“We’re just running up and down stairs and meeting people left and right,” said Tasha Kaluzynski ’22 of Bethany, Conn., outside Milliken House, where she’s a Junior Advisor.

“It’s overwhelming, but a good time!”

Aug. 23 was Opening Day for the Class of 2025, and Kaluzynski and her 61 fellow Junior Advisors and Residence Coordinators were deep into the meat and potatoes of their work as Residence Life paraprofessionals: meeting and greeting the 555 members of the Class of 2025.

Video by Theophil Syslo/Bates College

RCs and JAs live and work with fellow students in the college’s 30 residences. Often seniors, Residence Coordinators focus on the living experiences of the sophomores, juniors and seniors in their residence. Junior Advisors work specifically with groups of 12 to 20 new students in what are called First Year Centers.

“That’s why I do this work as a senior, because that experience really inspired me as a first-year.”

Trained by the Office of Residence Life and Health Education, JAs are mentors, guides, role models, and organizers who “help connect students, especially first-years, to the Bates experience in whatever way is authentic to them,” says Assistant Director of Residence Life Eddie Szeman.

And everwhere one turned on Opening Day, there was advice on how to start off on the right foot.

“It is scary at the beginning,” says Oliver Barrera ’22 of Waukegan Ill., an RC at historic Parker Hall, the college’s very first residence hall, opened in 1857.

“But if you put yourself out there, people will welcome you with open hands. And that’s the best part of the Bates community, as we see today: People are here to help you and people want to build a community with you.

“And that’s why I do this work as a senior, because that experience really inspired me as a first-year.”

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