Senior Community Assistants Put Safety First

Sean Gorman, Reporter

Many people are responsible for keeping students safe during the pandemic, and community assistants are no exception.

The newly named community assistants have been in the dorms each day making sure students are staying safe wile still enjoying a quality college experience.

Occupational therapy majors Jessica Knisley and Brigid Dolan are both senior community assistants for the Townhouses and Alumnae Hall, respectively.

Knisley, who is serving her first year as a community assistant, said many of her nights are quiet, something she wasn’t expecting. She said many of the residents do not leave their houses except for class or to go to their cars.

She said the one thing she has to do the most is remind people to wear masks.

“I feel bad reminding everyone constantly to always have their masks on, but it is for the benefit of everyone,” Knisley said.

Dolan said she feels the same way. She wants the freshman to have a fun college experience, but the safety of the students always comes first.

Dolan said it is a constant battle to make sure everyone follows regulations, but the cooperation from students has made that a lot easier for her.

“The freshmen have been great so far this year,” she said. “They are very understanding and are very respectful.”

One downside both Dolan and Knisley agreed on is a lack of downtime. They said the additional responsibilities sparked by the pandemic have cut what little free time they had in half.

Knisley said four out of the six townhouses were in quarantine at one point, and she had to check in with students regularly to make sure they are getting what they need and staying healthy.

Dolan has a whole floor of freshmen to watch over and there is no shortage of duties.

The two assistants also have to remain updated on new rules and regulations, and keeping the student body updated on those changes can take up a lot of time.

Despite these challenges, though, both said they find their experiences to be rewarding.

“Helping the freshman find their way and to be there for them is one of my favorite parts,” Dolan said.