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Resident Assistant Portfolio - Shruthi Harve

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Shruthi Harve

on 3 April 2014

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Transcript of Resident Assistant Portfolio - Shruthi Harve

About Me
Team Member
Shruthi's RA Portfolio
Policy Enforcer
Programmer
Administrator
Community Builder
2012-2014
Peer Helper
Facilities Assistant
Campus Resource
My fellow Forest RA staff and I put together a
video
addressing general concerns with the living situation in the Residence Hall, including:
- the
Laundry Room
, and
- communal
Bathrooms
At the end, we wanted to introduce all RAs in the building to the entire Forest Resident population.
I took part in filming and editing this video.
shruthi
shrú-thi [shroo-thee, sh-Ruthie]
noun
(Sanskrit) musical pitch, literally "hearing" or "listening"
collection of ancient sacred hymns comprising the central cannon of Hinduism, one of the 3 main sources of dharma
proper noun
goofy and spunky third-year Babson student concentrating in
Business Analytics
; a believer in the power of data
one-year study abroad student at (and soon alum of) the
LSE
@shrootss
#RedefiningNormal #motto
co-founder, vp of finance,
Babson Media and Design Studio
one of babson's newest resources, providing media editing software and equipment free to babson community
located in Horn 105
class of 2015 representative
dancer
bharatanatyam
bde
&
aman
completed my
"arangetram"
(3 hour solo debut) in
august 2011
My Year as a
Resident Assistant
was...
introspective
stressful
extremely
rewarding
I quickly discovered the difficulties in balancing my RA responsibilities with my intense academic course load and other campus activities. My hectic lifestyle hindered me from being able to casually bond with my First Year residents and adequately assess the needs of the community. My RA evaluation comments, grades, and overall reflection of the past semester forced me to look within myself - at my priorities and my values - to see what I could change about my habits to allow me to be my best self as a student leader on campus. Throughout this introspective process, I had to make some difficult but necessary decisions about my involvement on campus. Nonetheless, I saw many positive outcomes in my effectiveness as an RA from making these decisions, namely having time, allowing me to form valuable relationships, mediate roommate issues, and properly address policy violations. I definitely grew immensely as an individual through this experience and cherish this opportunity that ResLife has given me to be an RA. In the upcoming slides, you can view snippets of some of my accomplishments as an RA on the third floor of Forest, as well as some areas of improvement for the future.
All-Forest Scavenger Hunt
August 24, 2012
Spotlight: First Year Entrepreneurs
November 12, 2012
Making Cards for Valentine's Day
February 12, 2013
The humor and nature of this video was very well received.
I took some help from the online RA community. After reading
RA blogs
, I was inspired to
utilize the bulletin board to help build community
.
During the Winter Closing hall meeting, I collected quotes from residents about their favorite moments from the semester. After including these quotes on the bulletin board, I noticed many residents reading them to see what others said.
Some of my residents had indicated that they didn't know many others on the floor besides those that they know from classes or clubs. I decided to use the new year to inspire some new friendships through a
New Years Card exchange
, where I would assign residents a partner they may or may not know, and facilitate starting a conversation by sending them a card. If they
happened to speak face-to-face, I told them to email me with 2 cool facts they learned about their neighbor. I then chose 2 random residents to win a special prize (chocolate-covered Oreos). This was not only a great way to kick off the new year for the residents, but for me as an RA; I was inspired to organize more programs!
Forest residents mingling after the Scavenger Hunt; a note from Sydney after the successful program.
Our

first program

was a Scavenger Hunt for all Forest residents on their first night at Babson. As one of the largest First Year Residence Halls, the #ForestFYAA staff felt the necessity for a chance for residents to randomly get to know others on different floors, while understanding the key locations of their building. Students were led by clever Dr. Seuss-like riddles to various locations around Forest including the laundry room, the Annex, the Nook, and the one-flight staircase.

After the program we noticed many people exchanging names, and showing
new friends
each others' rooms.
One

of my residents
indicated that she recently became an independent consultant for thirty-one, and needed help gaining customers. I thought of this as an opportunity to host a program that showcased First Year Entrepreneurs, in hopes to provide First Years with the chance to learn about the benefits and challenges of owning a business, and learning about entrepreneurship in general.
Unfortunately, the program did not go too well, as it was not marketed well and the date chosen was the night before many major papers were due. However
I believe that this or a similar program should still be held.
People don't really understand what entrepreneurship is until they hear an entrepreneur talking about their ventures. This program also gives the entrepreneurs the support and exposure that they seek to run a successful business.
I partnered
with
Marina Capalbo
for a Valentine's Card Making program, since we both reside on the same floor. Together, we creatively marketed the event by
creating curiosity
among residents; empty envelopes with residents' names were hung up next to their doors. We then hung flyers that encouraged them to fill their neighbors' envelopes by attending our program!
Many people came to the program (~20) including some of Chase's residents. They enjoyed the creative decorations (glitter, stickers, ribbons) and came up with really pretty Valentine's cards for their friends. Soon after they sent them to their friends by putting them in the envelopes. Definitely a success! (Cookies were also highly praised).
A great way to give out resourceful information is through the
bulletin board
. I try to do so in a creative manner, by which residents are drawn to the board and want to read the material posted. I saw many residents notice my hard work in my
Diversity
board. Also many were
lost
during their first month at Babson, and used our board as a reference.

