Thursday, May 6, 2021

Programming Advocate role opens up

Natalie St. Denis

Campus Housing and Community Living is welcoming a new position to residential life. A Programming Advocate has the role of creating programs for students, which is something Community Advocates currently have to tackle on top of their other responsibilities.

“We created this position because we wanted a role dedicated just for programming purposes,” Thomas Landon, Wilson Hall community director who created the PA position, said.

The CA position has many obligations to juggle, between being on-duty in the first floor office of residence halls, being in charge of programming and other behind the scenes work. By introducing the new PA position, more attention can be focused on programs.

“What the PA role would be bringing is they would be revamping the weekly bingo and trivia that Campus Housing and Community Living host every week, then they would be gearing more campus-wide programs as well as programs geared just for our first-year students,” Landon said.

PAs get all the same benefits as CAs. This includes a free single dorm room and a stipend meal-plan both semesters. The stipend increases by $100 as students return to the position each year.

Assistant Director of Community Living Jim Sherman explained that before COVID-19, CAs would drive students to the local movie theater, Cumberland 12 Cinemas, to watch a newly released movie. In hopes of bringing this event back, PAs are required to have a driver’s license.

Another requirement for the position includes a GPA of at least 2.75. There are other skills that aren’t absolutely necessary, but are recommended like previous experience with programming or leadership. Skills like public speaking, organization, planning and creativity are also teachable, but helpful to have from the start and will make for a more enticing candidate.

Junior math major Alicia Fisher is applying for the new PA position and believes she has good  leadership experience from high school that would help her in this position.

“I was in a program in high school where I helped the freshman become more accustomed to high school life,” Fisher said. “I feel like it’s almost the same thing as being a PA on campus because you’re trying to help the freshman adjust to college life and help them make immediate friends with the people in their dorms and just other people in their grade.”

Fisher mentioned when she was freshman on campus there were not a lot of activities students wanted to attend. She is eager to provide residents with opportunities to attend programs they are interested in.

“I think they’re mostly looking for people that can adapt to the students that they’re given,” Fisher said. “So not just putting out what they want to put out, but putting out what freshman or anybody that lives in the dorm want to see happen,” Fisher said.

Sherman emphasized the importance of community on campus because it allows students to make friends faster. Additionally, Community Living likes to give students the opportunity to interact with the Plattsburgh region by offering activities like seeing a movie in town.

“I’m really excited because I think having programming be a sole focus for this position; I can see a lot of possibilities. I can see the level of creativity. I’m excited just to get to know the future Programming Advocates and really help encourage them and guide them with creating awesome events,” Landon said.

Students on and off campus received an email regarding the PA position and the link to apply. Four students will be selected as the new Programming Advocates.


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