Moving into Purdue University as a first year student can be an
overwhelming experience but when a student takes the initiative to start
building relationships in the first week truly sets the standards for
how the floor community will function for the rest of the school year.
Fortunately, the 1West floor of Earhart hall has hit the ground running
and it is all thanks to residents like Jessica Matus. All of the
residents of 1West are first year students of the Women in Science
Learning Community and they are all eager to participate in hall
Purdue offers a new student orientation week called Boiler Gold Rush.
This is for first year students to move in a week early and become
acclimated to Purdue through fun events, speakers, and tours. As a
Resident Assistant, this is a fun week for me to observe interactions
between residents and make their transition to Purdue easy and
enjoyable. On the Tuesday of Boiler Gold Rush week around 11:30PM, I had
just shut my door and I was climbing into bed when I heard a knock at my
door. I opened my door and it was one of my residents, Jessica Matus,
not asking me a question but rather had a request. She explained to me
how she was a witness of the tragic Indiana State Fair stage collapse
and asked if, as a floor, we could write cards to the victims still in
the hospital. At the time their were about 40 victims in the hospital
and 6 deaths due to the 70 mile per hour gust of wind that brought down
the concert stage on Sugarland fans. I was completely amazed and blown
away by the initiative she was taking to get the entire floor involved
in something to benefit others. Jessica went door to door telling
everyone her idea and they were all more than happy to participate.
Because of Jessica’s warming personality and friendly actions on the
residents’ third day at Purdue, all of the girls started to interact
with one another and open their doors.
By the time we all meet together for our first floor meeting the Sunday
before school started, friendships had already formed. I finished my
part of the floor meeting then I handed it over to Jessica to explain
one again why we were making cards for the Indiana State Fair victims. I
provided paper, scissors, stickers, and makers so the girls could make
beautiful homemade cards and they spent the longest time helping each
other make “Get Well Soon” cards. This simple project allowed the girls
to spend time getting to know each other and it has made our community a
wonderful place to live. Since then I have had multiple residents come
to me with activities that we can do together as a floor and this would
not have happened if it weren’t for Jessica Matus.
In three short days, Jessica has greatly impacted her community, and she
deserves to be recognized so she knows that her actions have made the
1West floor of Earhart Hall a better place to live.
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