The Unmatched Commitment of a PA

Some people have an innate desire to serve their peers, through various ways. Nebraska Wesleyan University Centennial Hall Peer Assistant (PA) Ariel Dawdy is one of those people. When speaking with Dawdy, she referenced what her daily life and duties are in her unique position on campus.

In her second year as a junior at NWU, Dawdy’s commitment to her fellow students is unmatched. Her experience with the inner working of campus, especially as a student who has lived in the dorms, gives her a unique perspective and outlook on how she hopes the college experience will take form for younger students.

Making the decision to become a PA over the summer, Dawdy has remained committed to the work she is doing for newer students. “I wanted to help first-year students,” Dawdy stated.  She continued, “An advisor told me about the position [for PA] being open, and I went for it.”

Peer Assistants also help with the many activities going on in their corresponding residence halls, in addition to assisting first-year and other younger students, and she wanted to be involved in those activity positions, too.

The training process that Dawdy had to complete trained her for the nuances of the role.  She had to observe the students who had the position already and try to shadow them as closely as possible in multiple trials.  In addition, there were several interviews through which Dawdy had to go, asking the specifics of why she wanted the position and how she qualified.  To her, the biggest qualification, which she achieved, was academic excellence.  It is a major requirement of all Wesleyan PAs, and Dawdy paid attention to her GPA for it.

“It was all worth it,” she said in the end.

*If you’re interested in becoming a Peer Assistant, applications typically circulate during January. Keep an eye on your NWU email inbox for more information.