Christopher Herndon ’22
Disappointment and disgust. As I read the article published by The Spire regarding the virtual RA program, I felt attacked by my Holy Cross community and discouraged by the disparaging words written by the Spire editor. While I am more than willing to accept criticism, I will not listen to nor read personal attacks on students who are trying to create and maintain a community in this time of uncertainty. In particular, I will not sit idly by while someone slanders a group of students from a position of ignorance and frustration. Our virtual RA’s are students too and deserve to be treated as such.
In late August, our RA’s who received the news that we would not be back on campus decided to push ahead and create a new program to keep our community connected. Largely student driven, our virtual RA team undertook the task of bringing together our virtual campus with students all over the world who felt the same sadness as us when we heard the news. With little resources, we worked on creating a space for students who were struggling to connect and gave them time and place to do so. Not everyone in our community is fortunate enough to schedule time or has a group of friends who connected during our time apart. We gave these people a chance to connect and feel a part of the Holy Cross community. Likening students who volunteered to make a difference in our community to a car crash is disrespectful and quite frankly a rather distasteful comment to make about our Holy Cross community.
While the editor may view RA’s as “ineffective” and as people who are “avoided by a majority of Holy Cross students”, he utterly failed to acknowledge the outreach our program already has. Many students attended our initial meetings as well as our first events. If the editor had gone to his meeting, or reached out to us he would have heard about the programs we were offering, the opportunities we have in front of us, and how everything we do is to create and maintain a fun, engaging space for those who want to be a part of the Holy Cross community in
this format. We want to add to student’s experiences and bring together our Holy Cross people in any way we can. For those students who come to our events, I firmly believe we bring an engaging opportunity for our students to come together and celebrate Holy Cross.
Virtual RA’s, this fall are here to provide you a place to come, connect, and have fun! We will be holding a variety of event throughout the fall where we play trivia, name that tune, and plenty of more opportunities where you can win prizes such as dinner in your town, Holy Cross gear, and other fun things! Furthermore, we will be holding other non-zoom-oriented activities such as scavenger hunts, pen-pals, baking competitions and more. Most importantly, we are here for those who feel alone, for those struggling with being at home and with the stress of Covid. We want all of our residents to feel that they have a lifeline to Holy Cross, and a place where they can feel welcomed and safe.
As we continue forward, I would like to let the editor know that we are here for him, and for all of those who may share his sentiments. After all, we are a community and we should do our best to connect with one another during these precarious times just as Dr. Fauci said today. We are students too and are just as upset that we aren’t on campus, however, we are trying to make a difference in the lives of those students who feel alienated and alone. Rather than attack one another, we should band together to celebrate our Holy Cross community and find ways to stay engaged during our time away from “The Hill.”
Photo by Davey Sullivan ’22.