What It Takes to be a Tiger: Making Connections Through Community


Photos courtesy Taylor Axtell

It can be said that some of the most crucial jobs on campus are the residential housing community assistants. From keeping residents safe to finding new ways for students to get involved on campus, community assistant Taylor Axtell goes in-depth on not only what it means to be a Tiger, but also what it means to work in residential life. 


“My only and current job is a Community Assistant in Victor E. Village. It has been a great experience so far,” Axtell said. “My duties include completing rounds, record keeping, and ensuring the safety and well-being of residents.”

Axtell, a junior at Fort Hays also keeps busy with her major in English Education as well as being a community assistant. She finds that she is most passionate about literature and wants to eventually pursue a career in teaching literature. 

“One thing that I enjoy and am passionate about is literature. My degree is English Education, and I can’t wait to teach about literature. On top of this, I hope to write successful published works in my future years,” she said. 

Being a CA is definitely no easy task. Axtell states that while her job keeps her busy, it has also allowed for her to foster new connections with her residents and coworkers, and has also strengthened her skillset. 

“When I decided to become a CA, I knew it would be a big change. This job has taught me so many important skills in such a short amount of time. Along with many others, I have grown my leadership, time management, and communication skills,” Axtell said. “On top of this, I have met coworkers and residents who have positively affected my life with friendship, and I hope I have done the same. It is easy to say that my favorite part of being a CA is the connections I’ve made with the people I live with.”

One of her coworkers who has witnessed Axtell develop these skills firsthand is CA Audrey Smith. Smith and Axtell are both CAs in Victor E. Village.

“I love working with her. She always brings a lot of energy into the room and she is super nice and caring, and just a really good person to get along with,” Smith said. 

As far as the rest of the year goes, Axtell’s main goal is to apply for the National Student Exchange program to gain more experience in the world. 

“Before the end of this year, I would like to apply for Fort Hays State University’s National Student Exchange program. I’d love to have the opportunity to gain more world experience through this program,” she said. “After I graduate from FHSU, I would like to be remembered as someone who was kind and always worked hard towards my goals.”

For Axtell, to be a Tiger is to be someone who is not only a hard worker but someone who is a well-rounded individual. Axtell believes someone who is a Tiger demonstrates the TIGER traits they are taught as a Community Assistant. 

“As a Community Assistant, we work to introduce our residents to the ‘TIGER’ traits encompassed in this acronym: Thoughtful, Introspective, Guiding, Engaged, Respectful, and Successful. Possessing these qualities is what it means to be a Tiger,” Axtell said. 

For more What It Takes To Be a Tiger, stay tuned to TMN. 

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