Story by Andrea Valadez-Angulo
North Quad residents of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) have welcomed a new Residential Life Coordinator (RLC) for the remainder of the 2022-23 school year.
Patterson Emesibe is currently working toward graduating with a master of social work while balancing his new position as RLC for residents of Pinnacles and Strawberry (1st and 3rd floor) Apartments.
“I’ve been slowly warming up to the community,” said Emesibe, who started his career with CSUMB housing as a student employee. “I’m just trying to make myself more visible… to be more involved in the community.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Emesibe had big plans to move to South America and work in a coffee shop while learning Spanish. His ultimate goal was to move to New York and work toward making the world a better place for everyone.
While his plans have been put on the back burner, “I don’t want to put any expectations on anything.
“I will remain in housing after I graduate, but I’ll still be open to researching what out there will fill my cups.”
Emesibe currently supervises a group of 10 Resident Advisors (RAs). As an RLC, “my first role is to take care of the RAs,” so that the RAs, in turn, can care for and advise their residents. It is also essential for Emesibe to be actively engaged within the CSUMB community, he says.
“I’ve tried to go to volleyball and basketball games,” he said. “… getting the crowd hyped and bringing in that energy.”
This engagement with students is vital, as Emesibe believes that “it’s easier to be in a safe space with someone you know… and have shared a few laughs with.”
As a representative of CSUMB housing, Emesibe also wants students to know that “housing is not always punitive,” especially when it comes to violations of community standards. “I know receiving a community standard meeting email can be stress-provoking and bring up negative thoughts, but I want to reassure (students) the conduct process is meant to be fair and facilitate a supportive learning community.”
While the primary duties of his job are to guide RAs and handle matters associated with community standards, Emesibe also aims to be “a positive presence in the community” and has lots of advice for students that he’s learned during his 14 years of living in the Monterey Bay area.
“The friends you make will be the things you do,” said Emesibe.
Surrounding yourself with the right people is a point that Emesibe really wants students to take into consideration when being social. “You need friends who go study in the library, but you also need friends who go out and have fun because if you do too much of one thing, it’s not going to fill up your whole experience.”
Emesibe also appreciates CSUMB’s social culture, “because we’re not a traditional party school, you’ll party just enough to have fun and still have enough energy to finish all your homework and get things done.”
Outside of being social, Emesibe also believes that being actively involved with CSUMB is crucial for a student’s future success.
“Get involved as a student leader… once faculty know who you are, it’s easier to obtain leadership development and experience… If you don’t have any extracurricular or student leadership activities on your resume, you may be behind.”
Even if a student may not be interested in anything specific, finding “a leadership experience that relates to what you’re gonna do in the future” will help students relate their experiences to a job they may be competing for in the years to come.
Emesibe also recommends students check out the Otter Outfitter program that runs through the Otter Alumni Center. This program provides students and alumni with free professional attire for interviews. Students should “check it out once a semester and add it to their wardrobe and over time as they build their wardrobe, they can give those items to someone else.”
When it comes to on-campus issues, Emesibe wants his residents to know that “If [they] come and talk to us, they will see more action … Students should know every campus is student-led and student-run and they have more power than they think they do.”
As a former foster youth, Emesibe understands the power that comes with forming one-on- one connections. Because of this, his door is always open for students to go and talk about what is on their minds.
“If you come into my office in [Pinnacles] 102, I’m down to have a conversation about anything, whether it be deep, about trauma, about whatever.”