Huntington University RAs see many humorous and entertaining antics as they go on their rounds. Add in an element of mystery, and you’ve got res life at HU summed up.
By Abby Rusie, Contributor
“I remember one time on rounds, I witnessed an athlete of Baker who weighed over 200 pounds tackle someone who weighed just over 100 pounds,” sophomore Brent Wiseley, resident assistant of Baker 2nd, said in an email interview. “You can imagine how that turned out.”
Wiseley, an RA on HU’s campus, experiences many comedic instances and events as he goes through his residence hall on rounds. Res life staff seem to have an unspoken understanding that some of these stories will stay untold in order to maintain an element of mystery. But The Huntingtonian was able to uncover some of these stories.
According to a story published by The Frederick News-Post, the weird and unusual are both huge aspects of what make up the residence life community and experience on many college campuses throughout the country, specifically at smaller-sized universities.
Huntington University is no exception.
Ani Weitzel, a Roush Hall RA, remembers being ambushed by her friends with nerf guns on Baker third as she was passing through on her rounds one night.
“I think making things lighthearted can be a huge part of what RAs bring to the community life,” she said through an Instagram interview.
She also said that, in her opinion, the main purpose of RAs going on rounds is to check up on everyone, to make sure that no one is breaking rules, to help out with anything that anyone needs, and to show that the res life staff care about the people living in their building. Overall, the RAs want to let everyone know that they are there for their residents and are always available.
Another RA, who asked to remain anonymous, remembers walking in on students engaging in what they call “sauna night.” “That’s when you block off all the showers and turn them to high,” they said. “It creates a really steamy effect.”
Another story comes from another anonymous source. They recall what HU students lovingly call “mattress tackling” but with a twist. It’s when one mattress is placed on the ground, with one person standing in front of it holding another mattress. Then, someone runs down the hallway at full speed and tackles the person holding the mattress. In this story, those involved were tackling in their underwear.
“It’s a pretty normal sighting for this floor,” the RA said.
Joe Degraaf, resident director of Hodson Hall at Indiana Wesleyan University, echoed the prominence of shenanigans in res life work.
“Most of residence work is weird, and much of it is entertaining,” he said through an email interview.
Degraaf completed his undergraduate degree at HU, which provided him with many memories of dorm rowdiness ― although he said he cannot share most of these stories.
“Most of the memories I can think of involve situations that are protected by some FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) restrictions!” he said, hinting at the element of mystery that surrounds the humourous things that can be found taking place during rounds.
Debate surrounds which dorm on campus provides the most opportunities for RAs to glean stories of mischief or antics.
Many Huntington University students have a strong opinion on the subject and are adamant that their answer is correct.
Almost half of those surveyed voted for Wright Hall (46%), with nearly a quarter (24%) of the total votes going toward Baker Hall, the other all-male dorm. As for female dorms, 14% said Hardy Hall, and 4% said Roush Hall. For the coed dorms, Livingston received a vote of 12%. (Miller/Meadows are not represented in the chart below due to them each recieving 0% of the vote.)
Students react differently when RDs walk onto the floor. Students generally stop their antics immediately out of fear of a firm scold and do not continue.
Jess Hatcher, lovingly known as “JHatch” by the HU community and resident director of Livingston and Meadows halls, commented on this.
Hatcher stated in an email interview that it can be very interesting and amusing to see different students’ reactions when she walks onto a floor in a dorm. Most residents typically think something is wrong. She went on to say that is not always the case.
Hatcher said that Huntington RAs are trained on how to handle these instances, but there will always be fresh situations to figure out from time to time.
“For most situations, yes they are trained,” she said. “Even with that, there are still new things to navigate! My RAs have always been very good at being adaptable and learning things in the moment!”
While all res life workers agree that most of their job responsibilities involve the weird and unusual, no one seems to have an answer as to why. Wiseley said it looks like we may never have a reason for the secrecy surrounding the various amusing situations RAs can sometimes find themselves in.
Regardless, multiple HU staff members emphasized that RAs are always available to assist students in matters concerning residence life, and they are always ready to see what shenanigans will pop up along the way.
“The main purpose of this job,” Wisely concluded, “is to help cultivate community whenever possible.”