It’s a guy thing

Katie Roupe

Female-dominated dorms under male RA supervision

Sophomore finance major Alex Kamarashki is a male resident assistant for a wing full of females in co-ed Johnson Hall. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY KATIE ROUPE | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: John Proppe

Women filed slowly into the room in Johnson Hall, some chatted while others nervously looked around. One guy entered the room and eagerly sat down.

“There’s only one guy in the wing, oh that poor kid,” sophomore biochemistry major Jennifer Rossi said.

“Hi guys,” the lone male said. “I’m Alex Kamarashki. I’m your RA for the year.”

Several of the women’s eyes bugged out.

“Oh man, he’s our RA,” Rossi said looking around at a room packed with women.

Kamarashki is a male resident assistant for an all-female wing. The wing was deemed co-ed, but only women signed up for the rooms, which were later assigned to Kamarashki.

“I was looking through the list and didn’t see a single male name,” Kamarashki said. “I thought it was funny and knew I just had to deal with it and that was it.”

Kamarashki’s hall is decorated with colorful name cards and a variety of posters promoting events. At the end of the wing hangs a bulletin board showcasing the most fashionable winter coats.

“Oh, that bulletin board,” Rossi said, shaking her head. “He’s trying. I give him credit.”

Kamarashki said he frequently stops by the women’s rooms to chat and make sure everything is going OK in their lives.

On one of his stops he noticed that Kay Longville, freshman integrated social studies major, was upset.

The first question Kamarashki asked was if Longville was upset about the hall council elections. Longville said she laughed at first because he actually thought she would be upset about the elections.

“I don’t care about the elections that much,” Longville said with a chuckle. But she said it was nice that he was concerned, and she shared her concerns about a personal problem with him.

“It’s not awkward at all to talk to him,” Longville said. “We talk about normal stuff. Now it would be weird if I was like ‘Oh, I’m on my period.’ But I don’t talk about gross girl stuff, and he doesn’t talk to me about gross boy stuff.”

Kamarashki says his female residents haven’t caused any problems, and he boasts that he has the best wing in Johnson.

“I think it’s been a really good experience,” he said. “I’m the only RA whose floor hasn’t had any major problems so far. They’ve made it easy.”

Kamarashki said the main reason he thinks he hasn’t had any problems is because he is in the honor’s residence hall.

“Honors students seem to be more mature and more goal focused,” he said. “Last year, I lived in the freshman experience, and everyone just wanted to party.”

Even though Kamarashki said Johnson was more of a quiet hall, being in a wing full of female residents created some interesting community activities.

Rossi and Longville made Kamarashki watch one of their favorite shows, “Project Runway.”

“He watched the whole entire episode with us,” Rossi said.

For Rossi, having a male resident assistant was a little bit awkward at first, but she said after hanging out with Kamarashki things were fine.

In addition to Kamarashki, sophomore architecture major Rich Mahoney is in the same position. He said he first thought a mistake was made, but then thought it was kind of cool because he has an easier time talking to females.

“I love it,” Mahoney said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve learned a lot.”

Mahoney said he observed that women are a lot louder than men. Mahoney lived on a male floor last year and said there was more physical interaction. He said even though women tend to not be as physical, they are more social.

“Because the girls are more social, it can cause more noise violations,” Mahoney said. “It’s just a different set of concerns.”

Amy Quillin, associate director of Residence Services, said she didn’t know of any other situations like Kamarashki’s and Mahoney’s.

“I think we had intended them to be co-ed with a mixture of males and females,” Quillin said.

Many of the women from Kamarshki’s hall said they don’t have a problem with a male resident and that it could be humorous at times.

“He keeps his room immaculate,” Longville said of Kamarashki. “Is this normal for a guy?”

Kamarashki’s spotless room compared to Longville’s messy room, like many of the other women in the hall, has become a running joke between the two.

“He always keeps saying how he’ll write me up for my messy room,” Longville said laughing. “But I don’t think he can do that unless he can prove that it’s a fire hazard.”

Kamarashki is the residence assistant for the women this only this semester, because he is going to Geneva, Switzerland next semester to study abroad.

“I think I’ll miss my girls,” Kamarashki said. “I’ll miss the friendships.”

Kamarashki plans on being a resident assistant next year.

“I hope I could have the same hall, same floor and even the same residents,” he said. “That would be great.”

Contact honors and international affairs reporter Katie Roupe at [email protected].