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You are the voice. We are the echo.
The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Monday, May 20, 2024
The Echo

Sammy and Wengatz hall directors recount residence life

WTUR: Record-breaking show

The WTUR Radio Station notoriously projects a variety of different perspectives and experiences from student life. However, its recording studio was recently met with two new hosts that did not fit under its usual umbrella of students, but instead, their hall directors. 

Starting with an inclination to fulfill an old dream of creating a radio show, hall director of Samuel Morris Hall, Josiah Peterson, and hall director of Wengatz Hall, Jacob Gerding, took their friendship and shared experience to the next level. 

With an urge to provide a glimpse into the unspoken realities of their job, the two banded together to formulate the show “RHD: a Phenomenological Study of Residence Hall Directors.” 

Despite their persistent motivation, the hosts were unsure at first if they would be able to shed light on their perspective because they did not match up to the typical typography of the radio station as a current student. However, this new addition was welcomed by the eager ears behind the radio station. 

WTUR staff member, junior Kaylee Bornhofer, found interest in this new phenomenon as the radio show suddenly wasn’t the only voice that produced a new sound to the ears of the Taylor community. 

“What I think is so interesting about their show is that we've never had hall directors have a combined show on the station,” Bornhofer said. “What we really like is for people to have their own unique shows and voices being heard. We've just never had a school perspective from hall directors beyond the station. It’ll be really interesting to see what they can bring to the table.”

The station has had two broadcasts of the show so far, debriefing the ins and outs of not just being a hall director, but the directors behind the vibrant cultures of Sammy and Wengatz. 

“You would not believe the amount of times that we’ve heard ‘what do you do for your job,’ because they just don’t know,” Peterson said. “So I think the beginning episodes are just kind of contextual. Like why are we here? What do our jobs actually look like? And then as we go forward, I think we might also use it as a way for us to kind of debrief our experiences.”

While they entertained the possibility of featuring guest speakers who double as hall directors of other universities, the duo could not dismiss the duality of the unique atmosphere undermining their job.

“I think that the culture will definitely come out,” Peterson said. “But I also think it's just that we have very similar jobs that are done very differently because of the places that we lead over and our differing gifts. It’s almost like being a teacher. They're teaching the same things, but the teacher in the class is going to do it differently. I think it's based on the needs of students, but also our giftings and specialties.”

Amidst the contextualization and actualization behind the job, the show is ultimately able to  shed a light onto the deeper aspects within the exclusive experience.

“It's so significant to be able to walk with students along with their experience in life,” Gerding said. “They're learning, questioning, and sometimes struggling. They're at the highest highs and the lowest lows and everywhere in between. I'll take all the really difficult things and all the parts that don't necessarily fit into the job description if it means I get to continue to do and see those relationships grow.”

To take a further glimpse at this newfound perspective and development, the show can be listened to every Friday at 3pm.