater/courtyard, the heavy rain rapidly halted those plans from continuing. Being the prepared organization CPC is, the event was quickly relocated indoors to the TRECS, and the show went on seemingly without a hiccup.  The atmosphere when I entered gave off the feeling of joy and also some relief that it was finally Friday. The smell of many different kinds of food from places all over the world filled the building. After grabbing some delicious food, I headed over to the main gym where there were some great activities set up. It was so loud at times, I could barely hear the the people next to me. The jousting was full of trash talking as expected, and was probably the highlight of my night. Among all the people coming through, I felt a connection to every member of the Vol Community, just hanging out and having a good time. It was easy to just be yourself, let loose, and simply have fun with your fellow Vols.

All in all, “Vol Night Long” is an amazing experience that I would recommend to every student at UT. I know that some of you may have preconceived notions about how fun a campus sponsored event can be, but like many things in life, you get out what you put in. If you come in with the idea of it being just another campus thing, you might be limiting your experience. If you come in hoping to meet some awesome new people and are open-minded, you will have a great time. It is a great (and safe) way to meet new, like-minded people that you probably would not have met otherwise. You’ll have an awesome time and enjoy some delicious food, which is of course free and something that everyone loves. Plus, the only thing you need is your student ID. Come check it out! You definitely won’t regret it!

Live on Campus? HBO GO and MAX GO are here.

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This is Everything: Your UTK HBO GO and MAX GO accounts are here!

This is huge. You now get your very own HBO GO and MAX GO accounts and can watch HBO and Cinemax whenever (and wherever) you want on your laptop, phone, and other devices – on or off campus. Game of Thrones, Girls, The Knick, movies, sports and tons more—they’re all yours.

The best part? HBO GO and MAX GO are already included with your housing so it’s super easy to activate your account:

  1. Go to www.hbogo.com or www.maxgo.com download the apps
  2. Scroll down to select “Univ of Tennessee Knoxville” from the ‘Sign In’ menu
  3. Follow the login instructions to start watching

Click here to learn more!

 

Vols @ Home: It’s Football Time in Tennessee!

By: Sharmaine Ross

20757951552_c6bd2a2bb6_z (1)It’s football time in Tennessee!!! As summer comes to an end and the fall semester begins, we can all take comfort in knowing that Saturdays will be dedicated to football games. The wait is finally over, and eager souls prepared themselves for the first Tennessee football game of the season. Even though the first game was an away game, this did not stop the numerous dedicated VOLS. On Saturday, September 5, adoring fans hit the highway and headed to see the VOLS play Bowling Green Falcons in Nashville, TN. Volunteer supporters made an overwhelming appearance in the Nissan Stadium. So much so that campus was nearly a ghost town. However, the wonderful resident assistants of Massey planned an event for those who wanted to show their support in the comfort of their own residences.

14805325148_ccd9005dcd_zMassey is a co-ed community residence hall, and it comes to no surprise that the residents felt at home and unified as the event took place. As a part of the Massey tailgate, students played a variety of games, such as cards and cornhole. There was also a lot a mingling among the students. Out front in the courtyard, two resident assistants grilled hot dogs for all of those who participated in the event. The Volunteer spirit was definitely in the air. Beverages and other snacks were provided throughout the entire game free of charge. Free food, great people and Tennessee football. Can it get any better than this?

Kickoff began at 4:00pm and everyone proceeded to the game room located on the first floor of Massey to watch the game. Tennessee started out with a great lead in the game with star players dominating the field. The room was filled with high spirited students who came together for one objective: 5877039927_cd5df768dc_z (1)supporting their team. Commercial breaks allowed for open communication about the game or refilling on snacks. As I watched this happened every few minutes, I noticed that students who had not known each other previously were becoming more casual in conversation. Events like this make it easy to meet new people without a lot of effort. It was all fun and games until the game was delayed. The bad weather in Nashville caused the game to pause for over an hour, but these Massey residents still wanted to see how the final quarters would play out.

Unfortunately, once the game commenced, Bowling Green began to catch up with Tennessee. The spirit in the room heightened and now Massey residents were cheering for Tennessee’s defense. The dedication was unwavering and it was evident throughout the entire game. The game ended with Tennessee for the win; the final score being 59-30. This win set momentum for the Volunteers, and the Massey residents were all geared up for another game on the home field for next week.

