Being a cheerleader, supporter and hugger for young women at Helaman Halls has been the job of the David John Hall adviser for 15 years.
Adviser Claudia Vance, from Pocatello, Idaho, said, “I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing with my life right now.”
Vance decided to apply for the job as hall adviser when the last of her children had married. She said all of the schooling and experiences in her life have prepared her to come to BYU to be a hall adviser.
Vance graduated from BYU with a double major in speech and interpersonal communications and a minor in drama. Last year Vance and her daughter wrote a melodrama, and the women in the hall performed it.
Activities are abundant in Vance’s hall. Each year her hall holds a women’s weekend, where mothers and sisters of the residents are invited to stay in the hall. The weekend consists of workshops and guest speakers like Janice Kapp Perry, John Bytheway and John H. Groberg.
Vance sees the women’s weekend as a rite of passage into college life for the young women. She started the weekend when students complained their parents didn’t see the changes that had taken place in them at school. This year’s weekend will be at the beginning of March.
Vance said the activities give the young women experience at being leaders. “This is a part of their schooling as much as anything else,” she said.
Amy Gillins, a senior from Kirkland, Wash., majoring in early childhood education, was a resident assistant at John Hall from 1994 to 1995 when the theme of the women’s weekend was “Know Ye Not That Ye Are A Temple of God.”
Gillins said the weekend helped the residents to unify and get to know each other. “The theme helped us become more spiritually aware and set goals,” she said.
Kimberlee Cluff, a sophomore from Mesa, Ariz., majoring in history, is a resident assistant at John Hall and says she goes to Vance for advice. “She knows what she’s doing, and she loves her job,” Cluff said.
Vance tries to provide an atmosphere that helps everyone have a good experience in the residence halls. “The girls are always coming and asking me how to do this, or the other,” she said.
“They need to have some kind of support,” she said, “because sometimes this is their first time away from home.”
Photo courtesy of Amy Gillins
STAFF ORIENTATION: The David John Hall staff gets acquainted during the Fall 1994 RA orientation week. From left: Amy Gillins, Erika Maughan, Candice Gillilan, adviser Claudia Vance, Tiffany Snowder, Alissa Frank and Dawn Chadwell.