Myrinda Grantham is a familiar face to most: She is the Griesedieck residence hall coordinator and a Safezone coordinator in the Cross Cultural Center.
This is Grantham’s third academic year at Saint Louis University as a residence hall coordinator. As a hall coordinator, Grantham spends a great deal of time interacting with students and parents, as well as working with SLU committees across campus.
Grantham is not originally from the St. Louis area; she is from Mississippi. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Mississippi and her graduate degree from the University of Louisville. Her first position as a hall coordinator was at a small college in Atlanta, Georgia. She made her way to St. Louis after her partner was promoted to a position in the area.
SLU has been quite the change for Grantham. Her previous position as a hall coordinator involved coordinating a building of around 300 students, much less than Griesedieck’s population of around 900 students.
“It is a good experience to run a building that is essentially the size of a small town,” Grantham said.
When Grantham is not on duty as a residence hall coordinator, she serves as a Safezone coordinator in the Cross Cultural Center. Safezone is an education and awareness program for LGBT issues. The program consists of a three-hour training session and set curriculum.
“It has been really beneficial for the SLU community,” Grantham said of the program. “It is very important to have that support.”
There is a separate instruction for students and staff. There are a few training sessions with students facilitators present each semester, and specialized trainings for SLU organizations and departments will soon be offered.
After students complete the Safezone training, they sign a pledge to be an advocate for the LGBT community and receive a placard.
“With the Safezone symbols at SLU, there has been a definite shift on campus,” Grantham said. “People are talking about [LGBT issues].”
Thus far, Grantham has enjoyed her time as a Billiken. She enjoys the fast-paced lifestyle of a residence hall coordinator.
“The students really like to be here and are interesting,” she said. “I am always learning something new and this position keeps me busy…in a good way.”
With every position come challenges, however. Grantham said the emotional aspect of the position is what challenges her most.
Grantham said she tends to empathize with people, which can become a challenge, especially when helping students through hard times, such as a death in the family or a trip to the hospital.
Grantham was a bit hesitant to reveal her favorite hobby: eating.
“I am trying to cook more and better food,” she said.
She enjoys trying different restaurants around town and is currently learning computer programming. Another one of Grantham’s talents is her ability to teach herself how to do certain tasks via YouTube, such as learning recipes, knitting, crocheting or even fixing a computer. She is also double-jointed.