Category Archives: Campus Culture

Get Excited About PUC!

With the school year starting on September 26, we could go on and on about why you should be excited about going to PUC, but cut it down to 10 reasons:

Making New Friends 

The friends you make at PUC will last a lifetime. You won’t just make friends in your department, but from other classes, clubs, school events, and through your other friends. You will be surrounded by so many incredible people who will encourage, support, and uplift you throughout your college experience and beyond. 

Creating New Memories 

With new friends comes new memories. You’re having a whole new life at PUC and you will be creating unforgettable memories. Take pictures at events and when you and your friends hangout. It’s always nice looking back at pictures and being reminded of your fondest moments at PUC. 

Living In The Napa Valley 

Living in the Napa Valley gives you the ability to explore different cities and venture out into the trails of the back 40, breathtaking mountains and pretty beaches. From cute towns like St. Helena to venturing out into San Francisco, there are endless places to enjoy. It is truly one of the best things about attending PUC.

Joining Clubs 

PUC has over 30 clubs– from different cultures, interests to majors, there is something for everyone. If you want to start your own club, you can do that too! There is a club for everyone to dive into their interests and hobbies and share them with others. 

Participating in Intramurals 

Intramurals give you the opportunity to step away from your studies and join your friends in playing different sports. Throughout the year, you can choose to participate in football, basketball, volleyball, futsal, baseball, and other sports. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll be able to hangout with your friends you don’t see much and make new ones as well. Check Rec Radio for intramural updates. 

Worshiping & Serving with Campus Ministries 

PUC offers a variety of worship services and outreaches. Our faculty and staff make it a priority to support your spiritual life and; provide you with opportunities to share your faith and learn more about Christianity. There are weekly dorm worships, Bible studies, and student-led vespers, church services, and outreaches on and off-campus. PUC also offers short to long-term mission trips to other countries. However you like to worship, you will be able to do so at PUC. 

Going to Games 

PUC has a lot of school spirit, and the energy during games is electrifying. Students make signs, wear their PUC gear, and are able to meet other students. Even if you aren’t big on sports, going with your friends and cheering our Pioneers is a fun experience to be a part of. 

Learning More About Yourself 

With the changes college brings, there is so much room for growth and learning more about yourself. You’ll find new interests, goals and; start making your way into the life you want to create while learning how to be the best version of yourself.

Embracing Your Independence 

Going to college is the first time for some students to be independent. If this will be your first time on your own, it can feel overwhelming, but the community you will have at PUC keeps you grounded and will be there for you each step of the way. 

Being A Part of the Pioneers Family

No other university will give you the care, support, and warmth like the Pioneers family does. From your professors, deans, RA’s, friends, and other faculty and staff, we will make sure you are comfortable and are on the right path to success. We welcome everyone and are happy to make our campus your home away from home. 

We hope you are just as excited as we are to have you at PUC! This is going to be one of the best times in your life! 

Come Join the Fun at PUC 

At PUC, students have many ways to get involved with campus life. Through clubs, worship services, outreaches, and other activities and programs, there is always something going on for students to take a break from their studies, de-stress, and have fun. Here are some ways you or your teenager can participate at PUC. 

Clubs 

Our students are passionate about their cultures, interests, and majors, which is why PUC has over 30 clubs. From the beginning of the school year- till the end, clubs host events, activities, and services students can attend and enjoy. You can also start your own club if you want to! 

Student Association 

The Student Association officers are dedicated to making student life the best it can possibly be. They throw a variety of events on campus and within Napa Valley, such as movie nights, food trucks, carnivals, and vespers. When you come to PUC, you can expect a lot of exciting things to happen.

Worship Services

One of the best things about coming to PUC is being a part of a faith-driven community. There are weekly vespers and student-led worships, small group Bible studies, and church services. We know everyone worships in different ways, which is why we encourage our students to gather their friends and worship together in the ways they prefer.  

Outreaches 

There are student-led outreaches during the week and weekend for students to help around the community. Our Campus Ministries team also takes students around the Bay Area during the weekends for a chance to minister to others. 

