RHA Hosts Hump Week events


Madeline S. ScharfReporter

The Office of Residence Life hosted a DIY Pillow Making event on Sunday, March 28. The program was marketed as a fun and informative project for students on campus.  

This program was hosted under Residence Life’s overarching Sunday event called Strengthening Sundays. Reaunna Bartell, a graduate intern from Central, helped administrate the event. “The Strengthening Sundays were created for health, wellness, and crafting,” said Bartell.  

Assisting with the program were students from Debra Risisky’s class. The class, Program Planning, observed and assisted in the event. “This is their class project,” said Risisky.  

These students, in addition to the Residence Life coordinators, are not new. “We have been partnering with Residence Life for about 10 years,” said Risisky. The students in her class are therefore able to get hands-on experience with their subject. 

The students of Risisky walked around and spoke to each student making a pillow. They would discuss the importance of sleep and provide facts some students may not know. A PowerPoint playing in the background gave basic information, such as “Try to avoid daily napping — it is harder to fall asleep at night.” 

For the students of Risisky, the goal of the event is to observe what those participating in the events will learn. The participants take a pre and post-test, to evaluate if their knowledge in a subject, in this case sleep, has increased due to their presentations. “It’s to evaluate if students learned anything while they were here,” said Risisky. 

The partnership between Risisky’s class and Residence Life helped create these events. “I love our great partnership with Residence Life,” said Risisky. “We really want to help students grow.” Through these programs, both students who participate and those apart of the Program Planning class can strengthen themselves and be more informed.  

Psychology major Chandra Moore attended the DIY pillow event. “I love anything DIY,” said Moore, sewing her pillow. The Freshman decided to attend the event because she “like’s sleeping” and her enthusiasm for events held on campus. “If it is at the Farnham programing space, I’ll go to it,” said Moore.   

Students appeared to enjoy the event. Psychology major Kaytlyn Caban, a freshman, said of the event, “I am having a lot of fun! I have never been to a Strengthening Sunday event before, but I will definitely be back.”  

Strengthening Sundays are held every Sunday evening at the Farnham Programing Space. “Every weekend of every week,” said Bartell, “except, of course, over breaks.”  

COVID-19 has affected student turnout for these events. Risisky reflects on previous years, when “50 to 60 kids use to flock around two tables in the past events like these.” Now, with the pandemic still effecting programs, the coordinators must adapt and evolve their events to fit the current health crisis.  

Bartell also observes how difficult the pandemic has made it for good turn out on events. “I have had 4 students show up to an event,” said Bartell. “Other times I have had 57.” She attributes this range on both the interest of students and the pandemic. 

“Strengthening Sundays was created by Erin Duff, the current COVID-19 coordinator, back when she was a Hall Director,” said Risisky.  

“It gives students something to do on Sunday nights,” said Risisky. It also allows students to interact and meet new people, something Risisky notes is difficult during the pandemic.  

Bartell emphasizes the main point of both Strengthening Sundays and the DIY Pillow program. She said, “the main theme really is about de-stressing.”  

Photo credit: Madeline S. Scharf

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