Go Vols!

 

 

Sharmaine Ross is a Senior Marketing Major.

 

“I love living on campus because it makes me feel even closer to my volunteer family.”

 

 

Resident Assistants of the Month – March

West Area RA OTM – Sumain Hemani

Sumain Hemani is a sophomore studying Kinesiology with a minor in Spanish. As of late January, she’s brand new to the South Carrick staff, but she’s already blossomed as a resident assistant. Throughout March, she worked numerous desk shifts to help out her fellow staff members—even if it made her own schedule more hectic. Sumain believes being an RA is a great way to connect her residents with the people and resources they need. She strives to provide a positive environment in her community so residents can enjoy their on-campus experience. She loved her own on-campus living experience, and wants to share her happiness and joy with the rest of the South Carrick community.

 

East Area RA OTM – Elise Taylor

Elise is always going above and beyond what is asked of her. She is an incredible leader for the staff in Laurel and leads by example continuously. Not only has Elise handled multiple issues this month regarding her residents, but she has been an asset to the other RA’s as well. Elise is constantly encouraging the staff and keeping everyone “checked in” until the end of the semester by watching out for deadlines and details that might go missed. Elise has played in integral role in programming efforts for the building as well as building relationships with her residents. She is without question deserving of this honor.

 

Central Area RA OTM – Laura Bulmer

Laura Bulmer deserves to be the March RA of the month for her commitment to Rokerthon World Record. This morning, Laura and 25 of her residents met at the front desk to walk to Neyland Stadium. Laura advertised this event heavily and even went room to room this morning knocking on doors. At 5:15AM this morning, Laura came down with over 20 residents. The girls were excited and eager to walk together as a floor. Laura took a floor picture with all her residents before they departed. This speaks to Laura’s ability to connect with her residents. Her floor has such a strong community because she shows her passions and that rubs off on her floor. Laura also worked with a group of other RAs to plan and execute a female body image program. This was a program focused on body positivity and breaking down societal pressures on women’s appearance. Attendees left this program feeling empowered and supported by a network of young women in Massey. These women were not shamed for how they felt but had their feelings validated on such a touchy subject. This program was educational.

 

Housing Highlight: Assignments Staff

By: Marc Sloan

Summer is an exciting time for students, faculty, and staff at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville! Many students travel home for the break, while some stay on Rocky Top and continue to take summer classes. Faculty and staff enjoy the summer atmosphere on campus, and summer is a great time for progress to be made on construction! For University Housing, summer means something a little different. It is an especially exciting time for those in the department who work throughout the academic year to prepare for the rush that is summer conferences, orientation sessions, and Room Selection. Thanks to the Administrative Services professionals at the main office at University Housing, each one of these processes is executed smoothly and meets the needs of students in authentic ways.

The initial excitement of summer is met in the spring semester when hand assignments for those who wish to live on campus for mini session and full session summer terms begin. This process takes place throughout the spring and summer semesters, as students continue to apply for summer classes. According to Joel Kramer, University Housing’s Assistant Director for Assignments and Accommodations, hand assignments are just one of the many responsibilities of his staff throughout the year. Joel’s team is responsible for overseeing the entire room selection process for incoming first-year students, Bridge program students, and international students. Other hand assignments include athletes and those who have special accommodations. Team members, Donna Reed and Bellamy Hackney, are each responsible for assigning students into residence halls across campus, and are very dedicated to helping students reach solutions to any issues that may arise throughout the housing process, even if it takes spending hours on the phone with them at a time.

Before Room Selection begins, however, another member of Joel’s team, Carrie Worley, is responsible for organizing and planning the eighty plus conferences that stay with us on campus during the summer. The summer conference staff includes ninety student staff members, six graduate assistants, and three hall directors. This team operates the entire conference process, from check in to check out. Carrie works with clients to accommodate their needs, including when and where they are going to stay. She also supervises the staff that assists in conference housing. One very important conference, housing for New Vols Orientation, is included in the list of responsibilities that fall under Carrie and her staff. However, orientation is an “all hands on deck” experience, and Joel, Donna, and Bellamy each play an integral role in answering questions, speaking to students and parents, and ensuring that the process of moving onto campus in the fall is going to be an effective transition for everyone involved.

