There is a famous quote that states "Helping one person might not change the world,
but it could change the world for one person." I truly believe that Daniel Velez has
embodied this quote as a Resident Assistant (RA) during the month of September.
Daniel was new to the RA position in September but made lasting connections with
his residents, helped his residents find resources on campus, and also helped his
staff and residents engage with their community. |
As a Resident Assistant, Daniel oversees almost 40 residents, the majority of which
are first year students in temporarily tripled rooms. Daniel spent countless hours in
September getting to know all of his residents on a personal level and understanding
what their passions and interests were.
Daniel also invited his residents to join him in attending different club meetings on
campus such as Circle K and Hall Council. Not only did Daniel’s residents attend
meetings with him, they also went on trips and retreats with some of the clubs that
Daniel helped introduce them to.
A large amount of Hall Council's attendance each week is from Daniel's floor and this
is largely in part due to him going around each Tuesday night to every room on his
floor and inviting them to come with him to Hall Council. For the first few weeks of
September, Daniel made an effort to personally invite each of his residents to Hall
Council and take time to explain the organization to them.
Daniel is also one of our Hall Council Liaisons, he helped to plan, implement, and
then train our building’s brand new Executive Board. Daniel has helped the executive
board come up with ideas as well as better structure & organize the meetings. As
liaison, Daniel also connected his fellow RAs with the executive board and general
body members, paving the way for programmatic collaboration and personal
As an RA, Daniel is also responsible for connecting his residents with different
resources on campus. On multiple occasions Daniel has helped his residents contact
certain office or understand how to navigate Stony Brook University. As students at a
large university, residents can often feel overwhelmed by amount of resources
available to them and shut down. Daniel has helped his residents find Counseling &
Phycological Services, the Career Center, Advising, and many more.
Our building is currently hosting an event that encourages our residents to keep their
doors open while in their room and interact with each other on regular basis. Daniel’s
floor is doing exceptionally well with this program, and each day Daniel goes around
his whole floor to give out stickers to those rooms with their doors open. While he is
giving out the stickers, Daniel checks in with each occupant of the room and uses the
program as an opportunity to interact with his residents. These small interactions
have grown so that when Daniel was creating his bulletin board for the month, his
residents volunteered to help and created some of the board and materials with him.
This shows how strong of a community Daniel has created on his floor.
Daniel not only excelled at being an RA in September, he embraced the position fully
until it became his lifestyle. In a month he learned how to enjoy the position and use
his own passions to engage others, something that many RAs take years to fully learn
and understand. Daniel not only knows the names of each resident, he understands
who they are, where they come from, and most importantly how to help them be
successful at Stony Brook University.
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