From saving lives to swiping I.D. cards, Brian Lanigan finds a way to fit it all into his hectic schedule.
Brian Lanigan, a junior communication and media arts major at Montclair State, is a resident assistant in Freeman Hall as well as an EMT on campus. Along with both of those positions, he is also a fraternity brother in Alpha Chi Rho, a member of Team Rocky, a Peak Performances Ambassador, an assistant DJ at the university radio station, a member of S.L.A.M. and recently joined the Alliance in Media Society.
Scrolling through his color-coordinated, crowded and overlapping Google Calendar, Lanigan explained how much he enjoys being involved on campus.
This is Lanigan’s first year as an RA. “I was an Service Assitant last year and I liked seeing what the RAs did,” he said. “I really liked the idea of creating your own bulletin board, really interacting with residents and students, and just having that sense of leadership and being that resource for people to rely on.”
His love for helping people was one of the main reasons he decided to be an EMT on campus.
“I wasn’t really into the whole blood and guts thing originally, needles are actually my biggest phobia, [but] I’m big on facing your fears and addressing them,” he said, which was another reason he decided to become an EMT.
“It’s a very good leadership position,” he said. “I like just knowing that you have that leadership position and knowing you could potentially save someone’s life at any given place.”
Lanigan recalled an experience he had when he had to save his own fraternity brother who was having an allergic reaction to peanuts.
Both of Lanigan’s campus positions involve being there for people, which is something that he is passionate about. His heavy involvement on campus is what helps him help others a lot.
“Being involved on campus helps because you know the resources and where to point people if they are lost or don’t know exactly what to do in a situation,” he said.
Somehow, Lanigan still manages to do well in school, as well as have a social life. “I have to be able to have a social life,” he said. “Academics are first though.”
Lanigan looks at his weekdays as work days and takes the weekends to “pump out work for school.” The busy student is thankful for Google Calendar, and takes the time to schedule everything out so he can manage to do everything that he wants or needs to do.
As an RA his responsibilities include addressing the needs of his residents and maintaining a happy and inclusive environment for everyone to be a part of. Lanigan takes on two front desk shifts per week, as well as several nights of RA duty. As an RA, he is also responsible for keeping the building safe and running smoothly.
Safety is a responsibility that also comes with being an EMT. In order to be able to save lives, Lanigan had to go through CPR training and go to EMT school where he learned several life-saving techniques.
“You get to make a difference,” he said. “You don’t always get the gratitude though.”
Lanigan said that most of the gratitude received is within his co-workers, in both positions, which is very helpful. “We all support one another and if we’re down we talk about it and see how each other are doing,” he said.
“We don’t get a lot of gratitude from people we work with, like our patients,” he said on being an EMT. “They’re not always going to praise us, but in the back of our minds we know that we did a good thing and hope that in the long run they will remember us and be like ‘yeah those people saved me.’”
He concluded, “You can’t always look for it. It’s a thankless job.” Despite this, it’s still worth it for Lanigan knowing that he is making an impact on people’s lives.