During the summer, the Administrative Services staff gets to spend a lot of face time with students and parents, and this is something they greatly enjoy. According to each one of them, the increased interaction with Future Vols is rewarding, but it takes work on the back end to prepare for these interactions. This is the work that often goes unnoticed, and is worth recognizing as summer quickly approaches. During incoming student room selection in May, an average of 1,000 students a week are choosing rooms they are going to call home sweet home in the fall. In order for this large scale process to work, it is up to Joel and his team to be the dedicated, knowledgeable, and student-oriented professionals they are. We would like to say thank you to the entire Administrative Services team at University Housing, and we are very excited to welcome New Vols onto campus this summer, and next fall!

#Rokerthon Visits University Housing!

 

By: Whitney Brothers

As a Volunteer, I live by the saying “I will give my all for Tennessee today!”, but

I would have never expected this to include watching the sun rise from inside Neyland Stadium.

Whitney Brothers, campus resident & Vols @ Home Team Member, with her favorite Volunteer, Smokey!

On Wednesday, March 29th, 2017, 4,223 ‘Vols for Life’ gathered together to break the Guinness World Record for the largest human letter on the Today Show as part of Al Roker’s “Rokerthon”. The mark to beat was 3,373 individuals. This record was set in 2016 by Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada by forming a huge “Q”. Al himself said, “You guys have T’s everywhere!”, but he wasn’t quite prepared for the biggest ‘T’ of them all. With the help of students, faculty & staff, and alumni, a 190 feet by 190 feet ‘Power T’ was born.

The University of Tennessee is no rookie when it comes to knowing how to get college students to an event. If the hope of meeting Al Roker or being on the Today Show wasn’t enough, participants also received free t-shirts, coffee, and breakfast. There were even drawings for VolShop prizes, campus dining giftcards, and 2 scholarships. Because of this, we might have also broken the world record for the most college students awake before 6 a.m.…. but I guess one record is enough for now.

The UT Singers sing Al Roker to sleep in Stokely Hall

Besides hanging with my favorite pup, Smokey X, I was able to be a part of the pre-Today Show magic on Tuesday. From the iconic chimes of Ayres Hall and painting The Rock to running through the ‘T’ with Butch Jones, Al experienced just a taste of our Tennessee traditions. University Housing’s own recent celebrity, Quamir Boddie (better known as Q), finished off Tuesday’s filming by reading Al a bedtime story, titled, “A Dog Named Rocky”, in Stokely Hall while the UT Singers sang a lullaby (the Alma Mater, of course!). I sure hope Al enjoyed his time on Rocky Top as much as we enjoyed his visit!

Whitney Brothers with roommate Bailey Edwards wait for their spot in the Power T!

One of my favorite parts of the whole event was seeing all of the faculty and staff involved in making this record-breaking event come to life. Parking and Transit began running routes at 4:30 a.m., Athletics prepared the field, and volunteers from many other offices gave out t-shirts and breakfast to the sleepy students wandering into the stadium. Many of University Housing’s own, including Dr. Frank Cuevas, Carrie Worley, Joel Kramer, and Jerry Adams, began arriving as early as 4:00 a.m. to begin setting up. Dean of Students, Melissa Shivers, along with New Student and Family Programs staff even entertained the crowd by dancing on the field. UT’s feature in “Rokerthon” wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of practically every office on campus. So, thanks UT for the memories, and my spot in the 2017 Guinness World Record book!

BIG ORANGE Thank You to URHC & NRHH!

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is home to over 300 student organizations. Although each organization offers students a unique experience and the opportunity to be involved on campus, the United Residence Halls Council and the National

Residence Hall Honorary serve on-campus residents in a distinctive way that often goes unrecognized. Through involvement with these organizations, residents learn how to lead their peers in a supportive environment, and gain experience and knowledge through service and leadership towards others who call Rocky Top home sweet home. We would like to take a moment and recognize those who make this possible!

