Tag Archives: Purdue

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.


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!

Spring Break!

This week I want to talk about all the ways to have a fun, awesome and safe Spring Break. I completely understand the excitement and the “I just want to have fun and not think about anything,” part of Spring Break. This is my first year without one since Kindergarten. Let me tell you, Reality Check! I don’t want to lecture you about what you can and cannot do. I just want to help guide you to prevent some potential Spring Break disasters.

Tip #1: Emergency Contacts. This seems simple and redundant but you’d be surprised how helpful and well it works. Pick out two people you would like someone to call in case of an emergency, i.e. hospital, sickness, etc. Let’s say you choose your mom and dad. Put their numbers in your phone as 1Emergency Contact and 2Emergency Contact. The numbers will ensure that the names come up first in your contact list if someone is looking through your phone to find out who to call. Also, if you have a lock designated on your phone it would be wise to turn it off for Spring Break. That way if there is an emergency people can get to your contact information.

Tip #2: Destination. Make sure someone knows where you are going at all times. This means if you are going to the pop machine on the next floor of your hotel or to the store down the street, tell one of your friends. This goes along with the “buddy system.” If you’re going somewhere far from your group, take someone with you. Chances are someone will want to go with you. It’s important to remember where ever your destination, you are not at Purdue. You do not know your way around Mexico, Florida, etc. as well as you do Purdue. It’s easy to fall into a trusting mood when you’re relaxing on the beach. Just remember, to think before you act.

Tip #3: Drinking. In most Spring Break destinations, out of the country, the drinking age is lower than the United States. If you are of legal age and are going to enjoy some beverages on the beach or at the bar remember these few things. Make sure to drink water in between drinks. The worst thing in a warm climate is dehydration and alcohol speeds up that process dramatically. Be aware of your surroundings. Unfortunately, not everyone is nice and classy like us, Boilermakers. Some people take advantage of Spring Breakers. Be aware of who is around you and where you are. And last, make sure you buy your own drinks…ladies. This can apply to anyone but I know as a lady it comes up a lot, keeping an eye on your drink and making sure you are the only one to touch it can keep you and your friends safe.

I hope that you will take these few tips under consideration for your trip to Puerto-where ever you’re going. We will talk about more Spring Break things through out the week. Get excited (like I need to tell you!)

5 Days!

Pinterest Can Help Me With School?

This week we’ve been discussing productivity and creating healthy study habits. Today is Friday and I thought what the heck let’s do something fun, Pinterest! Now before you men out there quit reading this blog post, let me try to grab your attention. I will not be talking about how you can Pin wedding dress, purses, shoes, love quotes or things like that (ladies we know this is a huge draw to Pinterest but shhh.) Pinterest can help students with their productivity if used in the right ways, otherwise it tends to be a time-suck of Pinning.

First, I want to start by defining some common terms used with Pinterest. This website is basically a personalized set of virtual cork boards. Think of your cork board organized into categories like: studying, food, style, funny quotes, etc. When you find something on the Internet that you would like to keep and go back to you can “Pin” it to a “Pinboard.” A “Pin” is a singular item you would like to keep. A “Pinboard” is the virtual cork board. Once, you have mastered that, all you have to do is either search a term or topic on Pinterest or search the internet and Pin away!

Now, let’s talk about how this can be used to help you with school, studying, organizing and the word of the week, productivity. It’s important to not get carried away with things you like on Pinterest when using it for productivity/school. My first suggestion is to make a few Pinboards that are solely used for school purposes. Maybe categories like Study Inspiration or Motivational Quotes. Let’s use these categories as an example. Once you have made these Pinboards, the fun part begins. Start searching the Internet or Pinterest for things to Pin in these categories. I searched the term “graduation.” That was a big Study Inspiration for me. An example of a photo that came up:

The possibilities are endless. You can find quotes to help you stay motivated or pictures. You can Pin anything on the Internet. If you’re in veterinary school, pin a photo of a puppy…or horse, whatever get’s you motivated. If you’re an engineer, pin a photo of…well you’ve got me there but I’m sure if you’re an engineer you’ll know what photo will get you motivated.

Happy Pinning!

** Pinned from Inspiration Quotes on Pinterest