Sarah Perez, 22', Community Assistant

Sarah Perez is a junior Psychology major with a minor in Health Studies originally from Bronx, NY, but has recently relocated to Connecticut! On campus, Sarah is involved in lots of different activities, but the main position that she holds is being a Community Assistant or CA here at Siena! Instead of knowing them by a Residential Assistant (RA), CA allows for a more comfortable feeling when needing to go to someone in this position for help, and overall Siena is more of a community! This is Sarah’s first year of being a CA on campus, and so far she loves it and is incredibly thankful that she took the risk of applying and getting this job!

Her Campus Siena: Why did you want to become a Community Assistant (CA) at Siena?

Sarah Perez: I wanted to become a CA at Siena because I had an amazing experience with my first CA as a freshman. She was there for me every step of the way adjusting to living on campus and made me feel more comfortable about the transition to college. I wanted to have the same impact on other students and be able to be supportive towards my residents since I had such a positive experience with the CA who helped me most during my first year here. 

Brooke Cagle via Unsplash

HCS: What is your favorite part about being a CA?

SP: My favorite part about being a CA is meeting new people. From staff in other buildings to residents, growing this bond makes me feel like I have a second family here on campus. There are always plenty of events that we as CA’s get to put on in the residence halls, which makes it easier to meet new people. The feeling of knowing multiple people on our campus is extremely comforting and I believe that this position has certainly helped me meet more people. 

HCS: Have you always known that you wanted to take on this type of position in college?

SP: I did not enter college with the thought of wanting to become a CA, but learning about the position and how much of an impact a CA can make made me want to push my limits and apply. I didn’t really think about it too much before arriving here because I didn’t know if it would be something I wanted to do. After seeing the impact that even my own CA freshman year made on me, it slowly allowed my interests to increase which led me to applying for the job and currently holding the role today!

HCS: What is the most challenging part about being a CA on campus and being in charge of so many people?

SP: The most challenging part in my opinion about being a CA on campus is time management. I take this into consideration and always play my week ahead of time to fulfill my role, be there for my residents, be a student, and to have some time for my personal health. If I’m not organized, it makes it harder for me to plan different events and make time for the things that I see as a priority throughout the week. With time management, it allows me to take time out of my day for myself as well as helping the residents I am in charge of. Since I mainly look over 40+ girls, it’s important that I set a schedule and maintain open communication with residents about when they can meet with me!

HCS: What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned while holding this position?

SP: The most important lesson that I have learned is that it is okay to ask for help. I always grew up thinking that being independent is the only way to be strong. I outgrew this definition and began to reach out for help, ask questions, and to be curious, because of the great support system that comes with being a CA. In holding this position it has made me more willing to question things as well as seek help when it’s needed especially when it will only strengthen my relationships and knowledge. I always want to do the most to help my residents so asking my supervisors for help only helps me improve the services I can give to them if needed. 

HCS: If you had to give someone a piece of advice before starting this job, what would you tell them?

SP: If I had to give someone a piece of advice before starting this job, I would tell them to never doubt what they are capable of doing. I always doubted myself and did not think I would be where I’m at today, and I’m grateful that I pushed myself. Being a CA is by no means something you can do with minimum effort, but helping my residents makes every second of it worth it! I am so thankful that I believed in myself and took on this opportunity. 

Talking with Sarah really opened my eyes to the position she currently holds on Siena’s campus and how vital of a role she plays! I loved getting to hear her talk so passionately about the role she holds and how fulfilling it is! Sarah is excited to continue to hold this position, and looks forward to all the help that she will continue to provide for the residents she is in charge of.