Mission Trips 

Every year our campus ministries team plans short and long-term mission trips for students to get the opportunity to serve in other countries. In the past, our students have gone to Fiji, Brazil, and most recently Kenya. Our students always come back having a great, life-changing experience.

Ensemble

Bring your musical gifts to PUC! Students can join the orchestra, wind ensemble, and touring choir. Our music instructors have directed and toured throughout Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world, and also performed in Carnegie Hall. We are blessed with skilled music teachers who adore all types of genres and enrich the lives of our students to grow as performers. 

Intramurals

Intramurals are one of the most popular ways students join in on the fun at PUC. More than half of our student body participates in intramural sports each quarter, like football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. 

Athletics

If you want to continue your athletic talents in college, join the PUC Pioneers! Our athletics department offers- basketball, cross country, soccer, and volleyball teams for women and men. The coaching staff takes pride in building a talented, supportive team on and off the court; in representing PUC throughout California and other states. They make sure that student-athletes put school first and show good character and leadership.

PUC students, faculty, and organizations are always finding ways to make student life more fun and enjoyable for all. We hope you come to PUC to join in on the fun!

Reasons Why You Should Apply to PUC 

As you start thinking about where to attend college, take a look at Pacific Union College. Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider applying to PUC.

You’ll Make Friends For A Lifetime

The friends you make at PUC will be your friends for life. From living in the dorms, and meeting people in your program and classes; to joining groups and clubs on campus, you will meet people from all over the world.

Many Programs to Choose From

With over 70 degrees and programs, you will find the right program for you. Our students have continued to find their passions here and move on to extraordinary places- such as Hulu, Netflix, Loma Linda University, Stanford University, and more.

Get Connections & Network 

With our graduates working in many fascinating areas, we can connect PUC students to someone in their desired field. From the business, marketing, and film world to top medical hospitals, our students can network with PUC alums from each department and learn more about their occupations.

Our Location 

Living in the Napa Valley gives you the best of both worlds of the outdoors and city life. PUC homes enchanting trees and miles of fields that do good for the soul and cater to anyone who wants to soak in the great outdoors. Neighboring the Bay Area gives you the chance to explore cities like San Francisco or relax shoreside by the numerous beaches along the coast. From waking up to the charming mountain scenery- to driving down the beautiful Silverado Trail, you can’t beat our location.

Grow Spiritually, Physically, & Mentally 

You will grow spiritually, physically, and mentally every day with the wide variety of classes, services, and opportunities PUC offers. Our faculty are not only devoted to helping you reach your full academic potential but care for your spiritual and mental health. PUC’s location alone provides a healthy, active lifestyle that improves one’s wellbeing. From local outreaches, worships, and international mission trips- to intramurals and student-led events and activities- there are countless opportunities to help you grow.

Student-Teacher Ratio 

PUC offers smaller classes to give you one-on-one attention and get the help you need from your professors. At bigger universities, it’s hard to receive assistance or ask questions during class- so you will not have that problem here.

Our Community 

Our close-knit, diverse community is what makes PUC so great. The minute you walk into the doors of the dorms and classrooms, you will be welcomed by the warmth of our faculty, staff, and students. Every person at PUC matters, and we will do everything we can to make you feel at home.

Receive Financial Aid

We know how expensive college is- which is why every student receives one or more ways of financial aid. From scholarships to grants- we will find the best financial aid package for you and your family.

Have A Supporting Advisor

Your advisor will be by your side, supporting you throughout your entire college career. They will help you with your courses, answer any questions, and encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Your advisor will help you reach your goals and will still be there for you after you graduate.

Be A Part of Something Special

PUC students are very active in making change happen on campus, in the community, and around the world. From community projects to campus clubs, ministry groups, mission trips, and internships, students have many opportunities to help our world be a better place and be a part of something special.

Start your next journey at PUC. Our online application is free, quick, and easy to complete. Don’t hesitate and apply today!

PUC’s History Club: Mixing Learning & Fun

Isai J. Martinez recently finished his junior year majoring in History with European Emphasis and minoring in Film and Television, and was this year’s History Club president. The History Club used to be department-based and usually included history and pre-law majors- but Isai and the rest of the club officers wanted to change that by opening up the club more to be an event-based club with fun events throughout the year.

