Looking into the door of Kailee Williams

Photo courtesy of Kailee Williams

Photo courtesy of Kailee Williams

Casey Brown
Staff Writer

Kailee Williams welcomes her residents with an open door.

She is the Resident Assistant for the eighth floor of South Shepler, and she wants to be as available to her residents as possible.

“When I am on my floor,” Williams said, “I sit with my door open because I feel like it helps people be more open to talking to me, especially students I don’t see all that often because of busy schedules … so I just hang out with my door open: I do what I do, and watch TV, and I just hang out.

“On Tuesday and Thursdays,” she said, “I usually fall asleep because I wake up and go work out and get up at like 6 o’clock. Claudia, our custodian, she will come and talk to me and stuff. It is just being available for our residents.”

Williams has been an RA for several years and is a senior social studies education major.

In addition to full-time classes and working as an RA, she has a part-time job at Chili’s on the weekends.

Williams said being an RA is not the reason she is at CU, but that it’s a perk.

“Basically,” she said, “in our day-to-day lives, being a student is the most important thing because that is why we are here… [Being an RA] is a job, but it is more rewarding for me,” she said.

As compensation for being an RA, Williams receives the benefits of living and eating on campus.

“It is both [paid and scholarships],” she said. “Living in South Shepler, I have my room and my board. My room is paid for, and my meals are paid for, and I have the highest meal plan, which is 15 meals a week so that I am able to eat just about almost every meal in the cafeteria.”

By eating on campus often, especially in the cafeteria, Williams said RAs have the opportunity to interact with as many residents and students as possible throughout the day.

“It is not just about being an RA for a floor,” she said, “but if you make yourself known to the other residents so that you are able to be more recognized, so if they can’t find their RA, then they are able to help and be more available to other people than just the residents on your floor.”

The most interesting part of Williams’ job is when she gets to develop programs for residents. Each month, she plans a theme and different activities; next month, Williams will be using a special theme to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“For me, February is going to be really busy because I’m trying to focus it on love-yourself month,” Williams said. “My floor, that I know of, doesn’t have issues with body image or anything, but I want to still promote a positive impact, a positive self image, so I have lots of things to do for that.”

During her time at CU and as an RA, Williams said she has committed to being a social studies teacher. However, there have been times when she has explored other options.

“I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was seven years old,” she said. “I tried when I was in high school, and I have tried when I was here, to think of something else that would make more money – something that was more, I don’t know, whatever I could find it to be, but I could never find anything.

“I just finally accepted that this was my plan, like this is what is God’s plan in my life, so I just went with it. I never changed my major.”

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