Gingerbread Contest

It’s almost time for the 2014 Gingerbread Contest!

This year’s theme is Tunes of Christmas, and we need your help determining the winner. Voting will take place Dec. 10-12 on the PMU Facebook Page. Ford, Earhart, PMU Catering and others will participate in the contest. Structures will be judged on overall appearance, originality and creativity, decorating detail, difficulty, fit to theme and staff participation.

In the mean time, here’s a sneak peek of what the contestants are working on. What do you think they are making?





Logan Dan    |   Hawkins Hall

Class: Senior

Major: Computer Information Technology

Hometown: Fort Wayne, Ind.

Years as an RA: Two

Why did you choose to come to school at Purdue?

It had the type of thing I wanted to study like STEM majors; it was the only school I applied to.

Why did you decide to become an RA?

I liked Res Life, and I was looking for more leadership positions so I applied.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Interacting with residents is great. Learning about their lives is fun. That whole community aspect is really great.

What are some tasks you have that you were not expecting?

Sort of like, cleaning up after people, if they leave a mess or if someone pukes somewhere on a weekend or after hours I have to clean it up.

What is the biggest challenge?

I have a mostly international population in single rooms, and they are also older so it is very hard for me to interact with them and build community, because a lot of them are more shut down and introverted, and living in my hall because they don’t want the traditional res hall experience so it’s a lot harder for me to build community and sort of network people that way.

What advice would you give to a resident who wants to become an RA?

Talk to your RA about it; start hanging out with your RA. Talk to the RA supervisors, talk to them about the application process and sort of interact with them. If you have a chance, get involved in the hall club because that looks good on an application, just being involved in res life helps.

How can you apply your experience as an RA to your future career in the real world?

At some point I want to be in a management position, running some sort of business. So I think just being able to interact with people and how to handle crazy off-the-wall situations will be applicable to that.

Why should students want to live in Hawkins?

Hawkins is quiet, it’s really nice. Its quiet all the time. I think the RA staff is great, we’re fun to hang out with. It’s really close to campus, close to academic campus and Chauncey so all the food and fun things that happen. We have a really big kitchen so it residents like to cook they can cook in the kitchen, and you don’t have to have a meal plan to live at Hawkins so if you don’t want to cost of the meal plan Hawkins is good.

What is your favorite thing to eat in the dining courts?

Tomato basil soup at Windsor, for sure.

If you could have any TV/Movie character as your best friend who would it be, and why?

Probably the genie from Aladdin, because he seems to be really entertaining to be around and is probably good for a few wishes.

Q & A with an RA: Owen Hall

Caleb Pirtle   |   Owen Hall

Class: Junior

Major: OLS

Hometown: Merrillville, Ind.

Years as an RA: One

Why did you decide to become an RA?

I wanted to affect first year students in a positive way.

What is your favorite part of the job?

The connections being made, being able to see people who came in with really no friends find friends – the community building.

What are some tasks you have that you were not expecting?

We have to do monthly reports on conversations that we have with our residents. We have to go into detail about how many times we talk to our residents and be very specific. It can be kind of a headache sometimes.

What is the biggest challenge?

Probably dealing with disciplinary issues. You want residents to succeed and you have to enforce the rules.

What advice would you give to a resident who wants to become an RA?

Make sure that you meet the requirements. You get out what you put in, so anticipate getting a lot out of it.

How can you apply your experience as an RA to your future career in the real world?

I want to go into HR where I’ll be working with employees every day, in a similar way that I do with my residents.

Why should students want to live in Owen?

The community is really strong, probably the strongest on campus. My first year I lived in First Street, and I moved to Owen because of the community there. There’s a really strong bond that people form.

What is your favorite thing to eat in the dining courts?

Peanut butter pie

If you could have any TV/Movie character as your best friend who would it be, and why?

Rafael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because he’s awesome and I would like to hang out with him for a day. That would be cool.

#HealthyBoiler Contest Rules

Purdue Dining & Catering believes healthy Boilers are happy Boilers, so to promote healthy habits on campus we’re holding a #HealthyBoiler social media contest. All you have to do is share a photo on social media of a healthy activity (like eating your vegetables or going for a walk) with the hashtag #HealthyBoiler and you’re eligible to win prizes!

Entries will be judged by a team of administrators, with prizes awarded for posts that creatively convey the message of #HealthyBoiler. Visit for information on healthy eating and much more.


  1. Each entry must be published on a social media platform with an image and the hashtag #HealthyBoiler.
  1. Entries will be considered on a monthly basis for the months November, January, February and March. To be eligible for that month’s prize, an entry must be posted within that month.
  1. You must be a current full-time student at Purdue. Your full name must be listed either on your profile or included in your post so that we can verify your enrollment.
  1. Your profile/post settings must be set to public.

The four monthly winners will receive a free Healthy Boiler T-shirt!

Winners will receive their award during fall semester of 2014 or spring of 2015. Students will be notified of their winnings via the social media platform used to post. Staff will then work with the student to deliver the prize. If participants do not respond to notification within 30 days, the prize will be forfeited. No cash value can be exchanged for prizes.

Q & A with an RA: Cary Quad

Justin Jackson   |   Cary Quad RA

Class: Senior

Major: Law and Society, Psychology

Hometown: Indianapolis

Years as an RA: Two

Why did you decide to become an RA?

I’ve always been interested in helping people. Having a psychology background, and I used to want to do mental health counseling, I thought I might get a little peek into that by just helping people with their life problems and things they encounter every day. To help people build relationships and make friendships.