As president, his role was to network with others and brainstorm with his team to bring amazing events and projects to the club. To learn more about the history club, Isai answered some questions for us. 

What made you decide to become the president of the club? 

This year, I accepted the post to be the president of the history club because, during my freshman year, the president of that year wanted to expand the club more. However, due to Covid-19, we were forced to cease any idea of it. I was very lucky to be chosen to take over the club and be able to present new ideas.

What were your goals for the History Club this year? 

We want to expand alongside the Pre-Law Society in order to bring more recognition to the club and establish new traditions that the History Club can be leading for a long time.

What are some exciting activities or events you have planned? 

My favorite event that we have planned is Foreign Film Night. We will be choosing films from around the world like a Japanese Studio Ghibli film, a Zombie-Historical Korean film, a Nollywood film, or a Mexican film from the ’60s. We will pick two movies and the students will be able to decide over a vote on Instagram what movie they will like to watch that movie night. 

Other events include a surprise trip during spring quarter and a special project that everyone (in-club or no club) can be involved in and we will announce that more information later. 

What is your favorite part about being in the History Club?

Honestly, my favorite part has been getting to know the rest of the history majors and working really well with the History professors. They don’t bite! They are the most approachable and charismatic group of people I have met. 

Convince me to join the History Club in five sentences. 

This year, the History Club is opening up more to become a bigger and more diverse group of people. We want people to learn and appreciate history and what better way than watching movies from around the world with your friends. We have so many things planned for those who want to be super involved and for those who want to casually participate. The History Club is open to all. We want you to know that History Club is there to have fun and that’s all!! 

Follow them on Instagram and we hope you join the History Club next year!

Climb Into The World of PUC’s EMS Club

The EMS Club is a student-led organization with the goal of teaching students skills in emergency medical care while engaging in fun outdoor activities. Gil Fayard is the president of the club and organizes and leads all club activities with the help of his team. He also leads weekly meetings to brainstorm and plan their upcoming fundraisers and events with my fellow officers. Gil thoughtfully answered some questions for us to learn more about the EMS Club.

Tell us about the EMS Club. How did this club get started?

The EMS club is a student-led organization here at PUC with the goal of teaching students skills in emergency medical care while engaging in fun outdoor activities. During the fall quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, some friends and classmates of mine noticed that there was no club to represent the emergency services department. We felt our field of study and interests were not represented by the PUC student body at the time, so this motivated us to start our club! Our vision is to build community by doing fun outdoor activities and teaching emergency medical skills applicable to those activities.

Can anyone join the club? 

Yes! Anyone may join the club. Students of all majors and standings are welcome. 

What do you hope to accomplish with the club this year?

An important goal I have for this club is for us to stay active. I want to host a variety of events throughout the school year so that we can build a community of students with similar interests, values, and the desire to learn emergency medical skills. 

Can you share with us any upcoming activities or events?

We have some exciting events for the rest of the school year. Rock climbing trips, movie nights, a minimalist survival camping trip, a snowboard/ski trip, pre-vespers, and white water rafting are all activities we are wanting to do.

How does the club incorporate spiritual life? 

The spiritual life within our club is heavily based upon the combination of friendship and God’s creation. We strengthen our spiritual lives by embracing our club’s sense of community while enjoying the beauty and opportunity of the outdoors. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the EMS Club?

I love brainstorming with my team and seeing our ideas transform into real events. It reminds me of how capable we are, and I get satisfaction from events that are fun, educational, and constructive for students. 

Convince me to join the EMS Club in five sentences.

The EMS club here at PUC is a student led organization that invites all. We are passionate about teaching students new and exciting skills in engaging ways. From rock climbing and rafting to bleeding control, and CPR, we got it! To make things better, our events will have minimal to no cost due to our efficient fundraising efforts. College is all about learning new skills, getting out of your comfort zone, and making friends, so EMS club is for you!

Follow the EMS Club on Instagram to stay up-to-date on activities, events, and trips. 

