By Margaret Clark, for The Miami Student
Sam Nissen’s room is covered in posters of TV shows and Disney movies.
She sits back on her bed, crisscross applesauce style. Everything about Sam is relaxed and friendly.
A V-neck t-shirt, jeans, square glasses, and an easy smile all make those around her feel comfortable. She wears a turquoise bow on the back of her head, a bit of sweetness.
She is a junior RA in a freshman dorm, but Sam is in her element. She’s as easygoing in the hallways as she is sitting here, among her favorite stories.
“It’s kind of freed me. I feel more confident just being me, because being an RA has already knocked you off the cool scale.”
Behind her bed, Anna and Elsa ice skate on one poster as the members of “Friends” look down from their spot on the opposite wall.
“It gives you a little power too, because it asks you to assert yourself,” she said.
She often tells her residents to be quiet, something she’d never have done before.
She and the other RAs call themselves the Scott Squad. It’s a tight-knit group, willing to break into “1-2-3, Scott Squat!” on command.
Her residents’ rooms are fairy tale themed too. Across the hall, a group of girls yell out as Sam walks by.
“Who is that?”
“It’s Sam. Hi guys!”
“Awww, hi Sam!”
She stops to talk to the girls, happy to chat.
“You’re supposed to have a caring attitude,” she said. “We were trained and practiced for it. That’s helped me to be more caring, ask more questions, talk to more people off duty too.”
Fifteen percent of her job is erasing inappropriate drawings from people’s whiteboards, but Sam is used to it.
These winding green hallways are the Scott Squad’s dominion.
At least for the semester, Sam has found a happy ending in an unlikely place.