A spotlight on your local Office of Residential Life

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By: Emily Blake, Features Editor

Located in the basement of Gulick Hall the Office of Residential Life (ORL) is bustling all day, working in the areas of student affairs. The office itself is made up of all of the resident directors for each residence hall on campus, Sandi Myers and her team of student workers, Doug Meyer, the man behind housing, and Brandon Common, the assistant Vice President for student affairs. Resident community advisor, Bob Ladd, Class of 2019, describes ORL as a group of people “who are making this the best place to live. If you have to live on campus for three years, hopefully we are making it a good community and a place you enjoy being, so the goal of ORL is to make it somewhere that is a home, not just a dorm room.”

This staff works directly for the students. Anything and everything having to do with housing or the residence halls happens there. Specifically with the halls each resident director (RD) has a resident community advisor (RCA), and a group of resident assistants (RAs) per hall. Each one of these carefully-picked students meets with their RD on a weekly basis to provide an opportunity to discuss any possible issues or improvements.

Students can always go to their RA or RCA if they need anything, but they can also go directly to ORL. If they come in to the office, the RD for their hall could meet with them or sometimes it is just a matter of clearing up a question with the student worker, or having them fill out a work order.

With the first days of spring already here, the weather is warming up, and the air conditioners are being turned on. However if a student’s air conditioner is not working or is leaking they can call ORL, and ORL can put in a work order for them. “It’s really easy for a student to call and have us fill out a work order form for them,” student worker Cici Gazder said.

Work orders are sent to the physical plant and then someone will come in and fix the problem. The physical plant can handle almost anything on campus. They have encountered everything from flooding to shattered windows. “It doesn’t have to just be inside your dorm room, any other things on campus or in academic buildings as well,” Gazder said.

Along with helping students with things that need to be fixed, the student workers at ORL perform lock outs. This is when a student has locked themselves out of their dorm rooms or the whole building. Gazder said, “the first day back from break I performed two lock outs, one at 8:00 a.m.” If a student gets locked out of their room or hall, and the hall desk isn’t open, they can always call ORL. However if it is late at night, the hall desk can also perform lock outs.

“The majority of our jobs is made up of the mail” Matt Lenehan said. He describes how the physical plant brings them packages everyday, and they look up the students and deliver them to the correct residence hall. Also any mail that is incorrectly addressed goes to the ORL, and the students sort and redistribute it. “Many students have the wrong address on their mail, and sometimes it really piles up” Lenehan said, “but ORL is really a happily well-oiled machine, everyone is always so kind and helpful to their students.”