The United Residence Halls Council is a general governing body that operates under University Housing in an effort to guide eleven residence hall associations. Their work primarily focuses on supporting each hall council in their efforts to serve residents and improve the on-campus experience. Each year, URHC hosts a variety of programs, and this year was especially successful in connecting with residents and the Knoxville community through programs like Trunk-or-Treat at Circle Park in conjunction with NRHH, and a free screening of Selma, featuring a panel of university professors. This organization is also responsible for selling and distributing care packages, which are then delivered to residents in their halls. The care package program not only raises funds, but allows first-year students who are transitioning to living on campus the opportunity to receive a little treat and be reminded of home. The winter and spring banquets are also annual URHC affairs, and they recognize the hall associations and their members who work hard throughout the year to create innovative programs for residents.

The National Residence Halls Honorary is an elite student organization dedicated to advocating for the welfare and interests of those who live in residence halls. NRHH is a member of the National Association of College and University Residence Halls, Inc., and hosts programs throughout the year committed to advancing and informing the experiences that residents on campus have. This year, NRHH has hosted programs like Cocktails and Conversations and Choose Your Poison, which engaged residents by providing genuine learning opportunities through collaboration with the UT Police Department. NRHH is also hosting a Spring Festival coming up, as well as bringing a new program to campus called Students Honoring Others’ Everyday Struggles (SHOES) which will recognize the spectrum of challenges that students face and provide participants the opportunity to learn about these challenges. Additionally, each month NRHH recognizes “Of the Month” campus winners for outstanding contributions to Residence Life. These awards acknowledge the personal growth and development, as well as advancements in housing, that the winners have made. NRHH is founded in leadership, and its members exemplify what it means to make a difference on campus.

Throughout the year, URHC and NRHH provide support to their members and members of the campus community by supporting and hosting authentic programs. This is possible thanks to the executive boards of these organizations, who work tirelessly to plan, promote, coordinate, develop, and execute these programs. These students are sometimes underappreciated for their extensive dedication to their organizations, and we think they deserve a moment of recognition and special thanks for their personal contributions. Both URHC and NRHH are large organizations that bring smaller organizations and members together. With excited, professional, and talented leaders, they function together to make living on campus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville an exceptional experience.

Thank you to the URHC Executive Board: Trey Rollins (President), Ty Lidell (Vice-President), Taylor Thomas (Treasurer), Jorden Albright (PR), Jack Moran (Historian), Gracie Duda (Secretary), Kat Spight (NCC), and Jillian Blueford (Advisor).

Thank you to the NRHH Executive Board: Dylan Roberts (President), Kristi Cao (Vice-President), Will Hanson (PR & Marketing), and Jillian Blueford (Advisor).

University Housing Supports Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and University Housing is partnering with the Center for Health Education & Wellness to support Volunteers in their efforts to pledge, reach out, and speak up about this important issue! The month is comprised of a variety of events dedicated to raising awareness of sexual assault on campus, including Hike the Hill in Heels and Group Dialogues. This year, the Residence Hall Challenge will give those who live on campus the opportunity to join a team of their fellow residents, and earn points by participating in these events! Led by Resident Assistant champions from across campus, teams will engage with the CHEW and University Housing on social media, and compete for a special prize! Meet the Resident Assistants who are champions for this issue below!

 

Abigail RiderSouth Carrick

“Sexual Assault Awareness, in my mind, is important, because we need to start talking about it; we need to know it is happening. As a campus community, we need to learn how to support those who have been assaulted, how to respond in a way of nurture not blame, how to have the courage to speak up and say something when something needs to be said, and how to get help if you need and want it. We need to educate people on what consent is, what assault is. This initiative is for all of us – for women and for men, for students and for staff, for our time at UT and beyond. I’m proud to be a part of a project and a university that is making strides to educate and spread awareness about sexual assault.”

Abigail is the team leader for North Carrick, South Carrick, Orange, White, and Morrill!  Sign up to be on Abigail’s team here.


Kara Amin – Clement Hall

“‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ Dr. King’s words echo in my head whenever I think of sexual assault awareness. I don’t know about you, but I can’t be silent on the topic of sexual assault and rape. This is such a prevalent issue that affects our friends, sisters, brothers, and fellow Volunteers. This matters because no one should be subjected to those types of acts. So it’s on us to end sexual assault.”

