cartoonadkEvery campus residence requests $25 or so from students in floor funds at the beginning of the year. Support for the method of retrieving that contribution, however, is not nearly so uniform.

Problems often arise in apartment-style dorms where upperclassmen are much less invested in residence hall community life than in a tight-knit floor in Darnall. In upperclassman dorms, it becomes tough for resident assistants to collect optional floor funds and entice residents into partaking in planned activities.

Because floor funds are not included in tuition bills and therefore must be an optional expense, an unfair system has developed in which RAs are often urged to suggest that they are, in fact, mandatory. In freshman dorms, where new students often look to residence halls to foster a sense of community, this investment makes more sense. But in areas like Alumni Square or Nevils that house upperclassmen who are often less committed to residence relationships, pestering students about a $20 to $25 expense is unwelcome. Some RAs do find meaningful ways to engage more students with events like Village A barbecues, but often this considerable sum of money goes unused. Instructing RAs to go door-to-door and pester their residents makes for an unnecessarily awkward relationship.

Instead of continuing with this method next year, RAs in charge of upperclassman dorms should instead present a calendar of activities to their residents at the beginning of the year – specific activities, on specific dates, with specific costs. If the residents are enthusiastic about participating in these activities, they could voice their preferences and feel motivated to contribute. If not enough residents pay, then RAs would either adjust or downsize their plans for the year. At this point, requiring a blind investment hasn’t paid dividends for anyone involved.

Editorial Board member Christopher Stromeyer, a resident assistant, did not participate.

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