The Residence Life Office at Ursinus College recently welcomed Michael Thompkins as a new Assistant Director, managing Main Street. Since July, Thompkins has been assisting and supervising the 15 resident advisors who oversee the 23 Ursinus-owned houses on Main Street.
Thompkins graduated from Towson University in 2014 and he feels like his alma mater is in some ways similar to Ursinus. Although the schools are vastly different from one another when it comes to the size of the student body — Towson has approximately 18,000 students while Ursinus is more in the range of 1,500 students — the passion and pride students feel towards their school are one and the same.
Thompkins explained that one reason why he likes Ursinus is because of “the pride that most students have about being a UC Bear.” Most students on campus are involved in a variety of activities and Thompkins feels like these organizations would not be the same without students being so involved.
Coming from a household in which he was an only child, Thompkins enjoys working in the Residence Life Office because he loves being around people. He enjoyed his college experience of living on campus with his friends, some of whom he even considered to be siblings.
Thompkins is responsible for the new “Main Street Mission.” This mission revolves around the idea of being a great neighbor, so that when you see someone while you are walking on Main Street, you feel comfortable saying “Hi” or offering a small smile. The purpose of the “Main Street Mission” is to make all the houses feel interconnected with one another.
Additionally, Thompkins believes that having someone to turn to when college becomes difficult is important. As Assistant Director of Main Street, Thompkins is not only able to work with resident advisors when they have issues with their residents, but is also able to assist students himself.
Thompkins compares the purpose of the Residence Life Office to bowling. When people bowl for the first time, they aren’t pros and will most likely need bum- pers. This same idea could apply to college students when they are making their first decisions living by themselves.
The Residence Life Office resembles the bumpers in bowling because it helps guide students through the changes and challenges they may face at college. Although not everyone needs the bumpers, Thompkins explains that the Residence Life Office is always there to encourage people and “help [them] stay on track while remembering their goals.”
Aside from his job on campus, Thompkins is still exploring Collegeville and is eager to learn more about the Ursinus community. So far, he enjoys going to the gym, eating pasta at Upper Wismer served by Chef David, and sitting on the lawn in front of the Berman Museum. His hobbies are traveling to new places and playing various instruments such as the saxophone, piano, and currently teaching himself how to play the guitar. He is excited to further learn about nearby sites off campus as he continues his journey at Ursinus.
Tune in for more news regarding the Residence Life Office such as the “Main Street Take- Over Week” and follow their Instagram page @ursinusreslife.