Resident Assistant Erica Van Skike

This quarter has been both really exciting and extremely busy as the PICA Residential Assistant. There is so much I could potentially write about regarding Fall quarter, but I want to specifically focus this article on two of the things that have happened this quarter that really resonated with the community. One aspect of generating a welcoming community that has been crucial to me since day one is gender inclusion. It is extremely important to me that PICA is a community that is inclusive of all different identities and experiences. I facilitated ensuring that each of the seventeen Village residential buildings included PGPs (Preferred Gender Pronouns) on their door decs before move-in week in order to set the tone of inclusiveness on move-in day throughout the Village. I also held a Trans 101 program that was hugely successful, fun, and informative. Over forty people attended this program, and we were fortunate enough to hear from six trans-identified individuals about pertinent issues regarding both trans issues in a more general sense, and about these individuals’ personal lived experiences as trans-identified folks. I am so incredibly happy with the outcome of this program and I strongly feel that programs that focus on historically marginalized groups are vital to the interpersonal and intrapersonal growth of communities and the individuals that reside in said communities. I look forward to holding more programs with intercultural inclusion themes in Winter and Spring quarters.

unnamed A second aspect of community that felt important to me this quarter was our Avant Gardener’s community meetings. These meetings provide a space for PICAns to come together and voice their opinions regarding relevant issues within the community space. We all vote on aspects affecting our community, with the intention of deciding things that affect us together, and not having one person or a small group make community decisions for the whole. I think these meetings have been very successful in facilitating a space of intentionality and purpose within the PICA community. During Avant Gardener’s this quarter, we as a community also established community agreements, which we voted on democratically and agreed together to adhere to throughout our time together. This reflects the philosophy that PICA holds as both an intentional and accepting community.

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I could say a whole lot more, but I feel that these two aspects of community are a good overview of my position as Residential Assistant in Fall quarter. I just wanted to leave you all with some gratitude. I genuinely feel so grateful and honored to be living in this beautiful community with such passionate, intelligent, and thoughtful individuals. I honestly think each of you living in this community has brought a unique set of passions and perspectives into the space, and I feel that I have personally grown from knowing each of you. I am stoked to get to know you all better during the remainder of the school year! Much love for you all.

 

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