Lauren Hargrove: Community Council and RSA Advocate

Meet Lauren Hargrove, a senior Mass Communication major here at Georgia College! She been involved in campus livin at GC since her freshman year. Lauren started in Community Council, and then moved forward into the Resident Student Assocoiation (RSA), serving as president until the end of the Fall 2016 semester! Lauren also has worked with GC's housing department as a housing host, and in Auxillary Services. I had the joy of sitting down with her and asking her some questions about her journey and her involvement in campus living! 

Her Campus: What initally sparked your interest in Community Council, RSA and Housing in general? 

Lauren Hargrove: Initially coming in freshman year, I liked the Community Advisor position, so I asked my Community Advisor: "Hey how do I become a CA?" And she said, "You should get involved with Community Council. It's a good way to get to know everybody and it will give you a good "in" with the Housing Department." So that honestly is why I started, but I found such a love for Community Council and RSA that I wasn't expecting and I ended up choosing to stay with them than taking a CA position. 

HC: What made you want to progress to RSA from Community Council?

LH: All my current friends, at Georgia College, I got to know through housing somehow. My three current best friends lived across the hall from me freshman year, and that's how I got to know them, was through Community Council/CA programs. And the idea that it affected my life that drastically made me want to do that for others. Even though it was small; all my CA did was say, "Come downstairs for a scavenger hunt." I was put into a group of random people who became my best friends.And that idea of a butterfly effect, even though I may not be changing anyone's life immediately I might be able to put them on that track to help them inevitably in the future. 

HC: Looking at a career, has RSA and housing helped with that at all? 

LH: Yes, because RSA was relevant to what ended up being my career choice, which is going to be event planning. Even though RSA and Community Council have a community focus, a focus on that of making resident housing better for the students, there's still an event planning aspect, which is how I found my passion for event planning! 

HC: What skills have you developed through working with RSA and housing?

LH: I have completely changed as a person, I haven't changed as a person, but the way I hold myself together, the way I am in front of people now, has been helped so so much. I used to be very quiet; I was extremely shy, and I wouldn't talk to anybody. And this, at least the way I've moved through Community Council, RSA, and the Housing Department, I've had to open up, I've had to be more of a personality and better at talking to people. It's given me a lot of communication skills, and it's given me courage to cold call people, and to meet with people I don't know if I have to ask them questions and have those meetings and have those interactions. That is a skill that anyone in any profession needs, communication. 

HC: What opportunities has RSA opened up for you in working with other organizations on campus? 

LH: RSA does collaborations with other organizations. It's been fun to have other organizations come to us and say, "We wanna do a movie showing." or going to the Wellness Center and saying, "Hey let's do a yoga class!" In doing that it's helped me build a lot of little connections in the community and that's how I met Cindy McKlanahan from Auxillary Services, and started to work with her. So it helps you network and meet a lot of people who can help in the future in random ways.

HC: What are you looking forward to the most after college? 

LH: For a while, I thought I was just going to go into event planing, like I just thought it was a good way to build my event planning skill while having fun with housing on the side. But the more and more I thought about it, I really do love housing, and I think it's very important in any university and I have so much experience in it. Recently, I've started looking into more housing realated position Resident Life Coordination positions and am interested in the convergence of those two postions, event planning and university related event planning for students and residents of campus housing. I'm really intersted to how those might two come together for me, where I'm in one and turn it into the other hopefully! I have a blank canvas where I can go and just do what's best for me!

HC: What advice do you have for someone who would want to persue a similar path? 

LH: Don't be afraid if it doesn't seem like something that's going to be profitable for you, something that may seem out of the ordinary. The basis that housing stands on is community and love for building community. There's so many different places and divots within the housing community that you can find your place and work hard and move forward and get experience. At first is may seem simple and straight forward, but there's so much more to it and so many places and opportunities for someone to get involved in their own way and gain experience, but also share a love for housing.