Tag Archives: Res Life

#URLeapingForward Contest Rules

Do you want free housing next fall? If so, this contest is for you!

As Purdue University celebrates 150 years of “Giant Leaps” with its sesquicentennial celebration, University Residences wants to see the impact that living on campus has had on you. The #URLeapingForward contest invites residents to capture themselves or others showing leadership skills, development and other “Giant Leaps” they are taking in their University Residences experience and around campus. Posts can be funny, sentimental, artistic, or even something as simple as a selfie.

Post your interpretation of University Residences success on social media with the hashtag #URLeapingForward to enter the contest.

Need inspiration? Take a look at the winning video from a past University Residences contest. Nicholas Sabatini filmed “Shrevival” to show how to survive while living in Shreve Hall. He managed to set up camp, find a water source and go hunting throughout the video. Nicholas was awarded free housing for Fall 2016 semester for showcasing how he is successful on campus!



  1. An entry can be text, image, video, meme – anything on social media that includes the hashtag #URLeapingForward.
  2. You can post as many times as you want before the deadline of Feb. 28, 2019, by 5 p.m.
  3. You must be currently enrolled at Purdue and plan to live on campus next year. Only entries posted by students who have signed a housing contract for 2019-20 by the deadline (Feb. 28) are eligible to win prizes.
  4. Your legal name must be listed on your profile or included in your post. We have to know your name to give you a prize.
  5. Your post settings must be set to “public” or we can’t see it. We have to see it to award you a prize.


Entries will be judged by a team of administrators. Prizes will be awarded based on creativity and originality.

First Place: FREE HOUSING for the Fall 2019 semester (meal plan not included).

Second Place: FREE MEAL PLAN for the Fall 2019 semester (8-Meal plan: student can pay difference to upgrade plans).

Third Place: Dinner for two at the Sagamore Restaurant and two tickets to a Purdue Convocations event.

Res Life Staff Prize: The resident assistant with the highest number of quality posts from his or her floor will receive a pizza party for you and up to 12 friends, sponsored by Villa Pizza.

Senior Showcase Award: Will be awarded to the senior with the most creative post. Winner will receive a frame for their Purdue diploma.

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!

The Year in Photos: 2013-14 Res Life

The 2013-14 school year has come to an end! Thanks everyone for making it another great year on campus at Purdue. Take a look at all that went on in res life, from back-to-school cookouts to end-of-year dances and everything in between!

#URSuccess Contest Winners 2014

First things first, thank you to everyone who participated in the #URSuccess social media contest! The quantity and quality of participation blew us away, enough that we wanted to share not only the winning entries but also a group of finalists who perfectly captured various aspects of success in University Residences. Some entries are funny, some are heartfelt and all are a reminder that living on campus is a dynamic and unique experience. There was singing, there was sledding, and there were zombies.

All we asked for were social media posts with the hashtag #URSuccess showing us something great about living on campus. Posts could include a photo or video and were judged on creativity and originality. In order to be eligible for a prize, the student had to have re-contracted to live in University Residences again next year, since the contest was part of our contract renewal campaign. After the 10-week contest concluded March 31, a panel of HFS administrators chose three winning entries, featured here:

First Place: Matt Tornquist (Cary Quad)

Matt produced a video of snow day sledding on Slayter Hill, getting ready to brave the cold in his room and then joining all the students who trek to Slayter for a day of fun when classes are cancelled. Matt won a customized dinner with 20 friends at the Gathering Place in Meredith Hall, where he will get to plan the menu with a professional chef.


Second Place: Stephanie Leeth (Hillenbrand)

Stephanie is an RA at Hillenbrand who snapped this photo of a bulletin board she designed, which celebrates diversity and encourages students to be mindful of some commonly-used offensive phrases. The second place prize is a meal with 10 friends in the Athletic Dining Room in Cary Quad where the Boilermaker athletes eat.

Stephanie Leeth Feb 17


Third Place: Nichol Wuertemberger (Cary Quad)

Nichol’s photo is a quintessential res hall experience… Everybody grab an instrument and annoy the neighbors! Nichol’s prize is lunch with 10 friends at the Sagamore Restaurant in Purdue Memorial Union, a favorite food spot of Purdue faculty.

Nichol Wuertemberger March 27 (2)


Honorable Mentions (listed alphabetically):

Hannah Addie had two entries as finalists, one of engineering students on her floor making homemade snowboards and another of her RA staff dressed as characters from The Walking Dead.

Hannah Addie Feb 7

Hannah Addie Feb 3

Nicoletta Fala shared videos from several events in Shreve. Forewarning: karaoke.


Steven Kalacinski parodied a football training event to create the “RA Combine.” (Read bottom to top for sequential order).

Steven Kalacinski Feb 24


Stephanie Leeth shared two videos, one that includes projectile food and the other a song written and performed for an RA.


Elliot Mathieu took the time to celebrate his resident assistant on RA Appreciation Day.

Elliot Mathieu Feb 19


Lorrie Newhouse shared a photo of the hand-made invitations to a Valentine’s Dance from Tarkington to Windsor and then a group shot at the event.

Lorrie Newhouse Feb 13

Lorrie Newhouse Feb 21


Kelly Peterson captured about half of Meredith crammed into a common room to watch the Super Bowl.

Kelly Peterson Feb 4


Joel Phillips made a compilation video of the dining courts, residence halls and sledding at Slayter Hill.


Raymond Riley found his way to the Shreve Chatterbox for a study break. As detailed in our Of-the-Months post from March, the Chatterbox is a ballpit with questions written on some of the balls to encourage students to get to know each other by jumping in and start conversations.

Raymond Riley Feb 20


Annie Sheahan shared a touching moment from a program at Windsor, where students sent Valentine’s cards to a retirement village.

Annie Sheahan Feb 11


Nichol Wuertemberger shared another photo of the Shreve Chatterbox, with the guidelines for participation listed on the right.

Nichol Wuertemberger March 25 (2)


Hannah Young praised the staff of the dining courts for coming to work and cooking during a very snowy winter at Purdue.

Hannah Young Feb 5