Your Friendly Neighborhood CA | St. Lawrence University

Your Friendly Neighborhood CA

Samantha Colton
2016

According to the Residence Life page on St. Lawrence's website, "The Community Assistants (CAs) at St. Lawrence University are employed as para-professionals working to cultivate a strong community bond while assisting with the educational, cultural and social development of each resident.  They participate in training activities to better prepare them for leading a community and are typically very dedicated, highly involved, and caring community members."

We have all had that knock at the door as a "gentle reminder" of quiet hours, seen those people walking down the halls in their red and brown shirts, and received those emails about community standards that always seem to be a bit too long. Here at St. Lawrence these are things that we all are used to on a regular basis but who are the people behind all of these things?

As a Community Assistant for the past two semesters, I have learned a lot about what it means to be a CA and about myself. As an upperclass Community Assistant in Sykes Residence Hall, I was nervous being only a sophomore and even more than that, that I was only 19. The majority of my residents were much older than me and I was worried that they would not see me as an authority figure because of my age. After all, who am I to be in charge of a whole hall full of students who are well on their way to being adults? What I found was a community full of people who supported and respected me, which made my time as a CA thus far way better than I could have imagined. That is something that is great about SLU and what I think sets St. Lawrence apart from the others: SLU is full of friendly people all dedicated to the success of themselves and the ones around them. 

To me, the best part of being a CA is working with the other people that make up the Residence Life team. When I first arrived on campus the week before classes started for CA training, I was worried because none of my other friends were going to be Community Assistants and I was unsure what everyone would be like. What I quickly began to realize was that my fellow CAs are some of the most genuine, selfless, and ridiculously awesome human beings that I ever could have had the pleasure of meeting during my time here at St. Lawrence. I feel extremely lucky and grateful that I have the opportunity to work with them. 

Two years ago when I first came to St. Lawrence, I promised myself that I would take full advantage of all opportunities that I crossed paths with. It was extremely important to me that during my four years here, I was continually learning and growing as a student, as a friend and, most importantly, as a person. The Community Assistant Program allows me to do just that and I would recommend it to any student up for a challenge and ready for the responsibility, excitement, and rewards that come with it.