A day in the life of a Community Advisor

July 14, 2021

Hi! I'm Adam. I'm a junior majoring in biology and spanish with an environmental studies minor. I run track and cross country and last year I was a Community Advisor (CA) in Erickson Hall.

If you’re curious about what a CA for a residence hall does, here’s a typical day for me. I wake up around 8 a.m. for my 9 a.m. biology class. Next is spanish, and then lunch at noon with friends. After lunch, as part of my job as a CA, I meet up with a few of my floor’s residents 1:1 to see how their semesters are going so far.

The meetings last about 15 minutes, and we talk about classes, athletics and other activities that they are involved in around campus. I can also refer them to campus resources for what they’re interested in, and sometimes I help with a roommate conflict. These 1:1s are a great way to connect with the residents away from the floor, as we often meet in the Brew or in the lobby of the res hall. (This past year, COVID made it more difficult to have meetings in person. To be COVID safe, meetings were done over Google Meets more often than in person, but it was still a great way to get to know my residents.)

After the 1:1s, I have my third and final class for the day — environmental studies. After class I prepare for a floor program. As a CA, you plan and hold floor programs to build community among your floor members. Different activities are planned, and they can be so much fun! Residents can hang out and play games or work on something together. It’s an easy way to meet people. For today, I organized a Spike Ball tournament where residents could make some new friends — and compete for first place!

Afterward the tournament, I get ready for track practice, which runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Since it is one of our longer practices, I had to plan my day to make sure I could get my homework done on time and complete my CA jobs. After practice I have dinner with the team at the CSL and head home to get cleaned up.

I start homework around 7 p.m., the same time I pick up the duty phone for the night (when I'm on shift). Being responsible for handling calls is an important part of being a CA. Taking my turn to sit at the res hall’s front desk from 8-10 p.m. is also part of being on duty as a CA. My job there is to serve as a resource for questions or concerns students may have. 

After desk duty, I finish my homework in my room and go hang out with friends. Then I walk through my building on rounds, another expectation of a CA on duty. During COVID, my job was to make sure students were safe by wearing masks and having a safe number of people in their rooms, and making sure building doors were locked so no one but residents could enter. When I’m done, I document what I came across and head to bed.

Not every day is this busy, but time management is a crucial skill to have as a CA, especially if you’re also involved in athletics, band, theatre or student organizations.

Looking ahead to my next year as a CA, I am excited to have more in-person activities with residents and getting to know them better as we carefully shift away from wearing masks and social distancing this upcoming semester! Your CA will likely reach out to you before move-in day to introduce themselves- say "hi!" back!