Alicia Lutes CLA – 2008
English Major, double minor in Writing & Arts Administration
Clubs/Activities/Sports on campus:
ResLife, WMNJ, finding dope parking behind W/H…that’s a sport, right?
What attracted you to Drew University?
I wanted a university that was small enough to make a difference at and be hands-on, but also close enough to NYC where I could get my internship on.
Why did you apply to be an RA?
Money was certainly a factor, but that wasn’t the main reason by a longshot. I was born to be an advice-doling grandma. I always wanted to work with first-years because it’s a weird/fun/exciting time in a person’s life. You get to be clumsy and awkward and stay up late and just generally discover a lot about yourself as a person. Being able to have an impact on that experience–either by giving advice, perspective, a shoulder to cry on, or a quick joke or two during a floor meeting, was a huge draw for me.
What is your favorite RA memory?
Working with the W/H staff my junior year was magical. I made lifelong friendships and had an amazing time with my residents–some of whom I still keep in touch with today. The RDs would probably tell you their highlight of my RA career were my epically-long & unnecessarily detailed incident reports (Give me a break! I’m a writer).
What was your favorite program you ever worked on?
I worked on a sort of fake-out program where the kids thought they were playing Mafia and then instead of being killed, they were infected with STDs. It was hilarious (and totally nerdy, which…of course it was), and everyone had fun. Goofy, silly, and sex: the tentpoles of college!
What did you learn from being an RA?
So much! I gained a ton of confidence from the RA job. I learned how to multitask like a boss, too!
What have you been up to post-graduation?
I moved to New York after graduation and worked at MTV for 3 years. From there, I went into digital marketing & PR, and did a lot of writing on the side. In April I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dream of writing on a sitcom, and got a gig as a staff writer for Hollywood.com where I gab mostly about movies, television and do the occasional interview with random celebrities. I work all the time, but its so much fun! My New England sensibilities were ill-prepared for this southern California way of life, but I am learning new things every day and appreciating the lack of humidity. Hopefully some day soon I’ll be able to say I make you all laugh on Thursday nights, but until then, this is pretty good, too.
What have you learned as an RA that you still use after you graduated?
Confidence! It gets you everywhere in life, and if you’re a kinda-nervous chubby neurotic like myself, it can be hard to attain. Being an RA showed me that none of that other stuff really mattered. Nothing worth having is easy, and being an RA helped me gain insight into myself that I needed to be as driven as I am. Being able to handle multiple situations is a godsend when you have five deadlines looming at once. Being a leader was huge; chalk all of that up to good ol’ ResLife, y’all.
Why would you encourage others to apply to be an RA?
To be a little Hallmarkian for a second: being an RA was probably the greatest experience I had in college. If you’re interested in it, DO IT. There’s SO much more to it than documenting people or enforcing rules—I can’t even tell you how small a part of the job that is. After you show people you’re just a normal human kid going to college that just happens to have their own room and knocks on doors in a funny way at certain hours, it’s a completely radical experience.
· Book: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
· Music: LCD Soundsystem
· Movie: Anything by Nora Ephron & Can’t Hardly Wait
· TV Show: THIS IS THE WORST QUESTION EVER! I have to go with a top smattering of shows: Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones.
· Snack Bar/Commons Food: Taco Day! Obviously.