What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job is that I get to meet new people every day. I think it’s pretty awesome to just talk to somebody and hear about their life, differences they have and where they came from, and get to know them.

What are some tasks you have that you were not expecting?

We have to shovel snow some mornings at 5 a.m. so that when students go to class they have a path. The service staff doesn’t get there until 8 a.m. sometimes, and they want the areas 10-15 feet from the doors and entrances to be clear of snow and ice. We have to lay down salt the night before and in the morning get up at 5 a.m. and shovel. So that was unexpected.

Other than that, as you get to know the job other people will come to you and ask questions, and that takes a lot of time and energy just explaining things to them and helping them through situations. That’s more in the second year, being a veteran and being able to help other people doing the job.

What is the biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge as far as being an RA is getting people to step out of their comfort zone. There are quite a bit of guys on my floor this year that are comfortable just playing computer games and don’t ever want to leave their room and talk to people. Specifically that has been difficult trying to get them to open up and actually speak to people and have a social life.

What advice would you give to a resident who wants to become an RA?

Well, if you plan on being involved in a lot of other stuff while being an RA, don’t. Most of the time people don’t anticipate it being as much work as it really is, and random stuff comes up all the time. I feel like you can really only be committed to one or two organizations outside of it because you have your own schoolwork and you have your job. Depending on how much time and work another organization or involvement would be, it’s probably going to overload you if you try to do too much.

How can you apply your experience as an RA to your future career in the real world?

They talk about being an RA as a huge leadership role, and I’ve found that probably 95 percent of the time I am leading the people on my floor to do things that are productive and helping them be successful. I am constantly trying to be a leader for my staff and go through procedures and administrative tasks the way they ought to be and not trying to cut corners. So I think helping to understand leadership and how that can benefit me and help an organization to work well if I am leading people to do the right things.

Why should students want to live in Cary?

A lot of people will argue that it is the best hall on campus. But that’s mostly people that live in Cary. I would say the thing about Cary is we have significantly lower conduct problems than other halls, so there are not a lot of people getting written up. People find pride in their community here and they are taking ownership of things in their hallways and getting involved in meeting new people constantly. I think those things lead to lower conduct issues.

What is your favorite thing to eat in the dining courts?

Batter-dipped catfish.

If you could have any TV/movie character as your best friend, who would it be and why?

Probably Matt Damon, because I love Boston accents and he has the best Boston accent. He’s just a super awesome actor and it would be awesome to hear his Boston accent all the time.

RA-Recruitment-postcardIf you have what it takes to be an RA, click here to apply!

30 Reasons to be a Boilermaker

@ResLifeAtPurdue has been counting down the days until the first day of class with a different reason to come to Purdue each day on Twitter, #30ReasonsToBeABoilermaker across the final month of the summer. Catch up on the whole list here and follow along until Aug. 25, the first day of the fall semester.

30. Our mascot can run your mascot over. #TheSpecial

29. No one wants to go to a school named after a Disney movie. #FightingQuasimodos

28. With frozen winters comes frozen tuition – Purdue tuition won’t increase from 2012-16! #TreatYoSelf

27. Ohio State puts its best 22 people on a football field. Purdue puts its best 22 people into space. #RocketMan

26. Because of days like this #CloudNine


25. How many IU freshmen does it take to change a light bulb? Actually none, that’s a second-year course. #LiteBrite

24. Because dressing up for Halloween every Saturday morning isn’t appreciated anywhere else. #BreakfastClub

23. Students aren’t required to live on campus, but more than a third do anyway because it’s awesome. #CampusCribs

22. Because Purdue students know how to study #BestPartOfWakingUp


21. Purdue is getting a food truck this fall, and nothing tastes better than food traveling 40 mph. #FastFood

20. Purdue had the third-highest number of international students of any university in 2012-13. #GlobalCampus

 19. US News & World Report ranked Purdue in its Top 10 Up-and-Coming Universities in 2014. #OneBrickHigher

 18. Boilermakers have participated in the last 15 Super Bowls, second-best streak of any school. #BreesAndFriends

 17. The research firm Lumosity ranked West Lafayette as the third-smartest city in the country. #GetSmart

 16. Purdue didn’t pick its mascot out of a comic book. #MichiganMan

 15. Orville Redenbacher paid his way to Purdue by selling homegrown popcorn – now the world’s most famous popcorn!

14. Purdue awards $560 million in financial aid each year…more money than the GDP of several small countries.

13. There are three Nobel Prize-winning professors currently at Purdue and 13 winners all-time with ties here.

12. Purdue has teamed up with Amazon to provide cheaper textbooks and class materials.

11. Purdue’s five-story, state of the art #CoRec won a NIRSA Outstanding Sports Facility Award in 2014. #GetFit

10. Purdue has more than 400 study abroad opportunities in 60 different countries! #Globetrotters

9. Several time capsules are buried on campus, including one at the Bell Tower to be opened in 2095. #StickAround

8. Because this guy’s a Boilermaker #MoonMan


7. Purdue’s Discovery Park surpassed $1 billion in research investments this year. #BestAndBrightestMinds

6. The food is so good! Don’t take our word for it, see what students say

5. Eight new campus facilities opened in 2014, from a res hall to a cancer research center

4. Purdue has implemented enhanced public safety measures on campus 

3. Campus is beautiful! That matters, you do have to look at it for four years…

Purdue 092712omara

2. Campus is fun! Even/especially in the snow #SlayterSledding

1. Because YOU are here. You chose Purdue, so every other school is second best! Happy first day of class!