Alma College has recently undergone several staff changes, many of which were in the Student Life Department. One such change has been the hiring of Graduate and Community Assistants to replace some Resident Assistant positions.
Graduate Assistants are students at Central Michigan University that study Student Affairs and are employed by Alma College.
“Since the position is new, not a lot of students are aware of what it entails, and many think it’s like a combination between Americorps Vista and a hall director,” said Timothy Samuel, one of the new Graduate Assistants.
Samuel, who majors in higher education administration, works primarily with juniors and seniors as well as diversity and inclusion.
“I come from a public university. Being able to apply what I’ve learned at a smaller private college is great since I get to see both sides.”
Community Assistants, another new position, are students that aim to cultivate a warm and inclusive environment for residents. “Another component of what I do is ensuring that students know I am a resource and that I’m available when they need me. I am diversity, safe zone, and QPR certified,” said TiKilah Turner (’19).
The five Community Assistants are spread out around campus; three report to North Campus and two are responsible for South Campus. There are still Resident Assistants on North Campus, but there are only Community Assistants on South Campus.
“I think that taking away Resident Assistants on South Campus was a good investment, since it will teach students how to be independent and how to contact the proper person responsible when they need help,” said Jaclyn Roussel (’19).
While many students believe that these are positive changes, there are those that disagree with the removal of Resident Assistants from South Campus.
“I can see situations that would warrant wanting a Resident Assistant, because of convenience, but you can still get ahold of someone to handle the same problems,” said Andrew Coffelt (’20).
Coffelt also believes that due to the fact that only upperclassmen live on South Campus, they are aware that they have resources and know how to go about utilizing them. “We’re all adults, you’ve just gotta know how to handle yourself,” said Coffelt.