RA Feature: Keren Castro 

This week’s RA feature is Keren Castro, a senior photography major from Rehoboth, MA. She is RA for the third floor of Andre Hall and, depending on if she’s working at the front desk, she is the first face you see when you walk into the dorm. With this year being a first-time RA, she’s enjoyed getting out of her bubble and getting to know her residents and other students. 

Tell us about being a RA. What are your responsibilities, and what does a typical shift look like for you? 

Being an RA isn’t really a shift, it’s a full-time job. Just like being known as a student, I’m also known as an RA. And part of being an RA is doing room check every night. You have a hall partner, so you do switch off nights. We also do worships, dorm worships with the rest of our staff and Dean and hall worship with our floors. Being an RA also means coming to school early and getting training and preparation for the student body. Another side job to being an RA is that you’ll also work desk shifts. Greeting people in and out of the dorm, getting tasks done, and being a friendly face.

How many years have you been an RA? Why did you want to become an RA? 

This is my first year being an RA. It’s interesting because I didn’t really look for the position, Dean Philpott reached out to me about it. But when she did bring it up to me, the first thing I thought about was my RA freshman year. Eryn Pongs, the sweetest person I know, made me feel at home. I didn’t know anyone coming to PUC and I moved across the country for PUC. So, coming here was an adjustment, but Eryn made me feel welcomed and cared about. And if I could do that for someone else, that would be the greatest privilege of being an RA.

What values have you learned by being a PUC RA? 

Compassion is probably the greatest value I’ve learned so far being an RA. Checking in on my residents and seeing how they’re doing, hearing about their day/week. When residents feel like you care, they feel special. I’ve also learned a lot about communication and teamwork. This isn’t a job you can do by yourself. And having a team beside me to cheer me on or lift me up is the best thing there is.

How do you balance school and being a RA? 

Something the deans taught us during our training is that we are students first. So that means being on top of my studies. When I’m not working desk or in class or being an RA, I try to get everything else done. I set hours for myself and give myself breaks when needed.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? What do you enjoy the most? 

I would say the most difficult aspect of my job is putting myself out there. I’m very much an introvert and so this job is a learning curve, going out of my comfort zone. Initiating conversation is something I must think about a lot. But something I enjoy the most is getting to know new people that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own. It’s fun to get out of my bubble sometimes. Also, I loved being on retreat with all the other RAs. Creating a community within ourselves and opening up to each other is a bond I’ll forever be thankful for.

How do you incorporate spiritual life with your residents?

This is a big thing for me because I am a pastor’s kid and I’ve loved getting to know what it’s like to have a relationship with God. But I also respect that not everyone who comes to PUC is Adventist or even Christian. On our halls, each RA has their own bulletin board and on mine, I’ve put a Prayer Request envelope. It was my goal from the beginning to start praying for the girls on my hall, the girls in the dorm, the staff we have, and myself as well. I want to be a spiritual mentor for these girls, and I want them to know that someone is praying for them. Sometimes if they can’t make it to put it on my board, they’ll tell me when I do room check. And I pray for them individually before I go to bed. Also, a lot of people from PUC follow me on my Instagram. And I make sure to reflect Christ there as well. When I have time, I’ll post small devotionals on my stories and people have told me it helps them a lot.

How do you build a community in your hall, and with other residents? 

I try to connect with them as much as possible. I ask about their games if they’re athletes, I help those in the same department as me, and most importantly hall worship is a time I like to have discussions with them on larger topics. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the PUC family? 

My favorite thing about being part of the PUC family is having the same goal in mind: showing others who Christ is and developing friendships and relationships, establishing that community. Without that common ground, we wouldn’t get anywhere.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a RA? 

I kind of relate it to being a camp counselor. Know it’s one of the hardest jobs to have but also the most rewarding. You’re going to be on the front line, and everyone will be looking at you to see how you’re doing your job but knowing you’re making an impact in someone’s life or being an example to others makes it all worth it. If you’re nervous to apply for the position, talk to the Deans or one of the current RAs, and we’ll help you navigate through the process. Interest in becoming an RA is on your heart for a reason and I think it’s worth it to investigate those feelings that you’re having and the leadership growth that comes with it.

What are you looking forward to this year? 

