Keeping students on campus over the weekend

By: Trevia Gumbs

It’s the weekend at the University of Findlay and time for the big question… should I stay or should I go?
For student athletes, there’s not much of a choice. But for others, it’s a frequent question.
Johnathan Ferraro, director of residence life at UF, says that there are many factors that contribute to why students decide to go home on any given weekend.
“A lot of students are from the local geographic region and may choose to go home to spend time with family and/or loved ones,” said Ferraro. “Another thing that we hear from students at times is that there is nothing to do, but, there are lots of events and activities that take place on the weekends.”
Resident assistants are responsible for overseeing students that live on campus. Ferraro explains that UF spends a lot of time training RAs to put on successful programs.
“We talk about advertising for programs, resources that can be used, and help each other expand on the ideas that we come up with,” said Ferraro. “Our staff also works with Student Activities to try and make sure we do not double book weekends.”
It is challenging for RAs to come up with activities that interest everyone.
Anna Ehlers is the RA for the second floor of the UF Haven, one of the campus housing options offered by the University.
“Planning activities that everyone would enjoy can be difficult. I try to plan activities that a majority would like,” said Ehlers. “Food is normally a huge crowd pleaser. I also try to reach out and see if there is a common theme within the interest of all the residents and work from there.”
“Students should be open minded to the different activities that are being provided around campus,” Ehlers stated. “RAs welcome suggestions from students and want to hear from them.”
Although RAs are trained to make sure that residents have an enjoyable stay, many of the RAs are full time students as well. Being an RA takes a lot of time management skills.
“My schedule consists of being on duty 16 nights a semester, which means working in an office and going on rounds,” said Ehlers. “I also must be available as often as I can for anyone who may need to stop by and see me.”
She explains that once the excitement of the beginning of the year “wears off” the amount of activities become less and less.
Campus Resident Lenell Shelby III says going home is a matter of convenience.
“It takes me about thirty minutes to get home, so as often as I get the chance, I go,” said Shelby.
For many residents, leaving campus is not due to a lack of activities, but because it is easy to go home. Many freshman that are homesick and live close to campus often take the opportunity on the weekend to go home and see their family.
As an RA, Ehlers explains that she has an open-door policy on her floor.
“This means that whenever my door is open, I am available to residents to just come and hang out, watch movies, play games, talk or whatever an individual needs to give them something to do,” said Ehlers. ResLife also plans Oiler Outings through the semester for residents.
“Sometimes you just should know where to look to find something to do,” explained Ferraro. “Fun social events are planned and organized by the Campus Program Board and Student Government Association (SGA). Our goal as ResLife is to make sure that no matter the weekend, there will always be something happening on campus for the students to enjoy.”

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