Tuesday, November 27, 2012

October Of-The-Month Winners

Each month, the Georgia Alpha chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary presents Of-The-Month (OTM) awards to recognize excellence in University Housing leadership.

In order to be considered for this prestigious honor, winners are nominated by their fellow peers, including students and/or staff members, in a detailed entry form detailing how that specific person/program went above and beyond the call of duty to surpass general requirements.

Please join us in congratulating the OTM winners for October!

  • Advisor: Tamara Burke
  • Community: Creswell
  • Custodial/Maintence: Randy Hickman
  • Desk Assistant: Megan Runkle
  • Exec Board Member: Kaitlyn Branson
  • First Year Student: Macey Kessler
  • Graduate Assistant: Chandler Thompson
  • Office Assistant: Brittany Smith
  • Organization: Hispanic Student Association
  • Resident Assistant: Melissa Raines
  • Roommate: Tori Barnwell
  • Spotlight: Elizabeth Rene
  • Student: Caitlin Riley
  • Community Service Program: Dear John/Jane
  • Educational Program: Introduction to ASL and Deaf Culture
  • Social Program: Scream on the Green 2012

Residents shriek for this year's Scream on the Green movie The Strangers.
View the entire Facebook album.

If you would like to nominate a person/program for future OTM awards, please visit NRHH's website.

Monday, November 26, 2012

UGA Residents are #WINNING

by Felicia Harris

Hands down, one of the toughest parts about your transition to college is the big move. Leaving home for the first time, finding a roommate, and trying to make your new living space suitable for two is definitely a challenging task.

Nevertheless, year after year, UGA residents show us that they are more than capable of doing just that – and making it look good! Our annual Room-of-the-Year and Best Video Tour contests continue to be successful, with dozens of rooms being entered and thousands of residents voting on the winners.

Each year, residents and roommate pairs come together and decide on color schemes, coordinate accessories, design, decorate and transform traditional residence hall rooms into pockets of exceptional décor and comfort.

For the past two years, I’ve stood in the doorways of rooms wondering how they pull it all off, so this year I asked. Read what some of our recent Room-of-the-Year and Best Video Tour winners had to say about their decision to come to the University of Georgia, how they picked a residence hall to live in, and how they decorate their rooms to feel at home!

Sarah Carnes, Hickory Flat, Ga.
2012 Best Female Room Winner

Q: Why did you choose the residence hall that you live in?
Sarah (left) is pictured
with roommate Audrey Wright.
A:  We did our research and knew that the Hill Community was home to some of the largest rooms, so that made choosing a residence hall easy. Our dads would probably tell you that a larger room translates into "more stuff" to carry up three flights of stairs! 

Q: What made you decide to come to the University of Georgia?
A:  It's a tradition! I come from a family of Bulldogs, so I've always bled red and black. I'm pretty sure some of my first words were "Go Dawgs!"

Q: What one item did you bring from home that you just can't live without?
A:  My electric blanket. 

Q: What's your best decoration tip for those moving into the residence halls?
A:  Well, there's not just one, but I can narrow it down to five!

(1) Shop around for unique finds. My grandmother has always told me that a room should never look like you just went to one store and stocked up on everything. During the summer, hit up local antique or consignment shops. Half the fun of decorating our room was venturing to these stores looking for one-of-a-kind pieces. It's so neat to think that a good bit of the pieces in our dorm room "have a story." Don't be afraid to search through your grandparents' attic either. You might find lots of great pieces, or perhaps just one. Incorporating a piece of "retired" furniture allows you to have a piece of your grandparents with you. 

(2) Choose a color palette but don't feel like you can only use those colors; while we use mostly browns, oranges, and blues, we also brought in reds, greens, and yellows - and it works. 

Sarah and Audrey's red pallet coffee table was inspired
by Pinterest and made by Sarah's grandmother.
(3) It's inevitable that you will miss home, so transform your dorm room into home! Our warm color palette reminds me of my home, providing a sense of solace at the end of a long day.

(4) If you can't find what you're looking for, make it! Our red pallet coffee table stemmed from a picture on Pinterest. It became a reality when my grandfather agreed to make it. My grandmother then "worked her magic" and voilá - we have a great rustic red coffee table that provides storage as well! 

(5) Splurge on a few good pieces. If you're going to spend the money, you might as well spend it on accessories that will spice up your dorm room and perhaps that apartment you have your eye on after freshman year.

Jessica Jarrett, Woodstock, Ga.
2012 Best Video Tour Winner

Q: Why did you choose the residence hall that you live in?
Jessica (right) is pictured
with roommate Caroline Bagley.
A:  I initially wanted to be in the Hill Community, but I’m really glad I got Creswell because of all of the community I’ve built with all of the girls!

Q: What made you decide to come to the University of Georgia?
A:  I wanted to go to UGA because of the music program, and because of the awesome spirit that exists on campus.

Q: What one item did you bring from home that you just can't live without?
A:  I’d probably say my map of Middle Earth. I don’t care if that sounds dorky. It’s an essential decoration.

Q: What's your best decoration tip for those moving into the residence halls?
A:  Don’t bring too much! It’s pretty tempting to go all out from Bed, Bath and Beyond, BUT RESIST THE TEMPTATION.

Check out Jessica and Caroline's video tour of Creswell Hall:

Visit our Facebook page and our YouTube channel to view all of this year's Room-of-the-Year and Best Video Tour finalists. To view photos and videos from past years, visit our Room-of-the-Year board on Pinterest.

