Pentland, Lothian and Aberdeen-Inverness residence halls introduce freshmen to their new homes

Heewon Kim/HIGHLANDER
Writers: Heewon Kim, CW, Jamie Peterson, CW and Christine Tran, SSW

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This week the Residence Halls Association (RHA) organized three events over the course of two nights to help students become more familiar with their respective residence hall. The festivities started off on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 6 to 9 p.m., with “Hello Pentland,” at the Pentland Green Lawn. With over 200 students in attendance, the sign-in line of excited students seemed endless.

Once checked in, students were handed a wanted poster that showed images of decorations that residents needed to find and take pictures with in order to receive Scotty bills. In Pentland’s F and G lounge, the Pentland program advisors set up Kahoot filled with trivia facts about UCR and a poster with the caption, “Before I Graduate … ” that students could sign in exchange for more Scotty bills.

After collecting a sufficient amount of Scotty bills, students could trade in their money for boba and a plate of tacos. With this incentive in mind, residents ran back and forth looking for specific posters while learning more about what Pentland has to offer.

“I’ve spent most of my time here so far just in my dorm, so it was cool to get to spend the night exploring Pentland more,” said Dan Troung, a first-year pre-business major.

The hunt brought people to places like the Pentland fitness center and the computer lab, which led to several confused students who were unaware as to why groups of people were dashing in and taking selfies. When the search became exhausting, the UCR Deejays and Vinylphiles club pumped everyone up with lively electronic dance music remixes. After a long night and delicious food, students could use their remaining energy to fight their friends at the inflatable boxing ring in the center of the lawn.

“I’m glad I came out, it was a lot of fun to just run around yelling and laughing, I also got to meet new people which is always a plus,” commented Alexander Patino, a first-year mathematics major. 

The fun continued with the Lothian Residence Hall hosting “Scotty’s Declassified College Survival Guide,” at the Lothian Galley on Oct. 10 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. This event was designed for all freshman students regardless of if they lived in Pentland Hills or Aberdeen-Inverness (AI). 

In order to draw students to this event, prizes and giveaways such as Hydro Flasks and a Polaroid camera were set out as incentives. Games such as human Bingo and Jeopardy were included as interactive activities and as an opportunity for the students to form a bond with other unfamiliar students.

The people who worked behind the scenes to make all of this happen are none other than the Program Advisors (otherwise known as PA’s) who manage the residence hall. One of the PA’s, Maxus Wong, a second-year environmental engineering major, shared the reasoning behind holding the event, saying, “Today’s event was designed to be able to educate the first years, help them navigate their way through college since it is difficult for most to transition from their high school years. We wanted this event so they have something to be proud of.”

Wong also shared the reasoning behind the lucrative incentives given out to those who came. “Yes, the prizes are incentives, but they have good intentions. For example, the Hydro Flasks are to remind the students to stay hydrated. White boards for room decor. Manicure kit is to remind them that personal hygiene is important. And the Polaroid, for memories and nice pictures!” Through participating in games such as human Bingo and Jeopardy, students were given raffle tickets for a chance to win those prizes, and were given extra tickets if they won any of the games.

Human Bingo required students to ask other students about their interests, majors and hobbies. A clever plan to crack the shyness out of students and a reason to gain more raffle tickets. A heated game of Jeopardy occurred in a small room consisting of almost 30 first-year participants. The four teams: Team Lemon, Team Potato, Team Broccoli and Team Watermelon competed to find which group was most knowledgeable of the rules and whereabouts of UCR. After Team Watermelon earned a promising win, Team Broccoli secured their victory in a winner-takes-all round. After the intense competition, a petrified member from Team Watermelon, Pedro, a first year majoring in pre-business commented, “That was scary. It was intense.”

Overall, the event had freshmen leaving with new bonds and everlasting memories. Isabella, a first-year majoring in media and cultural studies said her overall experience was promising. “Well, I wasn’t even expecting myself to come. I was glad that I came though. I was able to meet new people that were outside of my friend group.”

The night ended with raffles, prize winners and students leaving the event with new friends and a better understanding of what UCR has in store for them. 

The wind did not blow off Aberdeen-Inverness’ “951 Community Night Market” on Thursday, Oct. 10 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. The event was held directly in front of the dormitory in its horseshoe drop-off area. Freshman and transfer students waited in line and were later greeted with a sticker and a smile. To start off, UCR’s dance club Oceania took main stage and performed a Hawaiian hula dance and soon freshmen cheers blended with the softer Hawaiian music.

Jamie Peterson/HIGHLANDER

Food was the main theme of the night. Long lines for free pizza, sushi, popcorn, shaved ice and ice cream accumulated overtime. Two first-year students Jason and Abdhi slurped on lemon lime and blueberry raspberry shaved ice while playing a game of giant Connect Four. “It is the closeness of it,” Abdhi commented. “It’s right outside of our dorms and I was like ‘Jason we’re going, we’re going, let’s go!’” Other games like giant Jenga and plastic pins for bowling sat on the cement.

A group of floormates sat at one of the tables playing a card game they brought to the event called Love Letters. “We are all in the same hall, so we are basically socializing” said Diego Villaseñor, a first-year transfer student from Mexico. “The game is called Love Letters out of irony. It really just makes us scream at each other,” another joked. Despite living on the same floor for three weeks, the event gave them a chance to play and relax, exchanging names and competitive comments into the night.

Towards the end of the night, a birthday surprise was held for Program Advisor Bryan Diaz, a third-year business major. Residents bought him a cheesecake and sung while he sat on the main stage. “I love my residents trying to make sure they have a great first year that they can take with them for the rest of their college experience, maybe even inspire them to become a PA or an RA,” he said. “And we are a family as you can see,” he continued, looking over at them dancing and shouting to the rhythm and blues music playing in the background.

When the night came to a close, almost no food went to waste. Students walked back to the dormitory feeling much more comfortable with their RAs and fellow floormates.

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