Something I’m looking forward to most this year is planning worships and getting to know the Deans more. When I was a resident myself, I was intimidated by them. I saw them as leaders that I didn’t know how to approach. And now working beside them, I know they’re someone I can talk to whether it be something serious or just wanting to create a friendly connection.

Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse with PUC’s Green Club

The PUC Green Club was established last year (but restarted their club this past fall) and are on a mission to protect and better serve our beautiful planet earth. They have been working with the Napa County Resource Conservation District to help plant acorns and spreading awareness about sustainability and the environment through their Instagram @puc.green. They share tips and information about recycling, composting, and ways to reduce waste and single-use plastic. 

Sarah Franklin is the public relations officer of the Green Club. She coordinates events and connects with other organizations and individuals who can help with their mission. Sarah also runs the club’s Instagram account. She kindly answered some questions for us to learn more about the PUC Green Club.  

How did the Green Club get started?

At the beginning of the fall quarter, I was really interested in finding out if there was an environmental club or opportunities on campus because I wanted to get involved in an activity somehow. I found out that there was a Green Club that started last year but didn’t have much success. So the leaders, Kaylyn and Marriah, wanted to “restart” the club. As the head of Public Relations, I made a new Instagram account, and the three of us revamped our club. 

How did you get started in environmental issues? 

As a sophomore in high school, I took AP Environmental Science, which started my love for planet earth and grew my knowledge about issues our planet faces. In high school, I was a part of our school’s greenhouse, garden; Napa River cleanups; and acorn plantings at Alston Park in Napa. Doing these things to help the environment and our community made me feel so happy and grateful for our earth, and I want to spread those feelings to others through this club.

Have you been able to help the community during this time? 

We have helped educate the PUC community through our Instagram account about sustainability, zero-waste, and plastic-free tips. I have been wanting to plan a trash pickup day at the Napa River and/or the beach, and I have been trying to set up an acorn planting event with the City of Napa as well, but things have been on hold due to Covid. So hopefully, we will start becoming more active soon!

In previous school years, our main goals were to clean up the garden at PUC for the gardening class to use and basically spread awareness about what people can do to reduce their impact on planet Earth, like recycling, composting, reducing plastic waste, and reusing/repurposing food to avoid excess food waste!

What other activities do you have planned or hope to do this year? 

We are currently working with the Napa Valley Conservation District to plan acorn planting events in the valley. We also hope to coordinate some hikes and trash cleanups.  

 What is the most urgent issue, or issues, for the club to spread awareness about? 

Sustainability is a huge issue we care about. We want to encourage people to use what they have instead of buying new things, use sustainable materials instead of plastics or synthetics which harm the environment, and shop locally to reduce our carbon footprint. There are many simple things that you can do in your everyday life that can make a huge difference, and that is what we want to educate people about on our Instagram.

How will the Green Club help these issues? 

We will help these issues by educating people through our social media platforms. We are also working to organize more hands-on events such as trash cleanups, tree plantings, and hikes.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Green Club? 

My favorite thing about being a part of the Green Club is that it allows me to have a platform to reach out to people and students in order to educate them about serious environmental issues and actions that can be done to help solve these issues. 

What are the small steps we can take at home to become eco-friendly? 

Use what you have instead of buying new things; When buying new things, make sure it’s something that you can use for a lifetime, not just a few months (especially prevalent with clothing); SHOP LOCAL (this helps our economy and the environment); try to opt for plastic-free items (reusable bags and water bottles, bring your own utensils, reusable straw, reusable containers for food, use bar soap/shampoo bars instead of in the bottle, etc.)

Convince me to join the Green Club in five sentences. 

If you care about the environment, we would love to have you be a part of this amazing cause. Our goal is to spread awareness about how to practice sustainability and protect the environment. By joining the club, you can help spread that message to as many people as possible in order to make an important change. Even if you just want to know more about simple steps you can take to help our environment, the Green Club is for you. Check us out on Instagram to learn more, and follow us for updates on special club events for Winter Quarter. @puc.green

Follow the Green Club on Instagram to stay up-to-date on their events and to learn about environmental issues. Be a part of this great club and join them in helping make our world better one action at a time.

