Members from Housing and Residence Life, students and resident assistants joined together at the Vista La Verne Lounge on April 26. They wrote thank you cards and created goodie bags for the cleaning crew, resident advisors and residence life coordinators.
The residents enjoyed pizza, drinks and listened to Bad Bunny while they enjoyed each other’s company. They signed cards and made candy goodie bags. The giant thank you cards were signed with heartfelt messages from students.
Jennifer Reyes, junior political science and philosophy double major, coordinated the event for residents to show their appreciation as she has been an RA for two years.
“I really like being an RA because I work with first-year students, and everyone is so excited,” Reyes said.
Reyes described her duties as an RA as building a strong community and being another resource for residents.
“With all the hard work comes love and respect for the community and I love making people feel comfortable or at home,” Reyes said. “People should appreciate the RAs because they (do not) see the behind the scenes of what we do and should take it into consideration when we are there for them at 3 a.m.”
Reyes has made lots of connections and friendships being an RA. She has made connections with the cleaning crew in her residential hall and appreciates all their hard work.
“Since I have lived on campus, I always caught myself having conversations with the cleaning crew and some of them are Spanish speakers so they make me feel at home,” Reyes said. “Residents (do not) really take into appreciation of the cleaning crew, so I wanted to do something nice for them.”
Reyes wanted to show her appreciation because she sees the cleaning crew as more than their occupation. She sees them as moms, sisters and all of the above.
“I think even a simple ‘thank you’ goes such a long way,” Reyes. “That is part of making the community stronger, better and more comfortable. Not just for the residents but for the staff as well.”
Next year, Reyes will be continuing her role as an RA and plans on making this a career and continuing to work with the housing department.
“Our cleaning crew is really important to me because I see them everywhere, even at their earliest hours to work and clean for the residents,” Gia Davila, sophomore psychology major, said. “(RAs) are all so nice and accepting of whatever background you come from, which is really important.”
Davila says she respects and appreciates Reyes for always being there for the residents at Vista La Verne.
“I am grateful for the cleaning crew because this campus gets dirty at times with food, vomit and some pretty disgusting stuff,” Logan Bell, junior chemistry major, said. “(The clearing crew comes) in early and leave late and do their part to make sure the campus is clean and maintained.”
Bell works in housing and understands why it is important to give thanks to the cleaning crew and RAs on campus.
“I am also very grateful for the RAs because they are always creating events trying to keep everybody involved, especially since post-COVID they have gone out of their way to make students feel very inclusive like a family,” Bell said.
Natalie Gutierrez, junior kinesiology major, joined the event with her friends to hang out and participate in the fun.
“I am grateful for everyone because they make everything run super smoothly and it (would not) be such a nice place to live and communicate with friends if it were not for them,” Gutierrez said.
Students kept coming in to sign cards for the housing crew and write personalized cards for the RAs and RLCs. Reyes plans to distribute the thank you cards and goodie bags to each of the building’s cleaning crew.
Brandy Estrada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.