Terri Allen, a junior English and social work major and Jon Miller, a junior English and philosophy major, are seen as a unit on campus. The duo balance classes, activities, sports and a long term-relationship. This year, the couple has added resident assistants to their list of responsibilities. Although the role can be stressful, both agree that they are doing “heart work,” not hard work and the RA duties have given them a separate identity as well as an increased appreciation for each other. While many Cabrini students were enjoying the last days off summer soaking up the sun at the beach and spending time with friends, Allen and Miller went through intense RA training. Training included a retreat in the woods where they could not use technology. Students were cut off from using their cell phones, and fairly “miserable” from the detox. “It was a lot of fun bonding with each other spending late nights making s’mores and building trust,” Allen said. Allen and Miller make their residents feel comfortable with coming to them for anything. Miller shared that one of his residents opened up to him about his life. Miller was happy to talk and be there for his resident going beyond his traditional RA duties. Allen and Miller recognize that it is important that residents see them as people and not just an authoritative figure. Allen is the RA for Xavier while Miller is assigned to the Infante House. If both are on duty, the couple must work from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. “We kind of have to pencil each other in sometimes,” Allen said. However, the couple has had some movie-worthy dates at Cabrini, including a trip to the old fashioned Wayne Theater to watch “The Avengers.” The couple’s secret for a lasting relationship is sacrifice. Miller said, “If you are not ready to give up yourself for someone and make sacrifices, do not be in a relationship.” He warned that what may look perfect on television shows and movies is not for everybody. In addition to all of the pressures, Cabrini’s small campus can make being in a relationship difficult. Allen said, “It’s best to keep your relationship like home; windows locked and doors closed.” Both agree that their roles as RAs have strengthened their almost two year relationship and helped them form a solid foundation. The pair exudes Cabrini spirit as both are involved with the Black Student Union and Catholic Relief Services. Miller plays for the basketball team and helps with the CSI employees. Terri is in Campus Ministry, a general assembly member of Cap Board and pledging for the sorority. In the future, Allen hopes to work with children and adolescents who have mental health issues. She believes that her RA training and experience has taught her valuable lessons that she can apply to a career and life in general. “Being an RA can help shape you,” Allen said. “Social work and the RA job go hand in hand; they are both about approaching people and situations.” The duo highly recommends applying to be an RA, but warn that the job is not for the weak-willed. The responsibilities do not end, as the role of RA is much more than a job. Allen said, “The rewards overcompensate for the things that sometimes aren’t so great about the job. Once you are an RA, you are never the same.”
Amy Lynn Cimo and Joe Potesta are another familiar Resident-Assistant couple. The duo describes working together as a lot of fun, and that they get a lot of laughs from the job. “We both pride ourselves in having really good ideas, so it’s fun to throw ideas back and forth and make awesome programs.”
Although they enjoy working together, they do appreciate being their own person. “I hate that people do not separate the two of us. It’s always Joe and Amy,” Cimo said. “We are different and we enjoy doing our own things.”
The duo loves traveling and explains that one of their best dates was when they took a trip to Cleveland one weekend. “We got Eagles Browns tickets for $35 a person, got a great deal on a hotel room and we just toured Cleveland!” While at Cabrini, they both make time for each other and say they love cooking together.
The couple started dating late September of freshman year three years ago. They met in a biology class, since at the time both were biology majors. But both decided to take another route. Cimo is now majoring in human resources while Potesta is doing engineering.
Janellee Salazar and Ernest Ahweza have not let distance or RA duties stand in the way of their relationship. Sparks ignited during their freshman year when Ahweza, a junior finance and accounting major, met Salazar, a junior biology major, on campus. Cabrini is a long way from home, as Salazar is from Los Angeles, Calif. Fast forward two years later, and the couple is still going strong, working as resident assistants and living up their time at Cabrini.
Although the role of RA is not all fun and games, the couple acknowledges that it is an incredible opportunity and they both enjoy working with each other. In addition to resident assistant duties, Salazar works at Jazzman’s on campus and Ahweza is a member of the cross country team.
Work, sports and RA duties can limit the time they spend together but the pair makes sure to see each other and whenever they can. Study dates, dinners together, visits at work or even WalMart runs can be a sweet and romantic break in the day. The 2011 Black and White Gala held at the lovely Woodcrest mansion was the scene of their first official Cabrini outing as a couple. Salazar recalls that her Cinderella night was their best date on campus. Her secret for being in a relationship is to be patient and honest with each other. Stressing the importance of valuing friendship above all, Salazar said, “Be open, you might be lucky enough to fall in love with your best friend.”