Your Friendly Neighborhood CA | St. Lawrence University

Your Friendly Neighborhood CA

Samantha Colton

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.