The Active Life of a Community Advocate

by Logan Cheney
Flapjack Chronicle

“I work hard for what I do, it is a lot of hard work that goes into this job,” says Douglas Rischbieter, just one of the many community advocate here on campus.  For students planning to live on campus their next year at HSU, they should think about becoming a CA or community advocate. A Community Advocate is someone who is watching over the community, while bringing them together at any chance. They are always known to have answers to one’s questions.

Douglas Rischbieter, 20, communications, is the CA for third floor Redwood living facility, encourages students who are unknown about what direction they are going into become a CA for future residents of Humboldt State. To this job, there are many benefits that include a free room, free meal plan, and it also adds a lot to a future job resume. With the benefits however comes hardships that scales from a wide range of things. Being a community advocate comes with a lot of responsibility and big tasks that take a lot of time to do.

“Having to moderate everything, dealing with students who refuse to cooperate with you and having to confront people about the situations,” says Rischbieter.

Every Monday night Rischbieter, does his weekly task of going on rounds of the surrounding dormitory living areas. The process of rounds starts of at 5 p.m. by picking up a radio at the housing and dining office, then he must coordinate the rest of the night with his rounds partner, they begin doing their rounds before dinner, and then once more during quiet hours to make sure everyone is being respectful and quiet to the surrounding residents. He only experiences rounds once a week but continues to be a moderator throughout the week.

Resident Paige Hile, 18, history, discusses how watching Rischbieter in her first semester of college has encouraged her to become a CA: “throughout my first semester I have noticed that becoming or being a CA is hard work but it looks worth the experience and looks like you get a lot out of the job.”

Rischbieter encourages many to become CAs. He also warns students about the drawbacks.

“Know what you are getting into,” he says. “They have to be prepared and know that it is a lot of hard work, you can’t make the decision to become a CA on a whim.”

Along with the responsibility, advocates are also full time students who must balance school work, rounds, events that the advocates run while still keeping an eye on all the residents.

“As long as you stay organized, it is all about organization. I make myself a calendar to make sure everything is balanced,” explains Rischbieter. Rischbieter is not the only community advocate monitoring third floor Redwood, each CA has a floor partner that continually work with to make sure their floor is safe for all the residents living on it.

Ashley Alexander Schauer, critical race and gender studies,  is Rischbieter’s floor partner and always makes it aware that she always encourage her residents to become CA’s their following year, especially if they are looking to live on campus.

“Students can learn a lot of new resources that are available to them as a CA. You can help yourself and have a lot more connections to yourself when you become a CA,” says Alexander-Schauer.


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