Even though I have never been a resident, nor have I ever spent a single night in Waterbury Residence Hall, “the Burr” will always and forever be near and dear to my heart.
Since my first days as a freshman, living in Johnson Hall, Waterbury became my second home. I met some of my closest friends who happened to live there and I fondly remember spending my weekends relaxing on the third floor and in the main lounge during my first year in Oswego. I found the general resident population of Waterbury to be friendly, funny and extremely interesting to be around.
At the time, I was an SOS Recycling Technician in Johnson Hall and in order to keep my job, during my sophomore year, I’d have to transfer my position to another residence hall. Even though I was set to live in Funnelle the following year, I decided to apply to Waterbury because of its close-knit community I was already accustomed with. I had an interview with former residence hall director Rochelle Perez and was accepted on the spot. I was so excited to transfer to “the Burr” for my sophomore year.
During the summer of 2011, I was readying myself for the year ahead, and to my surprise, Waterbury had a new hall director named Kevin Speer. Speer, who graduated from SUNY Brockport, was both nervous and excited to start this new chapter of his life as a leader and important member of the Oswego State community.
Starting from his first day on campus, he was immediately received positively by both the RA staff and the SOS staff. Kevin laid out his expectations clearly, followed through on promises without delay and just knew how to have fun in a professional, caring and safe setting. From the start, Kevin with his warm and welcoming presence seemed to fit perfectly into “the Burr” setting and he won his residents’ hearts almost instantly. Working for Kevin these past three years has been such a rewarding experience for me. I have the utmost respect for him, because not only is he an extremely dedicated and fair-minded leader, but the success of his work truly shows in the unique and animated community that is Waterbury. He, beyond a doubt, absolutely loves his job and that love for his residents is something to be admired.
Through the years of working at Waterbury, I have never been disappointed to walk through those front doors. From the residents, to the RAs, DAs, and my fellow RTs, “the Burr” family has always just been unconditionally welcoming.
Upon entering the building, one will always be greeted in a friendly manner. Whether it be a resident holding the door for you or it be the smile from the desk attendant on duty, it’s always a warm and hospitable atmosphere at “the Burr.”
If you visit, keep a look out for DA Malena Lloyd’s friendly face and her good sense of humor or DA Cassie Davis’s positive outlook on life; it seems to always last, even on her busiest days at the front desk. If you’re ever in need of a resident assistant’s advice or friendship, know that you can always count on RA Jess Griswold to be there for you. Waterbury’s Hall Council president, Rebecca Herwood is an absolutely hilarious person who can warm up a room with laughter instantaneously. Then of course there’s recycling technician Katie Petrella who is a genuine person and is always there for others. Waterbury’s staff is chock-full of positive characters that I am so blessed to know and work with.
In the beginning, I couldn’t understand how a residence hall could have such a great atmosphere and a perfect chemistry between staff and residents. Now I realize that Waterbury is so much more than dorms, residents and staff. It’s about a unique residence “Burr” family that in my opinion, exists like no other.
Still, even though I have never been a resident, I am so proud to be associated with such a lovely building and an authentic, unique resident community. Now going into my senior year, I know that I’ll look back on my life here at Oswego State and I’ll be proud to have been a member of this family and I will always have “Burr” pride in my heart.