Felicia Harris is the Doctoral Intern for New Media at University Housing. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Mass Communication at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication with research interests in Health Journalism, New and Social Media and Critical/Cultural Studies. 

Stay Connected with University Housing

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

5 Easy Ways to Flush the Flu

by Heather Pitts

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that outpatient visits for influenza-like illness were below average. However, that does not mean germs have stopped crawling in the residence halls!

Here are five basic hygiene practices that will help you stay flu-free and test-ready to finish the semester strong:

Don't let the flu happen to YOU!
1.    Wash your hands frequently and always before you leave the bathroom.

CDC researchers have found that germs can live on doorknobs for more than two hours, and it takes warm water, soap and 20 seconds of scrubbing to rid your hands of cold and flu germs.

Ninety-five percent of people claim to wash their hands in public restrooms, yet only 67 percent of people actually wash their hands according to the American Society of Microbiology’s Clean Hands Campaign.
2.    Work your elbows!

Everyone uses their hands, especially to press buttons in elevators, and you don’t know what else people are doing with their hands throughout the day. An easy way to avoid germs is to use your elbow to press buttons in the elevator – talk about a great conversation starter! Or, if you are too embarrassed, try getting someone else in the elevator to press buttons for you.

3.    Reconsider how you pick your potty.

WebMD reported that most people gravitate towards the middle stalls in a public restroom, and those tend to have the most germs as a result. More people have put their hands on the doors, locks, flushers, toilet paper, etc. of those stalls. Studies show that the first stall is usually the least trafficked and cleanest. 

4.    Wash your hands before you brush your teeth and dispose your toothbrush after you have been sick.

Germs are the greatest danger to you when in contact with your mouth, nose and eyes. To avoid transferring bacteria from your hands directly to your mouth you should wash them before brushing. Likewise, your toothbrush contains germs from the plaque, saliva and oral debris removed from your mouth. It is best to simply throw out a toothbrush with your past illness on it once you are healthy.  

5.    Carry your own pens and pencils.

Sharing pens and pencils is a good way to spread cold and flu germs amongst your friends, particularly during flu season.  They are an easy source of cross-contamination, where bacteria are transferred from one item to another.

Heather Pitts is a third-year student majoring in photojournalism and anthropology. Currently, Pitts is in her second year as a Resident Assistant in Creswell Hall. 

Stay Connected with University Housing

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Apply to be a RA-CA with University Housing

by Elizabeth Manuel

Now is the time to consider applying to be a Resident Assistant (R.A.) or C.L.A.S.S Advocate (C.A.) for University Housing. Sounds cool, but what do those titles really mean?

RA-CAs work in the various University Housing communities and have multiple responsibilities that include: programming, connecting with residents, contributing to a great experience living on campus, and much more. 

Don’t just take my word for it, have a look at what current R.A. Minh Nguyen had to say!

Q: What do you like most about being an RA-CA?
A: As an RA, I am the first point of contact for my residents. I like to take every opportunity to engage my residents with things happening around campus. I get to help more than 50 people succeed academically and personally and make their college experience fun and memorable by being one of their resources.

Q: What piece of advice do you offer to those that are applying to be an RA-CA?
A: I strongly advise those applying to be an RA-CA to have a deep understanding in not tolerance, but acceptance, of others. Applicants should be genuinely dedicated to creating a caring, inclusive, engaging, and empowering community in which all residents can live.

Also, one of the best ways to boost your chances of getting the RA-CA position is to be active in the community in which you live. Get to know your RA, be an active member of hall council or consider running for RHA. The more visible you are in the community, the better.

Q: What is the most challenging part about being an RA-CA?
A: One of the most challenging things about being an RA is learning time management. You never want to be spread too thin and end up doing a half-hearted job in any of your endeavors. As an RA, I've learned how to prioritize my schedule while maximizing my efforts.

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of being an RA-CA?
A: The most rewarding part about being an RA is watching my community thrive and grow even when I walk away from it. I know I am on the right track when I see my residents making plans to hang out with each other, self-sustaining their own community.

Minh Nguyen poses with the Hill Community RA-CA Staff

After reading Minh’s perspective on what it’s like to be an RA-CA, you might be wondering what comes next in your decision to apply to be a Resident Assistant or C.L.A.S.S. Advocate for University Housing

Here’s what you need to know:

Those applying to be an RA-CA must attend an information session to be eligible to apply. Please bring your UGACard with you to the information session. Applicants will need to fill out an application as well as submit a personal statement of interest. Applicants should also have two letters of recommendation.

Remember these dates!

- Applications will be available November 12, 2012!
- You must bring your UGACard and attend one mandatory information session held at the following times:
  •  Monday, November 26th 4-5:30pm, MLC 214
  • Tuesday, November 27th 5:30 – 7pm, MLC 150
  • Thursday, November 29th 6-7:30pm, MLC 214
  • Sunday, December 2nd 5:30 – 7pm, MLC 214
  • Monday, December 3rd 5:30 – 7pm, MLC 214

- Applications and contact information for two references are due December 14, 2012, at 5 p.m., EST.

For more information about the RA-CA application process, please visit our website or contact University Housing’s Staff Development and Student Conduct office at 706-542-8191.

Elizabeth Manuel is a second-year Master’s student in the College Student Affairs Administration program at the University of Georgia. Currently, Manuel serves as the Graduate Resident for Undergraduate Student Development.

Stay Connected with University Housing