Kara is the team leader for Clement, Laurel, and Volunteer.  Sign up to be on Kara’s team here.


Laura Bulmer – Massey Hall

“Sexual assault awareness to me is one of the most important things we need to discuss, especially on a college campus. It is way too prevalent and not talked about nearly enough. The fact that we still have victims of sexual assault on our campus that feel they cannot report or speak up about their assault says to me that we need to make a change. Personally, I don’t want any fellow Vol to have to suffer in silence. I am excited to be involved with this initiative and I hope we can begin to improve the way we talk about sexual assault at UT.”

Carrie Sengchanthavong – Massey Hall

“Sexual Assault Awareness Month is not just a standstill time to recognize the survivors or victims from these unfortunate crimes, but it is a start to become a more cautious, caring, open-minded community for others that may need our guidance and helping hand to speak up. This is a monumental moment to open up the hearts and eyes of the students on our campus that are blinded by the injustice doings to their friends, peers, neighbors, classmates, etc. These events are not only held for our survivors, but it is encouraged for everyone to be involved because the importance of sexual assault awareness is vital, not only on our campus but beyond the point of college. It is time to try to put our selves in someone else’s shoes. Know that violators cannot live with the truth: survivors cannot live without it. If we don’t assert their truth, it may again be relegated to fantasy. But the truth won’t go away. It will keep surfacing until it is recognized. So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. It’s only a matter of which generation is willing to face it and, in so doing, protect future generations from this abuse. Let’s be that generation.”

Carrie and Laura are the team leaders for Massey, Hess, Stokely, and Brown.  Sign up to be on their team here.


Sexual Assault Awareness Month is about learning the facts, spreading the word, and ensuring that every Volunteer is safe and connected to resources on campus. We are proud to partner with amazing students, Resident Assistants, and staff within University Housing and across campus who are dedicated to making a difference! To learn more about SAAM and to sign up for the Residence Hall Challenge, click here.

February Resident Assistants of the Month!

February Central Area RA OTM – Matt Bowers

Matt Bowers is a second year Resident Assistant (RA) in Massey Hall. He is creative, innovative and supportive. In the month of February, Matt created all the advertisements for the very successful Massey Hall Murder Mystery program. Matt took the time to make advertisements that were eye catching and informative. Residents were very intrigued by the advertisements that were seen throughout the lobby and individual floors. Matt spent a great deal of time designing and researching different layouts. He is well known in Massey for making the large advertisements for building-wide programs. Matt also used his creative skills to come up with amazing bulletin boards based on “A Serious of Misfortunate Events.” His educational board brought his residents attention to the “Dangerous Effects of Dastardly Drugs”. This bulletin board focused on substance abuse and the effects it can have on one’s body & family.

Matt is an exceptional role model to his floor, as he exemplifies how to effectively balance his academics, RA role and extracurricular activities. This month, and every month this academic semester, Matt has showed his support to his co-workers. Matt is friendly and appreciative of each of his co-workers. He always maintains a positive attitude, regardless of the situation. He holds his co-workers accountable and strives to be the best RA and student that he can be.

 

February West Area RA OTM – Abigail Rider

Abigail Rider, a second year Resident Assistant (RA) in South Carrick Hall, serves her staff as an exemplary RA, student, and team member. She is always willing to step up and serve others including both new and returning staff members and head staff. At the last minute, Abigail volunteered to work a difficult power weekend to avoid putting a newer staff member in a stressful situation. She is always flexible with schedule changes and frequently volunteers to take on extra responsibilities. Abigail is currently working with University Housing and CHEW to promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. She and a few other RA’s have already helped to develop teams and events for the residents while working with other halls. In addition, Abigail is always there for her residents. During midterms, Abigail noticed the need for her residents to get a study break since they were feeling stressed, and she made chocolate chip pancakes for them. Abigail’s residents always feel comfortable talking with her, and they speak very highly of her to her fellow staff members. She is a positive influence on the resident population in general, as she has worked to build a strong community for all in South Carrick.

