How to make your student staff happy

Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Older students are assigned to each floor in every residence hall to help freshmen adjust to college life.

These student staff members provide guidance throughout the year, put on educational and social events within the hall and answer questions. They are divided into staff groups with specific responsibilities.

  • PAs: These are peer advisers. They are the primary educators for the FIG (Freshman Interest Group) pro-seminar courses. They live in the same community as the FIG to offer more educational opportunities.
  • LAs: These are leadership advisers. They supervise hall and floor governments while providing other involvement opportunities for students within each hall.
  • CAs: These are the community advisers. They organize and facilitate volunteer opportunities for students within the hall, around campus and in the Columbia area. They build community within the building and teach the importance of civic engagement.
  • NCOs: They are non-commissioned officers in the U.S. military who work in ROTC learning communities.

How to make them happy

  • Take the initiative. Whether you want to get involved in hall government or just pick up trash, student staff members appreciate any extra help from motivated students.
  • Be respectful. A lot of work goes into running a residence hall. Students should be respectful of all student staff, desk staff, professional staff and custodial staff.
  • Be responsible. Student staff is there to help in any way they can, but that does not mean they are your new parents. Take responsibility for your actions and tackle issues head on.
  • Attend events. Student staff plans floor meeting and other educational and social events. It is a great way for you to meet new people in the building and network with people across campus.
  • Have fun. Your first year of college is a big adjustment. When it comes to balancing friends, academics and other involvements, life can get stressful. Your student staff member wants you to be feel safe and comfortable where you’re living, so make sure you can handle it all in a healthy way. 

Note: They also accept food offerings or high fives. Or both.

Responses collected from former student staff members Callie Frazier, Alicia Dolbashian and Rachael Amick.

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