A significant aspect of on campus living is the various programs organized by Residence Life. These programs are excellent opportunities to learn something new while meeting fellow residents and making new friends. Each program has an underlying theme and educational aspect to it but making sure everyone who attends it enjoys it thoroughly is on top of the list while planning them.
The programs can be divided into the following categories:
These events generally focus on just one or two floors or wings of the residence hall. Past community interactions have included recycling plastic bottles as plant pots; a fun afternoon at the beach; a diversity quiz; teaching residents microwave recipes and many more. They are usually quite short, so you can drop by and still not be late to whatever it is you were going to and are also a nice way of getting to know the Resident Assistants in your area.
The entire staff of RAs organize area wide programs and the events are geared towards all the residents in that area. There’s a theme for every month and the RAs take special efforts to include different on campus as well as off campus resources. For example, for a program that educates residents about consuming alcohol responsibly, the Fire Department was requested to give a short demonstration on how they respond to accidents. For other programs, the Sheriff’s Department gave a presentation on human trafficking and the Academic Support Center provided tips and guidelines towards preparing for interviews.
Each program offers an unique opportunity for residents and students to learn something new or to experience something they might never get to. An added bonus is the free food to eat and interesting people to meet. I have made some really good friends only because I happened to meet them at a program!
Just as the name suggests, annuals are conducted once every year. The entire staff of Residence Life and student clubs and organizations come together to plan it. In one academic year, we have three annuals:
The ResLife All-Star Tournament is a mini sports tournament and generally organized in the beginning of the year. This year, we had ping pong, soccer and volleyball tournaments, and winners got fun prizes like wireless headphones and movie tickets. We also had information stations which provided stretching tips, fun facts about games from around the world, healthy snacks and much more.
Treat Or Treat has been part of Florida Tech for eight years now. It is conducted in the Residence Quad, and three of the quad buildings are converted into haunted houses in increasing levels of “scariness.” Each house has a storyline, which is usually based on a movie. Past themes have been “Jurassic Park,” “Frozen,” “Toy Story,” “The Mummy” and “The Phantom of The Opera.” The “Quad Green,” the lawn in front of the Quad buildings, has numerous activity booths set up by many of the students clubs and organizations. The primary aim of Treat Or Treat is to provide a safe and fun environment for children living around Melbourne. My favorite part about Treat or Treat is the way almost all of campus comes together and makes it an amazing event!
For Casino Night, which is generally in the latter half of the Spring semester, we recreate a casino on the second floor of the Student Union Building, complete with a bar (which serves non-alcoholic drinks, of course), live performances, a photo booth and exciting prizes for those with the most chips at the end of the night. Each year has a different theme. Last year, it was “Casino Royale,” while this year, all went back to 1922 with “The Great Gatsby.” It also includes a philanthropy aspect to it, this year we collected over 3000 plastic bags which would be used to make mats for the homeless.
I’ve always been and continue to be amazed by the creative and innovative ways these programs are planned and conducted. There’s always something unique to each one and no two programs are ever the same, which is why I try my best to be a part of each and every one. To all of the future residents on campus, I would suggest keeping an eye out for ads about these and dropping by the RA offices in your areas every now and then. I’m excited for next year and all the amazing programs yet to be!