 

February East Area RA OTM – Reau Hamlin

Reau was nominated as Resident Assistant (RA) of the Month for February by her fellow staff members for several reasons. Reau put on an amazing week of programming targeted at getting to know building staff members better, as well as integrating the RA staff with the building staff. This was something that Reau was very passionate about, and by integrating all staff members in Volunteer Hall, we recognized that we are continually learning from one another. Reau has built very strong relationships with the building staff over her 3 years of service to Volunteer Hall and wanted to leave a parting gift of making sure that others took advantage from learning from all staff members. Reau is also a staff member that is willing to help her co-workers out anytime that she possibly can. The staff looks to Reau for help with the job or even guidance in their personal lives. It is for these reasons that Reau is an excellent RA of the Month.

January Resident Assistants of the Month!

Resident Assistants (RAs) at the University of Tennessee are a vital part of the on-campus living experience. From walking with first-year students to find class buildings, to providing late night support when a faucet is leaking, RAs are on call around the clock and are responsible for fostering the sense of community on their floors.

Join us in celebrating the January RAs of the Month!

Erika Sudbrink – Hess Hall:

Erika is a first year resident assistant (RA) in Hess Hall this year, but she stands out above the rest simply due to her outstanding personality, work ethic, and overall caring demeanor. Erika truly embodies the “Volunteer Spirit” in every aspect of her life, but most importantly in her resident assistant (RA) role. Erika does anything she can for anyone whether it be a resident, other RA, or stranger. Not only that, but Erika has had some very difficult experiences at our front desk and has never lost her positivity or customer service. This is such an amazing quality. When Erika is working the Hess front desk, I do not have to worry about what type of service our residents are getting. Other RAs on my staff watch her interact with other residents at the front desk because she is the one they want to emulate.

During the month of January, Erika also helped to train a new resident assistant on the Hess Hall staff. She explained concepts, showed her around the building, etc. Erika may not realize it, but her training is a big part in why that new resident assistant (RA) knows how to effectively and efficiently do her job. Even being as dedicated as she is to the resident assistant (RA) position, Erika continues to excel outside of the residence hall as well. She can commonly be found studying for classes, being involved with organizations on campus, and trying to help those in need. She continues to impress the Hess Hall staff with her dedication and loyalty to everything she commits herself to because she does it to help others. Her trademark is her work ethic, kindness, and honesty. I fully believe that Erika is here to better her residents’ lives.

 

Jeremy Westbrook—North Carrick

Jeremy Westbrook is a first year resident assistant in North Carrick Hall, but that hasn’t stopped him from making outstanding contributions to the staff and community of his hall. Jeremy is always willing to take a shift for someone, be on hall, or just lend a helping hand when needed. His staff can always depend on him to assist with a building-wide program, or last minute task, without a complaint! Jeremy has overcome difficulties with balancing his school work and life as an RA in order to always be available to his residents. Recently, Jeremy did a great job mediating a tough roommate conflict with two of his residents. The roommates were to a breaking point, but Jeremy stepped in and did all he could to avoid an altercation from happening. Jeremy has also been a mentor figure for one resident, in particular, who is now taking some of the tough chemistry classes he once took. His fellow staff members have witnessed their relationship first hand, and they can tell that resident really looks up to him.

So far this semester, Jeremy has showed a lot of improvement through his ability to confront students and deal with difficult situations. His creativity shines through his bulletin boards and door decorations for his floor. Most importantly, Jeremy displays an exceptional amount of improvement with his administrative and organizational skills. He is indeed deserving of this award, and we can rest assure that he’s only moving towards the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Housing Highlight: Stokely Hall Staff

 

As members of the University of Tennessee Volunteer family, we at University Housing practice creativity, ingenuity, and forward-thinking collaboration as tools necessary to accomplish our goals and make an impact in the lives of residents. The opening of Stokely Family Residence Hall highlighted these fundamental goals as it joined the residence hall family. Housing 684 students, and home to the brand new Fresh Food Company, this almost 400,000 square foot facility opened to residents on Friday, January 6th. As spectacular as this brand new building is, the shiny new dining hall and “Harry Potter” style staircase are not what make a resident’s experience on campus genuine. That role is filled by the staff who manage the building and engage with residents on a daily basis. The staff of the now closed Reese Hall stepped into this role with independence, confidence, and an open-minded attitude.