Coaches Corner: Abraham Garrido 

Abraham Garrido is the head coach for PUC’s Men’s and Women’s Cross Country team. This is his first year coaching at PUC and has previously coached high school basketball at Fresno Adventist Academy. He recently graduated from PUC this past June, and we couldn’t be happier to have Abraham continue his life on our campus. 

What makes PUC athletics different from other colleges and universities?

What makes PUC athletics different from other schools is the never give up attitude that our athletes have. Whether it’s on or off the field, court, or trails, PUC athletes and coaches strive to be the best that they can be. 

How would you describe your coaching style?

Fun but competitive. I say this because I want my athletes to enjoy the sport that they are participating in. In doing so, if my athletes fall in love with the sport, they’ll want to compete even more because they like the sport. 

How do you keep your players motivated during the season? 

I do fun activities such as running to a waterfall and running around lakes. I also remind them and show them the progress they have made over the course of the season. 

Outside of competing, are there activities you try to get your players involved in? 

I try to encourage my athletes to participate in clubs, church, and even school outings. 

What values do you instill in your players? 

To respect others, have patience and to do their best in everything that they do. 

How do you incorporate spiritual life within your team? 

We, as a team, pray in the mornings and pray before each race. 

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

Seeing my athletes improve in any aspect in life. Whether it’s sports, school or other hobbies that they might have. 

How do you support your players on and off the court? 

We, as a team, have a group chat. So, as a team, we support each other with anything that they might need. 

Why should prospective students choose PUC over another program? 

Location! We have the best location out of any school, and it can’t be put more simply than that. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family? 

Having the ability to change/improve what others before me started. 

When you’re not coaching, what do you enjoy doing? 

When I’m not coaching, I love to participate in ultra-marathon races and ride 100 miles on my bike. Overall, you can say that I love to be outdoors. 

PUC’S Jujitsu Club: A Safe Space To Meet People & Better Yourself

PUC’s Jujitsu Club is more than learning martial arts. It’s a community that provides a safe space for everyone to be themselves, better their health, and have fun. Students and faculty meet on campus and travel to Albion once a year to get a change of scenery. Sarah West is president of the club and wants people to know that the Jujitsu Club is not as aggressive as they might think it is. She kindly answered some questions for us to learn more about the Jujitsu Club and why you should join. 

Tell us about the Jujitsu Club. 

Jujitsu club is not what you think it is. Yes, we are learning a martial art, yes, we do grabs, throws, and holds; but it is so much more. It’s a safe space to meet people and to get to better yourself. I feel the most balanced after time on the mat and have learned to respect my body. You also learn how to move in ways that help avoid injuries if one falls, and you have the chance to experience rolling and tumbling.

What made you decide to be a part of this club? What responsibilities does your role as president entail? 

I joined the jujitsu club because of PUC’s club fair. I had already been wanting to get back into martial arts and knew a little bit about jujitsu. My role is mostly to remind people when and where jujitsu is taking place and to help think of things to do as a club. It is a smaller club than most, which makes planning things a lot easier.

What are the goals for the Jujitsu Club this year? 

My main goal this year for the club is to make sure we can still meet safely. It’s hard to social distance when you, or your opponent, is in a chokehold, so making sure all members are being careful and taking precautions is important. 

Can you share any upcoming activities or events you have planned? 

The most exciting thing we have planned for the jujitsu club is the yearly trip to Albion with the biology club. Albion is a great change of scenery to the regular meetings of the jujitsu club, and we usually have a guest sensi join us. Last year we had our Sensi’s Sensi join us, and it was a fun experience for all. 

What is your favorite thing about being in the Jujitsu Club? 

My favorite thing about the jujitsu club is that the members can get to know each other better. Two-hour meetings twice a week is a lot of time to spend together, and with movie nights and Albion thrown in there, you get to know one another. I think this club does a great job at providing a safe space for everyone to be themselves and have fun. 

What do you want people to know about the Jujitsu Club?

The main thing I want people to know about the jujitsu club is that it’s not as aggressive as you might think. When I tell friends that I am in a jujitsu club, they make comments about not wanting to mess with me, for fear of my martial arts training. But jujitsu is not aggressive, it’s about learning to take what’s coming at you, and avoiding it/changing its course. 

