Students and housing staff enter academic year with optimism

Students move into the residence halls at CSU on Aug. 16. Photo by John Eisele/CSU Photography

As summer comes to a close, the Colorado State University community finds itself entering yet another year unlike any other, but it feels different from 2020. There’s a sense of excitement and anticipation for what could be in store this fall.

For many students arriving over the course of the week, this will be their first time on campus. Move-in volunteers from Fraternity & Sorority Life will greet students at their cars, help unload belongings, and lead them to their new rooms.

Students will meet a variety of campus student leaders, who will introduce them to campus life through Ram Welcome events and community meetings, all in preparation for their first week of classes with in-person learning.

One of these types of student leaders are Resident Assistants, whose purpose is to provide support, guidance, and resources to the new hall residents.

“I’m hopeful to be able to actually build a dynamic with my floor that feels more like a family,” said third-year student Freddy Ochoa-Hernandez.

Building valuable connections

Freddy Ochoa-Hernandez
Greg Pretorius,

Freddy Ochoa-Hernandez (left) and Greg Pretorius are two resident assistants tasked with providing support, guidance, and resources to the new hall residents.

As a second-year RA returning to his position in Durward Hall, Ochoa-Hernandez said he finds himself having experience in his role (serving as an RA during the pandemic), yet not knowing what new experiences to expect this fall.

“I’m excited to be able to be able to talk to the people on my floor and eat lunch together, so I can get to know them on a personal level,” he said.

While understanding that the world is very different from the one that existed pre-pandemic, there’s a sense of hope for the potential for this school year.

Greg Pretorius, a first-year RA in Allison Hall pursuing a graduate degree in Computer Information Systems, is hoping to find valuable connections within the residential community. For Pretorius and many returning students, there’s excitement for what could be.

“I’m both hopeful and optimistic for an academic year that coincides with the vision of campus that we all share,” Pretorius said. “I’m hopeful to have the opportunity to mentor, connect, and create new friendships and bonds within the residential community on campus.

“After this last year, it almost feels like a whole new experience, like I’m returning as a freshman for the first time. I’m excited to participate in clubs and events on campus, eat in the dining centers, use the Rec Center, and watch live CSU sports. Being present on campus is always a welcomed opportunity to share, meet, and explore in an environment that is conducive to both academic and personal success”