Campus RAs adjust to new life

The Polkinghorne Village at Florida A&M. Photo by James Williams

Florida A&M’s new COVID-19 safety guidelines have altered the lives of students staying both on-campus and off-campus. Resident Assistants (RAs) have been expected to quickly adjust to the unique precautions and expectations to ensure the safety of students living on-campus.

Incoming freshmen were shocked to learn that they were being issued a curfew just one week into the semester. FAMU issued a statement enforcing that students are required to be in their respective residence halls by 10 p.m. on the weekdays and 12 a.m. during the weekends. 

However, these rules don’t only apply to the incoming students. RAs are expected to not only follow these guidelines, but they must enforce them as well. 

Christelle Haygood, a first-year RA, admits that it takes time to adjust to the living conditions set by the university. With it being her first year as an RA, Haygood has been ready for the challenges that have been presented since accepting the job.

“The guidelines for sure make it more work on our end,” said Haygood. “RAs and students are adjusting to the change as it is happening everyday here. We still want to give the students the best experience possible — so does the university.”

A major change that recently occurred was the moving of students and RAs from both Truth Hall and Paddyfoote Complex due to the lack of individuals living in both residence halls. 

Resident Assistant Maya Bowens working her first day at The Polkinghorne Village. Photo by James Williams

Maya Bowens, another RA in her first year, has certainly experienced the ongoing change. Bowens recently moved from Truth Hall to the Polkinghorne Village to continue her first year on the job. 

While moving is always a hassle, Bowens expressed her appreciation to the university for the way things have been handled so far this semester. 

“At first I was a bit flustered with moving, but the school has given me more than enough time to settle down and adjust into my new home,” said Bowens. “It’s a relief the precautions are in place so that we all remain safe while continuing to excel at our jobs.”

Excelling at her job is nothing new for second-year RA Taylor Brown. Brown currently works at Phase 3 student apartments and she has noticed the difference from last year.

“The job is different this year. RAs have to get tested for COVID-19 every two weeks, there are not as many residents as before, as well as visitation being completely eliminated,” said Brown.

Being an experienced RA, Brown knows that the measures taken by the university are exactly what should be happening.

“All of the precautionary measures have shown to be for the better good of our health and safety,” said Brown. “So far I haven’t heard of any students not abiding by the rules set in place — they have done a good job.”

Haygood also expressed her satisfaction with her freshman residents at The Polkinghorne Village.

“FAMU ‘24 has been very responsive to the rules set in place,” said Haygood. “They don’t want to do any bad things, but they do want to have some fun safely.”

Approaching a month into the school year, everything seems to be going as planned according to the RAs. Although adjustments have been extreme for a job that is already considered “tedious,” according to Haygood, she is sure that the university has the right guidelines in place to finish off another great semester.