Resident directors create space for community

Brent Brockmueller, as resident director, and several former students from Hesston College.

By Mackenzie Miller – Horizon News & Features Editor

There is no denying that Millennials like their technology.

But to say that technology makes them anti-social is not completely accurate.

At Hesston College, movies and TV shows seek to form community on a weekly basis.

Community with the Hesston College resident directors, that is.

For Brent Brockmueller, currently in his 10th year as resident director, technology is one way that provides space for students and faculty to interact.

“Movies have been a way for resident directors to connect to students,” Brockmueller notes. “It’s a different level of interaction. We want to come into your space.”

And so, these were the incentives for having set times to watch movies with students.

These movie nights began with students in 2005. Brockmueller had collected movies before coming to Hesston College and serving as a resident director. He even had a sign that said “Brockbuster”–a spin on Blockbuster.

In past years at movie night, Brockmueller set up lofts to fit more students into the space.

“My whole intention was to find something to get students into my space,” Brockmueller adds. “I think it made students feel comfortable.”

Freshman, Curtis Oesch, couldn’t agree more.

“It’s a convenient time when I can watch a good movie with people that I might not hang out with otherwise.”

But even beyond Tuesday movie night with Brent Brockmueller–aka “Dogg,” Marissa Hochstetler and Michael Oyer, two other resident directors, also use television to connect with students.

Whether it is sports in Michael’s apartment (Green Bay Packer fans preferred) or watching the ever so popular “Jane the Virgin” in Marissa’s apartment, these activities have just become another way to connect with students on campus.

“I appreciated how the issues being dealt with in the show brought about different topics of discussion that maybe wouldn’t have come up otherwise,” Hochstetler adds.

These times of discussion and building relationships recall fond memories for Brockmueller as he looks back on his time at Hesston College up until now.

“The students change, but the need for those relationships do not,” Brockmueller adds. “My favorite part is walking with students through difficult situations. When a student lets me in and shares with me, it is truly a special time for me.”

Just a few weeks ago, Brockmueller traveled out to Pennsylvania and visited with students from past years. These connections continue to mean a lot for Dogg and his wife, Angie. 

Hesston College and the resident director position, as Brockmueller can attest to, “allows us to be a part of students’ lives, instead of just a role.”

And so, from the final rose ceremony on The Bachelor to the triumph of Moana, TV shows and movies, whatever the genre, are providing a casual space for community.

Technology has its perks.

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