Written by Paige Stanley. Media by Ethan Maurer.
Do you ever find yourself wondering, who is the person who makes living on campus so beneficial? Well, there is a hard and dedicated woman on campus named Naomi Brown whose job is exactly that. She is in charge of Residence Life. Being in charge of Residence Life means handling housing situations such as the housing lottery, managing room assignments, and so on. Supervising RCs, CREs and to develop the Residence Program are a part of the job as well. “Basically, my job is to make living on campus a beneficial experience for our students, both individually and as a whole community,” says Naomi.
Naomi believes there are many benefits to this job. She absolutely loves the individuals that she works with here in Greenville. “I know I am biased, but I believe I work with some of the best people on campus.” We all know that RCs and CREs have to be creative when being in charge of many people on one floor. This is why Naomi appreciates them so much. She loves how unique, wise, and fun they all are. Being in this position gives her the opportunity to interact with people in smaller groups. “Two of my favorite things are backpacking and sharing experiences with a small group of people, both which I get to do every year in WalkAbout; the backpacking trip we do with RCs and GSGA.” These are just a few benefits that Naomi appreciates about her job.
Like any other job, there are downfalls to being in this position. Being in charge of Residence Life means having the opportunity to connect with people on a deeper level. “You get to be involved in every aspect of student’s lives–you are there for the highest highs and the lowest lows and for monotonous everyday life.” Obviously, this means seeing and hearing things that may be hard to handle. This does not turn Naomi away from loving everybody as deeply as she does and does not keep her from working hard. “I deeply value getting to play a role in the lives of students in crisis, but it can make my job stressful and overwhelming at times,” says Naomi.
Naomi deals with more than just simple housing arrangements. She is involved in helping people with physical health, academic struggles, interpersonal conflicts, and spiritual development. “My role in this situations is to ensure that they get the proper support and resources that they need. I am also a Title IX Investigator, meaning I work with reports of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination.” Having someone like this on campus is important, especially in today’s world.
Living in Burritt Hall is where Naomi started to realize what she wanted to do in the future. “I wrote my undergraduate thesis on a sacramental philosophy of Residence Life, and I got my master’s degree in Higher Education.” A few years later, she got the opportunity to be the CRE of Tenney/Kinney for three years. Eventually, she was hired to be Director of Residence Life.
If you see Naomi on campus, stop and say hi. Maybe even tell her how much you appreciate her hard work for making your stay on campus as good as it is. “I love interacting with students, hearing their stories, and being a part of their lives. If you ever have anything going on and you don’t know who else to talk to, I am always happy to listen and offer you support. My office is on the main floor of the library back by the glass study rooms.”