Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Weekend for Res-Life

At Westfield State University, spring weekend is a time for students to blow off some steam before finals. There is a concert, and activities on the green to keep students minds off of their school work. However, for some students this is the busiest time of the year,

The residential life student-staff are the ones that end up more stressed during spring weekend. Most f the resident assistants (RA's) are working upwards of 14 hours in a three day span. A lot of them miss out on the activities on spring weekend.

“It kind of stinks that some of us will be missing out on the fun stuff on the green,” said Nicole Morin, who is working on her second year as an RA, “I don't really care about the concert.”

The concert and activities are not all that the res-life staff will miss out on, a lt of them will miss out on a regular night of sleep. The hours at the desk for the RA's start on the Thursday night before spring weekend. They start at 9p.m., and they run until 9a.m., that Sunday morning.

“The graveyard shift can be really fun. You can watch some movies, and everyone is so tired they get really silly,” said Stephanie Pelletier a first year RA in Lammers Hall.

While on duty the RA's have a few duties they must complete. First and for most they are to check ID's of incoming students to make sure they have a valid WSU sticker for the current semester. If they don't they will be turned away.

They also check the wrist bands of registered guests and check them against the roster of guests to make sure everything lines up accordingly.

Checking bags is a hassle, but it is important to make sure that all students are safe from others, and themselves.

“We look for alcohol or anything else that isn't aloud in the building, said Morin, “we usually get a lot of grief from residents about the bag checks, but we are just trying to keep everyone in a safe environment, and spring weekend is a time when everyone is trying to have a huge party.”

While at the desk during the day the bag checks and ID checks are enough to keep the staff busy, but when you start getting to the late night hours into the wee hours of the morning it becomes difficult to sleep yourself entertained when no one is coming in or going out of the building.

Thankfully, there are always two people on duty, and the RA's are allowed to have their computers down at the desk, or make-shit table, like Lammers had to use because the front desk is really in the back of the building, and that door is not used an awful lot because of construction.

The snack box is a staple that holds the staff together. Th box is filled with chips, pretzels, cookies, fruit snacks, fruit, and all kinds of goodies to help the RA's stay focused.

“I'm always excited to see what is in the snack box. It is usually a piece of recycling before Sunday though, so you better grab what you want early,” said Morin.

“It's fun to have the tables set up near the campus door, you can see everyone out on the green, and you can watch the TV while no one is really coming or going from the building,” said Cori Glennie, a third year RA.

While at the desk, the staff do get a lot of visitors. residences are always around to chat and handle any residents who have a problem with any of the policies. Two of the residence directors

After all their hard work, the staff members do have their breaks, and that is when they get to blow off steam, and enjoy the festivities of spring weekend. There is a lot to do on the Friday and Saturday of spring weekend, and these events make all the hard work worth it.

Starting on Friday night, there is usually a comedian, or some type of stage act like a magician or a hypnotist, and then there is a campus favorite in brown bag bingo, always at 11p.m. Then when Saturday roles around, the green turns into a hub of activity, with different rafts, snacks, and physical challenges.

This yer the green featured a zip line which stretched around 50 ft. and it was about 5 ft off the ground. There was also the gladiator pit which is a moon bounce with two pedestals that friends try to knock each other off with giant foam sticks.

“The gladiator pit is awesome, I have won most of my trips into the pit,” said Andrew Poliferno, a graduate RA who has been on campus for six spring weekends.

The food on the green this year was a great success. There was a fried dough stand, and a pop corn machine. Usually there would be cotton candy and a few other treats but there didn't seem to be any complaints from the students.

For the craftier people, there was a station for designing a license plate for your room, and a station to customize your own trucker hat with bright colors that could be seen across the green.

There is something for everyone on spring weekend. When the RA's get back into their regular routine of duty for 9-1a.m., and they are sleeping regularly, they might just miss that shift they spent watching the some come up, or the conversation they had with their duty buddy on Friday afternoon.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Final Project

For my project I was hoping to interview Kevin Fisher, the RD of Lammers about what the procedures are for the RAs on spring weekend, what are some of the things they look for, and what students get the most excited for. I want to take some pictures of the RAs in Lammers during down times of them digging through the snack box or playing card games, and I was going to take a short flip video of me walking into the building and show what happens when you enter a res-hall during the week. The text story will incorporate all of these angles.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Audio Slides Project

For my Audio Slides project, I will be recapping  The WSU Men's Ice Hockey Game from Feb 16th. This was the team's annual Pink the Rink night, which is set up to raise money for cancer research. All the players where in Pink Jerseys with the name of someone close to them that has dealt with or is dealing with cancer. I have about 15 shots that I can put a 30 second sound clip over  in which I will go over the game highlights.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Demo

The demo version of what I think is going to be the best game of the year, Mass Effect 3 was released on Xbox live Tuesday Feb. 14, 2012. I woke up and before even getting out of bed, I turned my Xbox on and started the download. I unfortunately did not get to play the demo until a little after 1 because of classes, but the wait was well worth it.

When I finally got to sit down and play, I was blown away by the games opening video. Mass Effect is known for its cinematic cut scenes and opening sequences, the opening to Mass Effect 2 was one of the best openings to a game I had seen. In Mass Effect 3 however, you get to play parts through the opening instead of just watching for about five minutes.

The game play is very similar to Mass Effect 2 which is a great play style. It is very smooth, and the third person is a break from shooters like Call of Duty. If you have ever played Gears of War, it is a similar set up. The biggest addition to game play is the ability to use voice commands through your Kinect. If you do not have a Kinect you might want to set aside the money and go pick one up just for this game. It allows for less pauses in action. You do not have to hold in any buttons to change your weapon, or tell a teammate to move up, you can simply say "shotgun," and you will see Shepard, the main character, pull out his/her shotgun, or if you want Garris to move up you just say, "Garris move," and he will. You can also use voice to activate objects, open doors, and have conversations with other characters. 

The demo is very extensive, with three types of game play, including a more action oriented version with lots of fighting, character oriented where you can engage in conversations, and story oriented in which you make decisions that will effect how the rest of the demo plays out. The best part may be that you can demo the multi player online part of the game. This is the first time you can play as someone besides Shepard, and you can play with friends online. 

Mass Effect 3 will be released on March 6, so make sure you pick up a copy. It is going to be an epic adventure that will drag in even the more casual gamers.