“It’s pretty sweet,” said sophomore Kim Freeman during a Knox-weekend event hosted at Huff Center last semester. “I will definitely come back if SODA hosts another party like this!”Freeman and her friends can thank Derek Keist and Derek Huff for the event. The two Head Residents created SODA—Students Organized for Drinking Alternatives—two years ago to provide free campus fun for everyone. This type of collaboration is what Keist loved on the Residence Life staff. “My favorite interaction with my staff is when we work together on programs,” he used to say. Keist was a Resident Assistant before becoming Cleland Hall’s Head Resident. He said he took the job “because it helped test and improve my leadership and organization skills.”
A senior, Keist was a Features Editor for The Courier in addition to his role in SODA. “Being a part of Residence Life helps me succeed in these positions because I know how to handle deadlines and responsibility,” he said.