Resident Assistant Series - McKinney
A cornerstone of the Governors State University (GSU) experience is the comfort students feel on campus, from the small class sizes averaging 18 students to the cozy nooks of the university nestled in the midst of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. At Prairie Place, the university’s residence hall, the vibe is no different in providing a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere tailored around the needs of the residents. That’s why GSU’s Department of University Housing assign a group of students as Resident Assistants (RA) every semester as Prairie Place’s exclusive peer mentors dedicated to supporting their fellow residents in achieving academic and personal success. We interviewed the team, who will introduce themselves throughout the series, for further insight into the motivations and operations of an RA. Here are the words of one of the mentors:
Takiesha McKinney, Interdisciplinary Studies
“I wanted to become an RA because I want to be a mentor for people in need. As an RA, I knew that I would have the chance to assist my fellow students with their personal development and their transition to life on campus. Being able to help make Prairie Place a welcoming and comfortable environment for new residents was an opportunity too rewarding to pass up.
So far, the experience has been fulfilling. Sometimes, students are too afraid to seek help from teachers or counselor because they feel they won’t understand their issues; for this reason, I feel honored to be an available and approachable resource for students that need guidance.
Another great aspect about being an RA is that it requires skills that relate to my desired career. When I’m finished at GSU, I want to work in health administration, which involves managing hospital operations to ensure people are being treated adequately. Since the responsibility of being an RA includes serving and leading students, I am certain that I will be well-prepared to succeed in my future occupation.”