I decided to start a
forum
board by the main bathroom in Forest. This is a common place for everyone to hang their flyers and see everything that's going on.
Part of being a Campus Resource is
asking for help
from people when I don't know the answer. When my GAP resident expressed her confidence issues, I reached out to Sydney for advice on how to approach the situation, since she has experience helping others with this kind of topic. With Sydney's guidance, I was able to talk to my resident in a supportive manner, and encouraged different ways for her to gain confidence and find her niche at Babson. This included me reaching out to my friends in the Fine Arts Association and FreePress, as indicated by her interests. I also contacted another RA who was a GAP student last year to speak with her if she wanted.
I had to deal with a few
roommate issues
. To the left you can see a texting conversation between myself and my resident, who was having issues with her roommate from day 1. Their issues were one of the biggest last semester, as many of the First Year staff - including Dean Kwash and Conor O'Brien - were aware of it. I approached the situation with an open mind each time: open to each perspective, to each new situation, to each new thought, while following up on previous conversations. Though only one resident was very communicative with me, I encouraged the other to reach out to me whenever she needed to talk, as she is very reclusive and does not like communicating much. Eventually the latter approached me about the issue, after the former had been talking to me for a month.
After learning both perspectives, it was clear that they required a room change
. Coincidentally, their next-door neighbors were facing some roommate issues of their own so the two just swapped roommates.
I followed up with my
GAP resident
and noticed that she has been integrating herself into the Babson community by participating in the Babson Fine Arts Association events and other clubs that she joined at the Organization Fair. I am very glad that I was able to
connect her with the right people
for her interests!
One of my residents came to me early in the fall semester, upset about a
mushroom
that she found just outside one of the showers in the center bathroom. I quickly called up Facilities and relayed the situation to them. Within a couple of days, they removed the mushroom from the bathroom.
As an Administrator in the
check-out process
, I put up this sign up sheet, where one resident would sign up for a time for me to check them out of their room before Winter Break. They were to indicate their last exam so I would know if they were leaving more than 24 hours after their last exam. I then proceeded to help them with the check-out process. I also gave them advice on how to leave their rooms with the fridge, etc.
I performed
rounds
as an administrator, to ensure the health and safety of residents in the First Year Area. Sometimes I like to keep my duty logs detailed just to keep it interesting.
I have attached an
Incident Report
from early morning on Feb 15, 2013. During this incident, Marina and I were on rounds and approached a situation with marijuana. We knew exactly what to do: called public safety, waited at the scene, let the officers take care of the situation, and documented everything we could. Though this was the first time I confronted a marijuana-related incident, I felt very prepared.
The
bathrooms were a huge problem
in Fall 2012. People left used condoms around, and left food in the sinks and showers. I took the more strict route, since Marina and I made it very clear from the beginning that bathroom cleanliness is key for a happy community. So I immediately sent out a stern email and put up the attached flyers in all bathrooms. Though some people may have taken offense to this email (as indicated by some comments in my RA evaluation), many of my residents who were disgusted by the situation thanked me for my email and continued to inform me of more incidents of when the bathrooms were not up to par.
I attended the #BabsonRA Amazing Race program held by the SRAs in Fall 2012 with my
mentor
Alex. Even though we came in last place, we bonded a lot with each other and other mentor/mentee teams through the competitive nature of the event.

Following the event, Alex and I scheduled more mentor/mentee dates so we could stay in touch. I also went to her and Saralynn for
advice
about how to stay in touch with friends while being an RA in the First Year Area.
For
Valentine's Day
, I sent the entire First Year Area RA staff valentines with inspirational quotes inside them. I delivered the cards to them by putting them in their mailboxes. They really appreciated the cards, and many of them indicated that I picked the perfect quote for them. I am very thankful for my staff and the support that we provide each other.
#TeamFYAAA
I was inspired to make these
Clean-O-Meters
for each bathroom when Sydney indicated that last semester Alyssa was doing something like it in response to the state of her bathroom.

I put these up with a disclaimer that this was an indication of how residents are keeping the bathroom, not a reflection of the Facilities staff. This served to be a reminder of residents' investment in the community. I found that these were effective in encouraging more responsible usage of the bathrooms, as residents could indicate their personal satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with the states of the bathrooms.
*
Park Manor South
3
including experience from my year at
the
London School of Economics
!
steering committee
member
student government
senator
Celebrating Dr. Seuss:
The Lorax
March 1, 2013
I would say
that our birthday party for Dr. Seuss was one of my most successful programs. I partnered with
Timan Lee
to put on a casual lunch & movie event, bringing residents back to their childhoods with
The Lorax
. It was conveniently available on Netflix and has received great reviews by people of all ages.
Many residents were very excited by our movie choice!
I learned from my First Year Spotlight program and chose a more convenient time: at lunch after the FME exam, when most students
just want to relax. I also did a better job advertising! In Seuss-ical fashion, we chose all orange-colored foods (pizza, mango pinkberry, orange soda). It was great to see students enjoying the movie, the food, and the company!
#RedefiningRAThruSocialMedia
My experience as a First Year RA was incredibly insightful. I've learned a lot about myself, the Babson community, and how to interact with people of all kinds! While I greatly enjoyed my time with the First Years, I am excited to learn more about Babson's different dimensions, thus further developing my leadership skills. My year in London (where halls consist of mainly single en suites) and conversations with Sub-Wardens has taught me techniques for luring students out of their self-sufficient rooms in order to interact with others in the hall. Partly because of this new insight,
I wish to return as a Suites RA
. After studying at the LSE, I have learned to be more academically and professionally independent, and so I wish to positively influence students closer to my year - i.e. holding programs dedicated to career development, cultural- and self-exploration. I have a few suites-related community building activities already underway and am eager to execute them! The ResLife staff has been very supportive of my creative abilities within the First Year Area. I believe that I can
translate the effectiveness of my creativity to the Suites Area
, thereby promoting community spirit, Babson pride, and healthy living. I look forward to spending my senior year as a Resident Assistant!
Forest Hall
Mandel Family Hall
Thank you for your consideration!!
--Shruthi :)
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