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Res life addresses RA Thanksgiving travel policy

By Tom Higdon

Should I stay or should I go? A question on all but a handful of student’s minds this holiday season. 

Last Thursday the student resident assistants were informed that they would be considered “Essential workers” on campus. This meant that they were exempt from the travel restrictions sent out to the student body on Oct 2. These restrictions meant that if a student were to travel home for Thanksgiving they would not be allowed to return and continue the semester on campus. RAs, because of their essential status, would be able to return to campus even if they travel home for Thanksgiving. 

According to Morgan resident, Arabella Strach, this decision has left some students feeling as though there is an unfair double standard between the student residence life staff and the rest of the student body. Head of residence life, Julie Engelsmen said via email “our student leaders serve such a critical role in serving our students and are considered essential workers on our campus. They are needed in the sense that they help to foster community, help with mental health issues and loneliness, deliver meals to residents who are quarantining, respond to crises." She went on to add, "this decision was based on the idea that we wanted to give the RAs the same opportunity as other students who are able to decide on their travel plans, and yet balance this with the reality that they are needed after the break.”

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