Freshmen often gather outside Trinity Hall to engage in community and fellowship.
Photo by Jamie Garcia

Living life at Azusa Pacific looks different for each student but what remains the same is the exposure to the focus on community.

Community is one of APU’s four cornerstones, and its importance is communicated
through campus events and echoed in the mouths of admissions counselors. But sometimes the community aspect can be
forgotten in the face of busy schedules and hectic social calendars.

Sophomore business major Amber Hofland said she loved the community in the dorms last year and described her resident advisers as “very intentional.”

“They tried their best to place you with people you would have things in common with and the RAs were incredibly focused on getting you involved, doing fun events, and helping you make friends and memories with the people on your hall,” she said.

Hofland said it’s harder to keep up community after freshman year, but the best way to do it is to be intentional.

“Introduce yourself to your neighbors and bring them cookies. Cookies will never fail you,” she said. One of my friends said that the dorms were the best experience he never wants to do again.”

Although Hofland said APU does an excellent job fostering community, sometimes non-freshmen need more than just an encouraging and passionate RA.

“For returning students, I think it comes down to the bigger events that foster community as a whole, rather than the individual wing events,” she said.

Senior biblical studies major Ian Liardon decided to become a resident adviser because of his relationship with his RA freshman year and his unforgettable experience in the dorms. Liardon was an RA in the mods last year and is now one in Alosta Place.

“As an RA, it is a little more difficult to foster community in Alosta Place, as opposed to the mods, where everyone is relatively close to each other,” he said.

Liardon said that living in Alosta Place requires residents to be more intentional and that “life gets a little more real” as students move through different living areas.

‘It is ultimately up to each individual resident to also cultivate their own community. You will get out of it what you want to put into it,” he said. “The residents have to take it upon themselves more to cultivate their own community, which can either be really great or not so great.”

Liardon said students run the risk of becoming desensitized to what “community” really means.

“It’s a word that is thrown around so much that eventually we stop thinking about what it actually means. We do it, but we don’t think about what we’re doing,” Liardon said. “Community is not only important to APU but I would say to every college experience.”