Resident advisers continue to work on South Campus – The Daily Orange - Freelance Rack

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Monday, April 27, 2020

Resident advisers continue to work on South Campus – The Daily Orange

Resident adviser Taylor Krzeminski was relocated to South Campus shortly after Syracuse University moved classes online for the rest of the semester.

Krzeminski, a senior, was one of 18 RA’s still working on campus as of April 17. RAs have been assigned to support the more than 700 students who remain on South Campus after SU suspended residential instruction due to the coronavirus pandemic.

SU encouraged students to leave campus by March 22 after announcing the switch to virtual learning on March 16. Students unable to leave were asked to move to South Campus.

RAs are allowed to leave campus and return home at any time, Krzeminski said. She left campus and returned home the weekend of April 18.

Thousands of students have returned to campus and gathered their belongings after SU moved courses online for the rest of the semester.

Students moved out without talking to one another, said Katie Caprio, a senior RA. The mood was somber during the students’ premature departure, and Caprio questioned what the rest of the academic year would look like.

“At the end of the year, it’s exciting, (but) it’s (also) sad because you’re leaving,” Caprio said. “But now, we were entering a phase of something we didn’t want to enter.”

As Caprio left Main Campus in March along with thousands of other students, many stayed behind. An official from SU’s Housing, Meal Plan and I.D. Card Services sent a notice to Krzeminski and other Brewster Hall residents on March 25 that instructed them to move to South Campus within 24 hours.

SU employees helped students move their belongings to South Campus apartments, Krzeminski said. After relocating to South Campus, students were given personal items such as bedsheets and kitchen utensils, she said.

Starting March 26, Krzeminski fulfilled desk work and signed packages without pay for nine hours a week, she said. She wore a paper mask and disposable gloves to protect herself from contracting COVID-19 and worked more than double the number of desk hours she did as an RA at Brewster Hall.

The university stopped making RAs log packages on April 10, Krzeminski said. It was a change that came too slowly for her, as she felt unsafe completing the task.

“The RA job normally doesn’t put my health at risk or my life at risk,” Krzeminski said. “(It’s) not in my contract.”

The RA position has changed entirely, Krzeminski said. Now on South Campus, RAs no longer have to be on call at night or tell residents to be quiet, she said.

SU’s Residence Hall Association and Office of Student Living are working together to offer virtual programming to students on South Campus, said Sadia Ahmed, president of RHA. The programming includes Netflix parties and game nights for South Campus residents to bond.

OSL is helping out as much it can, but Krzeminski said the office could do more to help with social distancing measures, Krzeminski said.

“I understand it’s kind of unavoidable,” she said. “It’s a different situation. We have to adapt.”

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