In October of last year, the Reese staff began planning and coordinating transition details for the move from Reese Hall to Stokely Hall. Factors from parking to elevator usage were considered in order to make the move as smooth as possible for residents. This transition became a reality with a room selection process in November. It was at this point that the staff of Reese Hall, a mere fourteen Resident Assistants, began to realize the nature of moving into a new building and switching residents. According to Hannah Johnson, the Assistant Hall Director of Stokely Hall, the idea of losing residents was a challenge to staff because they “really love building authentic relationships with people.” They combated this challenge as a staff, however, and began bonding as a family through their experiences. According to Hannah, the staff of Stokely is uniquely humorous and deeply strong willed. This is evidenced by their commitment to getting to know their new residents and offering a welcoming environment in the building, all while trying to define what kind of hall Stokely is going to be.

Upon moving into the new building, the RA staff experienced some changes in their team leadership as they prepared to welcome a new hall director, Sam Jackson. In the meantime, first-year grad student Han nah Johnson stepped up to oversee the physical move from one building to the next, as well as supervise the RA staff, advise the residence hall council, and be the professional point of contact for residents living in Stokely. She accepted these responsibilities with a positive attitude and determination, and successfully led her staff and residents through the move. She says this process also allowed the RAs to gain independence and step up the plate to get the job done right. Hannah has displayed the Volunteer spirit through her work, and we would like to especially recognize her for her commitment. As Sam Jackson prepares to lead the team as hall director, we are equally excited to see how the staff of Stokely hall will make a difference in the lives of residents going forward!

Residence life at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is a special experience, and those who live on campus know the difference that having a supporting and qualified staff can make. Led by a team of devoted and authentic professionals, the compassionate and caring RA staff is prepared to welcome residents and transform their on-campus experience through hard work. This can be seen through their ability to be flexible, remain calm, and deal with any challenges that may arise in the beautiful Stokely Hall. We are glad to have the staff of Stokely, and would like to say thank you to them for their willingness to go above and beyond their job descriptions.

Top 10 Hidden Gems on Campus

 

There’s no doubt that places like the Student Union, Hodges Library, or the Strip are great places to grab a bite to eat or hang out, but where should you go when those places are too crowded? We’ve got a few places in mind. A few of our Vols @ Home staff members have collaborated on this list of “hidden gems” on campus in order to give our Volunteer family a more complete view of the campus experience.

College of Communication and Information Patio: A recently added hidden gem on our campus is located in one of the most amazing spots! As you keep walking from the main entrance of the Communications and Information building, you will notice a glass door that leads out into a quiet nook called the CCI patio. Complete with plenty of seating, the patio is an enjoyable spot to eat, study, or have a relaxing view overlooking Neyland Stadium and the Tennessee River. If you’re in need of a quiet space to get some fresh air, or do a bit of soul-searching, this gem is the perfect way to escape.

Dippers in Hess Hall: Located behind the 1st floor P.O.D market in Hess Hall, this chicken joint has some of the best bang for your buck anywhere on campus. There are multiple combos completely covered by meal equivalency so you don’t even have to worry about using up all of your dining dollars. When you’re in the need of soul-food, like fried chicken and seasoned-to-perfection fries, we’ll see you at Dippers.

Nathan’s Hotdog Stand: Wait… there’s a hotdog stand on campus? Well, of course there is! You just have to be one of the lucky few where your class schedule lines up with the time the hotdog man is out selling. You can find Nathan himself standing on the corner near Brown Hall and the Natalie Haslam Music Building and get a classic meal of a hotdog and bag of chips.

UT Gardens: Located on the Agricultural Campus, not many know about this hidden gem that is open to all UT students. Some 4,000 annuals, perennials, herbs, tropical plants, trees, shrubs, and vegetables are maintained and evaluated each year in the UT gardens. The gardens are TN Certified Arboreta, and in 2013 it was recognized as the official botanical gardens of the State of Tennessee. The gardens are open during all seasons and are free to the public, with many running trails in the area so it’s easily accessible. It’s a great way to spend a beautiful afternoon or to just escape for a while after a long day.

Presidential Court Computer Lab: Tired of walking to the library to use a computer, print, or just get some work done? Then this is just the place for you. Located in the back part of the Presidential Court Building, this computer lab is open to UT students; all you need to bring is your Volcard to get in. With around 30 computers, this resource has room for you.

