Paige Swenson is a two-time resident assistant (RA) in Mingus Mountain Hall One, floor one. As a junior studying Applied Meteorology with an Emergency Response Certification and a minor in Mathematics, she oversees 30 upperclassmen. During her bits of free time, Paige enjoys going on hikes and taking trips to Phoenix to enjoy the sunshine and spend time with her family. Over everything, Paige appreciates spending quality time with her friends.
Q: What do you like the most and the least about your position?
A: My favorite aspect of being an RA is getting to create a community amongst a group of strangers. Seeing my residents form new friendships by meeting new people on our floor is very rewarding to see. My least favorite aspect of being an RA is having a shorter than average winter break due to closing shifts and then spring training in January.
Q: Do you have any advice for students looking to be an RA?
A: My biggest word of advice for someone looking to be an RA is talk to your current RA. Getting to know the inside scoop of what an RA does day in and day out is a great way to see if the job seems like something you would truly want to do. A lot of students don’t realize all the details within the RA position but ultimately it is a great job to have.
Q: What program are you most looking forward to in your plans?
A: I am most looking forward to the health and wellness month, which I believe takes places in the spring, because it’s a great opportunity to get outside and run around. I usually have wraps and smoothies and other healthy snacks for anyone who is willing to stop by for some good mental and physical health activities!
Q: What do you hope to accomplish as an RA?
A: As an RA I hope to make enough of an impact in one or multiple residents’ lives that they still feel comfortable enough coming to me for help, advice, or a listening ear, even after they aren’t my resident anymore. I may be the person that has to enforce rules among our floor, but I ideally also want to be a friend to my residents.
Q: I know the Department of Housing and Residence Life has three pillars that RAs strive to uphold: customer service, community, and care. Which is the most important to you?
A: To me care is the most important. I know I always enjoy having someone take the time out of their day to see how I’m doing, and I try my best to do so for my residents. Their well-being, their academic success, their personal stress, are all things I genuinely care about. If I can ever help a resident out with how things are going in their life, I will do anything I can to make things better. Whether that be just a person they can vent to, or someone who gives them the extra motivation they need, or someone they can ask for advice. I want to always show my residents and anyone I encounter for that matter that I truly do care about how they are.