Convince me to join the Jujitsu Club in five sentences. 

If you want to join the club so that you can defeat all your enemies, this is not the club for you. If you want to learn about balance, have a chance to increase your heart rate and decrease stress, and get to know fellow students and faculty here on the holy hill, this is for you. Jujitsu also gives you some skills on how to stay safe out in the real world. 

RA Feature: Misael Bernard 

Coming from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, is history, political science, ethics, and pre-law major, Misael Bernard. With it being his first year as an RA for Newton Hall, he loves everything about the work he does. If you know Misael, you know how kind, warm, and funny he is; and how his character is the perfect fit for being an RA. 

To learn more about what being an RA is like, Misael generously answered some questions for us to share his RA experience. 

Tell us about being a RA. What are your responsibilities, and what does a typical shift look like for you?

Being an RA is an interesting job and it’s something that you really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into when you first get into the position. As an RA, you’re basically responsible for a wide array of things from the well-keeping of the residence hall to the safety and well-being of the residents in the dorm itself. In many ways, you’re the student with the most experience on campus and in the dorm itself. A typical shift is usually the whole day from when you wake up until you go to sleep. You see something in the dorm that’s broken, you try your best to see if you can fix it or call someone who can fix it, to fix it. Someone on your floor is locked out of their room because they forgot their keys when going to the bathroom (it’s happened many times), you have to go and get them into their room or find another RA who’s in the dorm to help that student out. An RA is there to assist the residents in the dorm but not necessarily babysit them.

What values have you learned by being a PUC RA?

Responsibility is definitely the biggest value I learned as an RA here at PUC. As an RA, you’re not only responsible for the dorm itself but the people in it. Their safety, their well-being, etc. is what you signed up for when you applied to be an RA. Now, you’re not the resident’s personal therapist or babysitter, but you’re the one they can go to in order to get the help that they need. You’re there to direct them to the TLC for when they need to get tutoring for a class they’re not doing so well in, or even show them where health services are so they can get over-the-counter medication or mental health treatment. 

How do you balance school and being a RA?

Being an RA comes second. I am first a student on campus and I make sure that my school and life come first. Being an RA sort of fits into my schedule because it’s something that I do in the evening when I don’t have classes. 

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? What do you enjoy the most?

The most difficult aspect of being an RA is reaching out to residents that don’t want to be reached out to. It’s always difficult seeing a resident that you want to reach out to in order to make sure they’re in tip-top shape mentally and spiritually. 

How do you incorporate spiritual life with your residents?

In Newton, we incorporate spiritual life by having a new weekly event called power-up and that’s where residents join on our Instagram live and join us for a weekly power-up and an encouraging devotional. Every Tuesday we have floor worship and that’s where we have a little devotional and worship time with the residents on our floors. Every Thursday we have dorm worship and that’s where the whole dorm comes together to have worship in the lobby.

How do you build a community in your hall, and with other residents?

Community starts with room checks every night from the very first day of school up until the last day of school for the quarter and the year. It starts with the interactions that we have with our residents and it grows to the residents having something in common, their RA. From there, they go on to having interactions with one another. Sometimes community is from the residents themselves where they have connections to one another from outside PUC and they grow their connections here at PUC. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the PUC family?

Favorite thing about being a part of the PUC family is the fellowship and the uniqueness of that fellowship that you gain here on campus. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a college or university campus that’s had the type of fellowship like how they do here at PUC. Of course, it’s unique because we’re on a mountain but it’s a fellowship that is unique to PUC. There’s no other campus that I know of that has this fellowship and because of that fellowship, there is a sense of belonging here at PUC. 

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a RA?

In simple terms, be ready for anything and everything. You’ll get calls in the middle of the night to go and unlock a room because a student locked themselves out and their roommate is sound asleep. You’ll get calls to help fix someone’s sink in the middle of the day because the faucet broke. Just be ready for anything and everything. 

What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m looking forward to impacting all of my residents in a positive way and making them feel appreciated and welcomed in Newton. When I was a freshman and I first moved in, my RA made me feel welcomed and like I belonged. It made the kickoff of my college experience something that was amazing and great.