Utah State University Residence Life Behind Closed Doors Non-Planning Prostaff 2018
Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Erika is the area coordinator of the Student Living Center at Utah State University. This is her first year at this institution. She is a gay Christian who previously worked for residence life at a religious institution in Colorado. She is originally from Kentucky, but currently lives in the area with her dog Rocky.
I stopped by Erika’s office to ask if she’d be willing to talk about Behind Closed Doors from her experiences as a member of the prostaff, residence directors and such hired by the university as full time employees for residence life. Her office is tucked around a corner so that you can only see it when you’re entering the main area office. I stopped by and poked my head in, and we talked about this with Erika’s door open. We sat facing each other across her desk.
Erika: So I didn’t actually plan BCDs. I just participated in it.
Me: okay, what do you mean by that?
E: uhm, so every year the prostaff divide up major tasks and stuff, and then like, everyone is assigned different tasks. So, like, mine is the group interview process for this upcoming year. Uhm, but yeah, so being on our side, we, basically it was interesting to see it, where as prostaff, we got to actually answer practice doing duty phone calls when there was different RAs calling. We also weren’t told the scenarios and so again, you have to ask those clarifying questions of what’s going on, where. Please send a police officer here. What is “here”? What does the entail? And actually coaching RAs through that process. We don’t know where you’re at. So it’s kind of fun just to see and also be new to Utah State. The policies and procedures here are a little bit different from my last one. So it’s kind of a good refresher for me to also, did I actually know the policies and procedures for Utah State?
M: Do you have any specific cool experiences that you had answering the phone?
E: Oh, I think that for the most part, it was just really fun to kind of dive in deeper because I had an ambiguous situation where there’s someone. Where are they located? What is this. I think it went from first someone sleeping on the lobby couch to it’s alcohol intoxication and it might possibly be alcohol poisoning. And how you like, even the RA, you can’t assume things, you need to keep following through to see, oh. Oh. This is escalating to different levels.
Erika is very straight forward and upfront. Her hands walk forward and roll her sentences forward as she speaks. She pauses at the end of the half conversations she speaks out, like when she’s imitating being on the phone with an RA. Erika explained the prostaff side to me based off of the knowledge she had that I had both gone through BCDs and been an actor in them.
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
Rhoades, Mo, "Utah State University Residence Life Behind Closed Doors Non-Planning Prostaff 2018" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 331.