A conversation with Leon Hayner, director of Residential Life.
How long has Res. Life been around?
Since the beginning, we’ve always been a residential college so students have always been able to live on the Rollins campus.
What does Res. Life contribute to the campus?
One of our big focuses is community and making people feel like Rollins is their home so students who live on campus are more connected to the college and more connected to the social aspect and the cultural aspect that Rollins brings. [Res. Life] is much more than beds and keys.
It’s the meaning of lifelong friends, it’s the exposure to different people and multiculturalism, and so residential colleges are neat places because they are not only where you go to school for academics, but also where you find yourself and let your learning grow outside the classroom.
What is Res. Life’s main goal?
Most of what we do is based off our five values, which are leadership, learning, responsibility, social justice and collaboration. So through those we hope to help students grow personally, academically and socially. We also want to help students find their passion and their purpose. We do that through lots of activities and programs and through community experiences.
What is one of the most memorable things Res. Life has done?
We have over 50 staff members, five professional, four hall directors (grad students) and 48 undergrads, so we’re a big team. We do hundreds of programs every year and each of them are memorable in their own ways. We really enjoy the large, all campus collaborations we do, such as Halloween Howl.
Then on the micro level I really do believe that each of our RAs and house managers make a difference through programs or simply being there to help a student. Some of the things we do help people become life-long learners and reach the global citizenship that Rollins strives for.
How can people become more involved?
In a couple different ways. All of our halls have hall councils that are elected by people in the hall. The next way would be through RHA [Residence Hall Association], which is the umbrella organization… it addresses system-wide concerns and assist in system wide programming. Another way could be more formally, which would be through applying to be an RA. That’s a really neat way to help one, make a difference; two, develop leadership skills; and three, meet some really neat people because I think the Res. Life people are really diverse and dedicated to making living on campus the best experience it can be for Rollins students. Fourth, it’s a way to help fund your education because you get a reduction on room rates and a stipend toward the meal plan.
What is one random fact about Res Life that most people don’t know?
Not many people know that we are the only organization with grills, popcorn machines and snow cone machines for other organizations to borrow.