McKinney RAs Continue to Foster a Strong Community for Their Residents, Regardless of a Lack of Hall Events

by Avonlea Brown

McKinney Hall is located on Cedar Lake Drive next to the ever-busy Printy Hall. As a result, one would think that McKinney would make an effort to be a part of campus life. Yet it is known as an exceptionally quiet dorm.

The population of McKinney Hall consists of busy students who have little to no time for busy dorm life. McKinney does not have any specialized events or traditions that make them stand out on campus.

“I feel like McKinney doesn’t have any traditions just because it is such a relaxed dorm,” said freshman Sophia Toledo. “It’s just like your basic, normal hall.”

While McKinney may not seem unique because of its lack of hall events or traditions, it makes it up in outstanding leadership. A dedicated team of Resident Assistants try their best to foster a strong community by holding events for their units.

“We have weekly hall events that my RA puts on,” said junior Allyson Keefer. “We study together or watch a movie or have a study group.”

Miter lounge, in between McKinney and McChesney

They also encourage as many students as they can to participate in campus events, such as “Trunk or Treat” or the Homecoming Parade. But because of their busy schedules, resident attendance is sometimes lacking. Yet the residents, particularly the upperclassmen, have to balance dorm life along with being leaders of discipleship groups, campus organizations and other responsibilities.

“Across McKinney, honestly, it’s a struggle. Just because a lot of the girls are upperclassmen and super involved in other things,” said Heidi Anderson, a second-year RA. “Resident life is not their first priority, which is not a big deal at all, because they are so involved in other areas.”

Yet the RAs continue their efforts to make time to get to know the girls in their hall and push them to get to know each other. While most of their focus goes toward getting their girls involved on campus, the RAs also make an effort to catch up with each other.

“It’s really nice to meet every week and pour into one another,” said Anderson, regarding the weekly meetings of the RAs.

McKinney’s Resident Director, Michele Ivester, also has a lot on her plate, she is not only in charge of McKinney’s wellbeing but also that of Johnson Hall. However, that does not stop her from being there for her RAs and students should they need her.

“If it’s three in the morning or 9 a.m., she is always on it,” said Anderson.

Between Johnson Hall and McKinney Hall, only 10 RAs and one RD make up the leadership team. While other dorms have 10 RAs per dorm, McKinney makes do with five upperclassmen. The team is smaller than some but continues to run things smoothly throughout the school year.

Without strong leadership, McKinney could not foster the close community that its residents love. Anderson sees McKinney Hall as a quiet dorm that focuses on hard work and intentional relationships, building a community where she can “do life with brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Avonlea Brown is a freshman journalism major. She likes listening to music, writing and playing tennis.

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