Caroline Wallace ‘23
The pandemic has affected the normal roles of all members on campus. The resident assistants now face the difficult task of maintaining both community and health in their respective buildings. While following COVID guidelines is a necessary measure that Holy Cross students must take, it has admittedly made it more difficult for resident assistants to form the kinds of relationships that they would like to with their halls; however, RA Maggie Hannick took this challenge head-on and discussed with me some of the creative ways in which she has been able to form a community on Brooks 4 while still practicing the college’s COVID guidelines.
Maggie stated that she has loved being a resident assistant for first-year students, and that she is “so inspired by them for being so resilient during such a tough time, especially because COVID impacted both their high school and college experiences.” She has been dedicated to ensuring that students in her hall are still able to form relationships with not only her, but also their peers while still practicing COVID guidelines; however, she admitted that this has in turn forced her to be “creative.”
Aside from the small, socially-distanced in-person meetings that Maggie has organized, her signature way of creating engagement is through her floor-wide vlogs. Maggie created a Snapchat group chat with all of her residents because, as she stated, it “would be a good way to see what is going on throughout our day and also see our faces without masks when we are chilling in our dorms.” Because everyone’s schedules look different, and COVID guidelines prevent floor-wide gatherings, Maggie’s vlogs have created a sense of both normalcy and friendship for the students on her floor. Not only has Maggie used this group chat for the students to talk about their day, but she has used it as an opportunity to “show them around campus,” and she vlogs herself in different academic buildings so that her residents are able to become more familiar with the campus.
Despite the COVID measures in place, Maggie says that she still feels “connected and close” with her residents. She has not viewed the COVID guidelines as something negative but has taken them as an opportunity for both her and her hall to, as she put it: “try our best to work together, take care of one another, and enjoy college despite the pandemic.” In these unprecedented times, Maggie was able to turn to creativity to create a welcoming and fun atmosphere for her first-year students. Her efforts have been a bright light in such a dark time. RA Maggie Hannick proves just how contagious positivity can be.