Panther Hall’s ARLC prioritizes student success

Cassidy Cook

As an Assistant Residential Life Coordinator (ARLC), Cassidy Cook ensures that her students are her top priority while working at FIU’s first-year dorm, Panther Hall.

Cook supervises desk and resident assistants and handles administrative responsibilities. At night, she’s on duty making rounds in the residence hall and ensuring student safety. Although some days can be very long and drastic, Cook said working as an ARLC has been rewarding, both professionally and personally.

Cook’s love for residential life began when she was a resident assistant for two years at Southern New Hampshire University. Now a graduate student at FIU studying higher education administration, Cook said the residential life experience here is different from what she’s experienced before. The students she supervises, for instance, follow a residential curriculum, which involve personal development and community service activities.

“We have goals and outcomes that we want our students to achieve while they’re living with us,” Cook said.

The main ways the residential life staff involves students include community-wide events, one-on-one interactions and community traditions. Interacting with students, according to Cook, allows them to learn a lesson from the activities held in the hall.

Apart from her ARLC duties, Cook takes on other roles in the residential life. She is an advisor for the dorm’s Hall Council, where she oversees the budget and ideas created by the council’s executive board. Cook is also a part of the hall’s Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Committee, which hosted a social media campaign in fall of 2018 about sexual assault on college campuses. The committee is planning to host a large-scale event sometime in spring of 2019.

The different activities she does allows Cook to interact with students and get them interested in residential life.

“I think it’s a field that many people don’t really understand unless they’re in it, but it’s a great opportunity to help people and to learn about yourself.”

Cassidy Cook

For more on Cook’s residential life at FIU, read the full article on PantherNOW.