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Putting marriage to the test: Dorm room honeymoon

Residence Hall Director, Katie Kramer, lives in the dorms with her husband. Credit: Samantha Sanchez DOMINICAN STAR

By: Katelyn BoehmkeContributing Reporter

Living on a college campus seems like the ideal arrangement for a college student, but what about for a married woman? Katie Kramer, a staff member at Dominican, has been living on campus with her husband for almost three years.

Kramer is a familiar face around Dominican’s campus. She is not only the Residence Hall Director, but she also teaches a sophomore seminar class.

“When I was interviewed here, everyone seemed to love it here and they seemed fun,” Kramer said. “Working here also provided me with the opportunity to work in other departments on campus.”

Taking the job as residence hall director meant that Kramer, and her husband, would have to pack their bags and move onto a college campus.

Resident hall directors are required to live on campus as part of a crises response.

“It is important for me to be here in case a student needs something, or if someone gets hurt or needs help in the middle of the night, they can easily reach me,” Kramer said.

Kramer said the most difficult part of her job has to do with helping students deal with roommate issues.

“I know there are students having trouble with roommates, and I want to help them as much as I can, but I also want them to be able to figure the situation out for themselves,” Kramer said.

Kramer can relate to the roommate issues because she also has to deal with them personally. However, her roommate is someone with whom she chose to spend her life.

“Katie and her husband living on campus is typical for someone with an entry-level position in Residence Life,” Megan Royster, a graduate Residence Life Coodinator who works with Kramer, said. “Everyone who works as a Hall Director lives on campus.”

Kramer and her husband live on the first floor of Centennial. Their room is more like an apartment and less like a dorm room. Kramer was able to paint the walls and make her space more “homey.”

“It’s a tight space, and I couldn’t imagine sharing it with someone that I didn’t get along with,” Kramer said. “It makes me glad that I love the person who I married.”

The “apartment” that Katie and her husband live in comes with its own bathroom and kitchen; however, they have to do their laundry in the “common space,” along with other residents.

“Living in an apartment on campus takes away a certain level of privacy, especially when Katie and her husband have to walk through the commons just to get into their home,” Royster said.

Kramer also has a meal plan just like all the other residents, but she doesn’t eat on campus very often.

“I usually just eat lunch on campus, but most of the time my husband and I will go out to eat or cook dinner,” Kramer said.

Although Katie likes her living situation, she said it is nice to visit real homes once in a while.

“We have some friends that live in the area, and when they want to get together, I tell them that we will come to their place,” Kramer said.

This is one of the busiest times of the year for Kramer because residence hall selection took place the week of March 28. There are approximately 625 students living in the five residence halls on the two campuses. Kramer had to make sure that all of the residents have a place to stay for the upcoming school year, and that the selection process ran smoothly.

According to Kramer, it’s hard for many people to realize that what she does is a job. One thing she wants people to know is that being a residence hall director is a good opportunity for someone who wants to work at a college or university. Kramer also said that she doesn’t have to pay rent, which is another perk to her job.

Kramer studied philosophy at Centre College in Kentucky and received her master’s in social science. At the time, she thought about going into counseling.  However, she was also an RA and hall director in college and that was something that always interested her.

“I really like working at a college and getting to know students and helping them through the college process,” Kramer said.

Besides helping students with residence life questions, Kramer also works on various projects like hiring new staff for the office, supervising residence assistants, overseeing Coughlin and Centennial (two of the five residence halls), communicating with maintenance staff, and supervising the graduate students who work in the residence life offices.

“Katie is a cheerful, professional, flexible, patient, and understanding person,” Royster said.

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