Buchanan CA strives to be there for her residents

Community Advisors are the lifeline for new students and students living in the dorms/student owned apartments. Community Advisors offer advice, help with classes and maintain the security of the building the students are residing in. Towers, Wallace and Wilson, community advisors work with all their students to put on floor events as well as charitable opportunites to complete as a floor.

Abby Wadeson

Though Brianne Moore has lived in Buchanan Hall for the past two years, she plans to return because of the connections she’s made and the students she has mentored.  

“I love the building I’m in,” Moore said. “The residents are awesome. They all talk to the CA’s.”

Until the fall of 2013, Buchanan Hall was an upperclassmen-only dorm, but last year, a freshman floor was created to compensate for the increased enrollment and desire to live in the residence halls. This is the first year freshmen were able to apply to live in Buchanan when picking housing.

When Moore, now a senior in psychology, came to Iowa State, she knew she wanted to be involved in campus somehow.

“I like to help people,” Moore said.

She said she had a great community adviser her freshman year who helped her to decide to become one herself.

“I love that what you put into the job is what you get out of the job,” Moore said.

She said she gains satisfaction from helping residents or learning new things.

“In this job you learn every single day,” Moore said.

Moore’s favorite part about her job is the opportunities she gets to learn and grow.

Her least favorite part about being a community adviser, she said, is writing people up for violating their housing contract. Being a second year CA, though, she said isn’t afraid to write people up, but still isn’t a fan.

“I’d rather not have to deal with that, but it comes with the job,” Moore said. “We like to think in our building everyone is a good person. Sometimes people make mistakes and they learn from them.” 

Being a CA has a few benefits in addition to helping students, Moore said. Each CA’s room and board is paid for, plus a $720 stipend each semester. Each CA is required to work four hours a week at the hall desk, but CA’s who pick up additional hours get paid extra.

There are almost 200 CAs and nearly 30 hall directors who work for the Department of Residence. 

CA’s have a variety of duties and that’s what keeps it interesting for Moore. CA’s have nights “duty nights” where they go on rounds to make sure the residence building is okay, which gives them time to chat with the residents and get to know them better.

Moore said CA’s also have a “CA night” where they have a staff meeting, program meeting and hall cabinet meeting.

Moore estimates she spends about four hours each day focusing on CA duties.

CAs are expected to be in the building and to be visible. She reaches out to her residents regularly.

“My door may not be open, but I’m always here,” Moore said.

Nolan Hickey, freshman in business and a resident on Moore’s floor, said he appreciates that she takes the time to get to know her residents by organizing group dinners.

“No matter what, she is there to be a friend and help you succeed,” Hickey said.

Veronika Graves, a freshman in elementary education, said she is comforted by Moore’s warm personality.

“She is always willing to listen and help in any way she can,” Graves said.

In her free time, Moore enjoys hanging out with friends and family. When she isn’t busy performing CA tasks, she likes to find other things to do on campus. She attends ISU After Dark and Cyclone Cinema at Carver Hall.

Moore plans to pursue a graduate degree in social psychology. She also would like to continue to stay involved in the Department of Residence whether it’s at Iowa State or another university.

Moore said that being a CA has helped her prepare for her career. She has learned life skills, including how to stay organized, how to confront situations and how to communicate with people in an appropriate manner.

Moore said she would encourage anyone who is considered being a CA to go ahead and apply.

“It’s been one of the best experiences of my life,” Moore said.