Student housing fetes, awards residents

Lamar Coleman said recognizing students for their accomplishments throughout the year will encourage them to continue to be student leaders and excel academically.

This is why, Coleman, assistant director for student housing, created Student Appreciation Day.

 Coleman said Student Appreciation Day, which he hopes to be an annual event, allows staff to award residents for achievements throughout the year.

This year the event was held April 12 in each dorm.

“Student Appreciation Day is outstanding because it allows staff to show that we care,” Coleman said. “Staff from each dormitory are rewarding students for different accomplishments such as excelling academically, being involved within the dorms or being active on campus.” 

Staff and students said the event provides more than a fun day filled with food and award certificates.

Reuben Felder, 20, a business health care administration student from Miami, is a Palmetto Phase III resident. He said Resident Appreciation Day increases school spirit within the residents.

“Student Appreciation Day is something good,” Felder said. “It eliminates problems on campus, makes people follow the rules and continue to contribute positive things to the University. It also boosts student morale and makes the on-campus experience more enjoyable.”

This year some dormitories decided to have a week to demonstrate appreciation for their residents. McQuinn and Diamond Halls planned a week that included a picnic, a fashion show and other festivities that students could enjoy.

Shanté Williams, resident at Diamond Hall, said she felt special because her dormitory prepared a week for the residents.

“I think it’s cool that we had a whole week of appreciation and recognition,” said Williams 18, a freshman graphic design student from Alexandria, Va. “It gave us more things to do and allowed us to really enjoy each other before finals, rather than having some food and squeezing everything in a couple of days.”

Coleman said a joint appreciation day for on-campus students called “Recognizing Our Achieving Rattlers,” was to be implemented this year but wasn’t successful because of last minute planning.

“Next year planning for ROAR will be done earlier in the year,” Coleman said. “This year Resident Appreciation Day was something that all the dormitories decided to do individually. I want to have a joint event for all dormitories to participate.” 

Although there are similar events for residents provided by student organizations, students said the day of appreciation holds more significance coming from the staff.

“Being recognized for your accomplishments by figures of authority means a lot to students, ” Felder said. “It shows that they actually care about the students to know what we do around campus.”