The RAP Experience: As Told By My Floormates

For my freshman year, I chose to join a RAP, or a Residential Academic Program. This program allows students to take classes with the people they live with. The program’s purpose is to help freshman become a part of their community and connect with their classmates. It also enrolls each RAP member in a class that is in their residential area.

The RAP I joined was the Careers in Law RAP in Central. This program is designed for students interested in law-related careers or something of the like. However, we have a wide array of majors and not just political science. In this RAP, we are taught by UMass Amherst’s pre-law advisor, Diane Curtis. We also take a course entitled, “Controversies in Public Policy” which fulfills a general education requirement for most of us, and a major requirement for a few. In this course, we discuss controversial issues such as: climate change, racial profiling, same sex marriage, and the minimum wage.

Recently, I asked my floormates some questions regarding their RAP experience so far. Below, you will hear from six members of my RAP, and two others who live on my floor but are not a part of the RAP.

Why did you choose to join this RAP?

Mark Ambrose: “I wanted to become a lawyer but, I don’t want to do that anymore. However, the RAP helped me figure that out, so that was helpful.”

Chris Bakas: “I wanted to live in Central. Also, as a pre-law course of studies student, I liked the sounds of the class that was offered.”

Pabla Andrade: “I wanted to live in Gorman [in Central]. The ‘Controversies in Public Policy’ course also fulfilled a political science requirement for me.”

Ned Kelly: “I want to have a career in law.”

Cat Hosman: “I really just wanted to live in Gorman.”

Comfort Kalu: “I thought I wanted to go to law school.”

One word to describe your experience:




Would you recommend joining a RAP to incoming freshman?

Mark: “Yes, because of the community you build.”

Chris: “Honestly, no.”

Pabla: “Yes, you create a lot of connections with peers and professors.”

Ned: “It has its pros and cons, you definitely just need to figure out what your priorities are.”

Cat: “Yes! It’s an easy way to meet new people.”

Comfort: “Yeah, it’s a nice way to transition into college. I would recommend no floorcest though.”

Will you stay in touch with your RAPmates?

Mark: “Yeah!”

Chris: “Oh yeah.”

Pabla: “I’ve made some good friends.”

Ned: “No....just kidding.”

Cat: “Yeah, we better!”

Comfort: “Yeah!!”

And for Thomas Middlemist and Mariah Campbell, who live on our floor but are not in the RAP, here's what they have to say:

Thomas: "I didn't choose to join a RAP because there weren't any in the building where I wanted to live." (Thomas just recently moved into our building.)

Mariah: "I would definitely recommend joining a RAP. I feel like everyone knew each other better than I did. It was harder for me to get to know everyone because I didn't share classes with them."


Photo Sources: Olivia Laramie (myself) and Shelley Hobson