An Open (Arts) Letter to RA's
Dear Future and Returning Residential Assistants,
For two years, I have dedicated a large portion of my academic and professional career as a residential assistant; making residents feel safe and happy, creating bulletin boards until 2:00 in the morning, answering calls that vary from questions to lock outs to really serious issues and creating events four to five times a semester for the residence life community. Hopefully like me, you enjoy every second of it!
However, I understand, if you get burned out quickly. In the midst of classes, clubs and internships you have the additional task of checking up on residents, dealing with late night calls and writing nightly duty reports. So, why not make your experience easier?
In our position, it is important that we continuously discover resources that will engage our students, without forcing us to compromise our academic, professional and personal lives. That is why I am so excited to tell you about Open Arts! This summer in addition to working as a Residential Assistant for two different programs (and buildings), I have been able to work as the Events and Marketing Intern at Open Arts. Throughout the summer, I have attended concerts and museums, blogging about my experience and interacting with students, and in this process Open Arts has been a great partner.
At the beginning of the summer, I took ten students to the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre to see “A Midsummer Night's Dream”. We ate at a restaurant beforehand, walked around Philly and then saw a great show at a wonderful discounted price through Open Arts.
My second time utilizing Open Arts, I got eleven students free tickets to the absolutely breathtaking Barnes Foundation. I still remember their excitement. We took so many pictures and afterwards, we walked to Reading Terminal and ate dinner, while discussing the beautiful art that we saw.
On both occasions, I was able to give my students an excellent experience and expose them to the amazing arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. I can't explain to you how important it is to get students off campus and into the city.
This fall, I will take on a new challenge. I will be in charge of the international resident population at Rutgers. I can't wait to hear about their experiences and introduce them to their new environment! Though, I can't forecast all of the different challenges I will experience with this community, I know that Open Arts will be one of my main resources as I create programs that can engage people of any background and allow my students to feel right at home.
For more information about Open Arts membership, visit campusphilly.org/openartsphilly.