Free Online Movie Streaming: Who needs to pay for Netflix when Netflix doesn’t always have the best options? If you live in on-campus housing (the best place to live), then you have access to HBO GO! You can access this online or through the HBO GO app. Simply go to the HBO GO homepage or app, choose “University of Tennessee” as your service provider, and log in with your NetID and password! It’s that easy! In addition, the library offers two different services to stream movies that all UT students have access to. Criterian-On-Demand allows you to stream movies anywhere and anytime as long as you are logged on with your Student ID. The other option, Resident Life Cinema, provides a variety of popular movies to stream while on campus wifi. Go to http://libguides.utk.edu/streaming to visit both of these streaming websites.

McAlister’s Deli: Another lesser known dining option, McAlister’s Deli, located in Thompson Boling Arena, is a fantastic place to eat if you are looking to change it up and try something new. Arena dining is available during the week, and on game days! In fact, one of the best parts is that they offer dinner meal equivalency. Just be sure to make it over there before 5:30pm when it closes! It’s safe to say McAlister’s is a favorite of the Housing staff and many other individuals who frequent this side of campus.

Sutherland Fields: Located on Sutherland Ave., these UT owned fields are some of the nicest we have ever been on. These fields host various club and intramural sports ranging from Ultimate Frisbee, to 7-on-7 flag football, and everything in between. In addition to the turf and natural grass fields, there are baseball fields and volleyball courts as well. If you ever find TRECS to be too crowded for your liking, try checking out the Sutherland Fields!

Ray’s Place: One of the best kept secrets of UT’s campus is in fact Ray’s Place. Ray’s is located on The Hill underneath the South College building and in front of Dabney-Buhler. This casual café is perfect for science and engineering students or even students who just happen to frequent The Hill around lunchtime. With an atmosphere similar to a country diner, Ray’s offers a variety of sandwiches, meat-and-three combos, and freshly baked cookies. While you can’t use your meal plan here, Ray prices his homemade food perfectly for a college student’s budget (a meal typically costs about five dollars). Next time you find yourself on The Hill, stop by Ray’s to say hello and grab a bite to eat.

The International House: Nestled behind Hess Hall and Hodges Library, the International House, better known as the I-House, is a comfortable spot for many individuals on campus. With quiet rooms to study in, occasional international treats, and continually free coffee, this spot is a great getaway for all students to relax and catch up on work. With great events like culture nights, international cooking classes, and international coffeehouses, there’s almost always something going on at the I-house. One of our personal favorites are the culture showcases. Students have the opportunity to learn about a selected country and its culture while enjoying a full dinner, games, music, and the company of others for only five dollars.

Don’t be caught in the crowds… be sure to check out these “hidden gems” on campus!

University Housing Habitat for Humanity Blitz Day

It’s a new semester, and we have started one of our favorite University Housing traditions. Our staff has the opportunity to partner and assist Habitat for Humanity in Knoxville and give back to the community. Through the Volunteer way, we help a family in need, providing a place to call home.

Our Resident Assistants (RAs) and housing staff woke up early on a Saturday morning in late January to get the process started. It is a truly gratifying experience to be able to work and help in any possible way. It all begins with a concrete slab, and we are able to help from literally the ground up. As the RAs raised the first wall of the future home, you could sense how great it is to be a Volunteer.

It’s humbling to know what you’re doing for another family, as well as see what you are capable of. This is progressing story, and we will highlight the transformation, along with Allison and her family, in the coming months. Stay tuned for this incredible experience for our housing staff and remember that we are Volunteers in more way than one!

 

“The UT Habitat blitz build was a very exciting day to be a part of! We had over 60 housing staff members volunteer to transform a cement slab into a standing home, with walls, doors, windows, and a roof! Within just 8 hours we were able to see our hard work transformed into the makings of a beautiful home for Allison and her four daughters. Many of us began that morning without knowing how to use a hammer, but by the end of the day we had people up on the roof placing the trusses with confidence. I’m looking forward to the remaining weeks where we will install the interior walls, the exterior siding, paint the home inside and out, and finish by building and installing the cabinets and trim.”

– Amy Keckler, East Area Graduate Assistant


        

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