When All Else Fails… Communicate!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that it’s extremely hard to perfect the art of communication. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the correct form of communication that conveys the message you wish someone to receive.

In my experience, I have found that it is extremely hard to communicate in one way that everyone can interpret. So, I hosted an event for my residents on Tuesday that was focused on effective communication that poses a variety of issues that people must overcome. It was called, “Let’s Talk About ___ Baby! An event based on effective communication and the struggles that go along with it.”

When I was thinking of an event that could help my residents with communication skills, the first thing that came to mind was something that I did when I applied to become a Resident Assistant: structure building.

When one thinks of a structure, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Probably a building of some sort. However, communication is a structure that truly underscores the human race. Communication is what makes us, and it’s what could potentially break us. Without effective communication, life would be extremely difficult.

This event asked residents throughout North and South Halls to make groups of three to four people until they were given directions on what to do. I separated small bags; four bags filled with broken spaghetti noodles and four bags filled with mini marshmallows. Each group was given one bag of spaghetti and one bag of marshmallows and asked to build the tallest, self-sustaining structure possible within 8 minutes. However, it comes with a few challenges.

One member of each group was told that they could not use their dominant hand. Their dominant hand had to be placed behind their back at all times, and if it was observed that they used their dominant hand, they were disqualified. Another member of the group was told that they could not speak unless another member of their group had asked them a question. Lastly, another member of each group was told that they could not use their hands at all. Each of these rules posed challenges for the groups and revealed that various forms of communication were necessary to accomplish the common goal of building the structure.

Here’s one of the finished structures:

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There’s always more than just verbal communication. Sometimes it’s true that actions speak louder than words and the nonverbal messages sent through body language and gestures speak more to the audience/group than any verbal communication ever could!

So when all else fails, communicate!

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NEACURH

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the NEACURH conference held at SUNY Geneseo. NEACURH is the North Eastern affiliate of NACURH which stands for the National Association of College and University Residence Halls. It’s basically an organization that is who our own RHA, or residence hall association, reports to.

I was invited to go to the conference because I am a member of Utica College’s RHA. The president, my friend George, and another member, Sara, went as well. Our advisor, Marissa Finch, also accompanied us. (She actually drove…so I guess we accompanied her…)

The conference was themed “Marty and the Chocolate Factory.” (Marty is the name of the NEACURH mascot, which is a moose.) So everywhere you turned there was a candy themed this and that.

I really enjoyed the conference because it was a great opportunity for our RHA to network with other colleges and their own organizations. I actually have so many ideas for potential events and different ways to ensure that a large number of individuals get involved. It was so cool being able to talk to other individuals that have the same goals and the same mindset as myself and my friends!

If you’re interested in a fun time, join RHA! They tons of events planned for the rest of the semester and the upcoming one as well! Meetings are Wednesdays at 2:00pm in Bell Conference Room. Plus, if you join UC’s RHA you’ll have the opportunity to attend a NEACURH event in the future!

 

(George, Sara, and I getting into the NEACURH spirit!)
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