Campus Cuties: Mark Kopp '21

Her Campus American: Can you talk a little bit about what you do on campus?

Mark Kopp: Currently, I am a resident assistant (RA) in Letts Hall working with first-year students. As an RA, I am responsible for fostering a community where my residents can make memories and feel accepted. When I am not dealing with my RA duties, I serve as the treasurer of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy Organization. This is both a graduate and undergraduate organization on campus that hosts discussions on national security-related issues. It is an absolutely awesome organization to join if you are into this field. In the spring, I will be running club track as a sprinter - long distance just isn’t for me - which I am hyped for. Also, as a first-year student, I served as the Letts, Clark, and Roper Hall Council President. Hall Council is responsible for hosting community-wide programs and representing the resident population. This is also an awesome organization to join if you were involved with student senate or student council in high school.

HCAU: How do you find time to manage all of your activities while maintaining a full course load?

MK: It can be difficult - like really, really difficult. Throughout college, my planner has become my best friend. Whenever I have an important event or assignment, I immediately write it in my planner or put it on my laptop’s calendar so that way I can keep track of everything. Another thing I often think about are time commitments. When you are heavily involved with campus activities, you have to make sure that you aren’t putting all of your time into one activity and completely neglecting another. However, prioritizing is a must. As a college student, you have to focus on what matters to you the most. Once in awhile, you will have to make sacrifices, but that is normal and a part of adulting.

HCAU: Why did you choose these activities?

MK: I chose these activities because they provide a greater opportunity for me to engage in AU’s community. For the most part, I feel as if there is a great sense of community here at AU, and this is something I’ve wanted to contribute more and more to. As a Resident Assistant for first year students, I have the ability to help students who have come from all across the world get acclimated to a completely new community.

Now, to switch gears and talk about the Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy organization, I joined this because I am double majoring in International Studies (foreign policy and national security concentration) and Justice and Law (terrorism and security studies concentration). I wanted to find an organization with members who had similar interests and/or majors as me, and this club was a perfect fit.

HCAU: Can you talk to me a little more about being an RA?

MK: I live on a floor in Letts Hall with 46 first-year students, who are all absolutely awesome. In this position, I am the go to person for any floor related issues, everything from a mouse terrorizing the floor to a roommate conflict. I am not just an authority on the floor, but I am also a friend. As an RA, it is critical to develop solid relationships with all of your residents. With that being said, I am always there for my residents if they need to vent about something going on in their lives, or really anything for that matter. Also, in this position, I host floor programming, which gives residents the opportunity to engage with one another in a fun, non-academic setting.

HCAU: Would you recommend applying to be an RA?

MK: Definitely! Aside from the benefit of free housing and it being a great resume builder, there are so many important skills you will have the opportunity to develop while working as an RA. You will be able to work on your communication, problem solving, and interpersonal skills, which are all pertinent to life.  

HCAU: As an involved upperclassman what advice would you give to freshmen about finding their place on campus?

MK: Don’t spend all of your time in your room! When you are free from work or studying, walk around campus. There are always clubs and organizations recruiting new members. A lot of students seem to find their place on campus in the organizations they are involved in.

HCAU: What is the best class you’ve taken and why?

MK: Chemical Weapons from World War I to Today - Experiential Learning. This was an AU Scholars course taught by Professor Costanzi. Each week we either had a guest speaker that talked about chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or we went to an off-campus location, like the State Department.

 

(All photos belong to Mark Kopp)