Residence hall staff has been selected for the incoming freshmen floor of Main Street Commons.
After two weeks of deliberation, junior Spanish major and Student Body President Tricia Anklan has been selected as the floor’s first resident advisor, said Executive Director for Residential Living and Leadership Nathan Thomas.
“We first went about trying to figure out how the Main Street staff would work within our structure,” he said. “Ideally we wanted someone who was a senior staff member, flexible and a good communicator. But we also needed someone who was willing to go over there.”
Thomas said there will be a second staff member at Main Street Commons, but they are still searching.
“It’s going to be the same amount of residents over there, but the thing is it’s going to be bigger,” he said. “Distance-wise, it’s about twice the length of a regular dorm floor. So that’s another thing we have to work out. But the staff will only be responsible for the fourth floor.”
As far as converting other floors in the complex to replicate dorm life, Thomas said anything is up for discussion.
“This is truly going to be a pilot project, and at this point, it’s on the table,” he said. “It’ll be as similar to another residence hall as we can get it.”
A major portion of the project, Thomas said, will be acclimating residents into the campus community.
“That sense of community that gets built up in the residence halls will definitely be the main focus of the staff over there,” he said.
Rules will be the same at Main Street as they are for any other living hall, Thomas said.
“On the surface, these rules won’t be any different, but after that it’s going to be a matter of getting into it,” he said. “Over the summer we will be drafting expectations of the staff and we’ll go from there.”
Anklan said she agreed with Thomas that the most challenging aspect of Main Street Commons will be establishing a community within the floor.
“In the dorms you have communal bathrooms and common study areas, so even if you’re just brushing your teeth you run into other people on the floor,” she said. “Here there will be a lot less natural interaction, so we plan to [combat] that with unique programming.”
A setup different from the dorms allows for that kind of programming, Anklan said.
“We will do a lot of e-mailing and using a group site for organizing and communicating quickly,” she said. “We’re thinking of doing apartment hours instead of office hours where residents can stop by, bake cookies and just hang out. We have more space to do that.”
Anklan said being one of two staff members in the building will have its advantages.
“We will have a lot of programming flexibility because we won’t have a full staff,” she said. “I’m pretty comfortable with the unknown, so I’m really excited. This will be a unique opportunity to develop things and get creative with it.”