Meet ‘Boss’ Resident Assistant: Dionté Williams


Torch Photo/Alex Yem

Dionte Williams is the Vice President of Activities for Haraya and a publicity intern at Roc Nation.

Crystal Simmons, Staff Writer

For many student leaders, there is a constant struggle of having to balance their campus responsibilities and their lives outside of school. However, one couldn’t use the term “boss” without mastering the art of balance. Dionté Williams, known for his sense of style and his vibrant personality, is a Resident Assistant to students in Century Hall.

On top of being a boss RA, he is a mentor, Vice President of Activities for Haraya and a Publicity Intern for the full-service entertainment company, Roc Nation.

Originally from Massachusetts and grown up in Atlanta, Williams came to New York knowing that he had a passion to work in the entertainment industry. As a senior public relations major, he has developed an appreciation for his decision to pursue his dreams at St. John’s University.

“I just wanted to get away and kind of find myself, and just really dive into what makes me happy as an individual,” Williams said. He believes his genuine connection to New York City is due to potentially being a resident in a past life.

Williams mentioned that even before his college career he was always considered a leader, but it has taken on a different form since  he has progressed at St. John’s. “I feel like leadership is something that you’re born with, but also something that can be acquired. [And] I feel like it is something that has always naturally been within me,” he said.

Williams mentioned that he was not always allowed to let his leadership show, but at St. John’s he has used his experiences to lead by example.

After facing many obstacles during his freshman year, he became an Orientation Leader. Through that experience, he started to develop relationships with his students and became a mentor that they could look up to. “I knew being an OL, I would be able to be my authentic self and help those that contiguously sought it,” Williams said.

One of Williams’ residents and also his mentee, sophomore student Alexa Williams, says that meeting him was one of the best things that has happened to her.

“Dionte was my OL and during that 2 day experience, he made me comfortable and acclimated to St. John’s,” she said. “However it went beyond that because even though orientation was 2 days, we bonded and formed a what I think will be a lifelong relationship. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have grown as much as a person. He wants the best for me and I appreciate him so much.”

Aside from his mentorship, he plans and coordinates activities for Haraya, the Pan-African Students Coalition, while he pursues a career within the entertainment industry.

As a Publicity Intern at Roc Nation, Williams’s alarms are going off between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., signaling the start of what could be a “chill” day or a rather hectic one. On a typical morning, he’ll play his music to set the tone for the day.

Depending on how Williams feels, some days the mood can range from Mariah Carey to Future or Beyoncé.

His outfit also depends on the day’s events. “I always try to be fashion forward in some sense,” he said. He is not one to be concerned about trends, though, stating that if it looks good to him, he’s content. “If I know I’m going to be in a professional setting or going to be an important day I [kind of] dress it up a little bit or make sure my makeup is more put together and has more detail.”

After mirroring his “look” for the day that he expects to have, Williams makes it a point to arrive an hour early to the midtown headquarters. By 9 a.m., he has already checked his social media and had a good laugh to set his spirits in the right direction to contribute to the Roc Nation team.

While he says that this internship has been a career defining moment for him, another key experience was his opportunity to be a style assistant for award winning rapper, Cardi B.

“Personally that was just a moment for me because that was someone I remember in high school. Being able to pick out not one, not two, but three dresses for her… I was able to be at the set to observe and learn.”

His fond memory of this experience and her later recognizing him at a club was a life changing experience. “That was a moment not only because it was Cardi but because it let me know that as a black male in the LGBTQ+ community, that my dreams are possible,” he said.

In between his various leadership roles, he sets time aside for self-care. “A lot of people don’t know this, but I love to write poetry, songs, raps — [like] I have bars,” Williams said. “It all stems from my love of poetry. I love to write because I feel like a lot of times writing helps me process my feelings and writing helps me release it and helps me understand why I feel the way I do.”

A key piece of advice he gives to those on their leadership journey is to remain true to who they are as individuals. “Different leaders bring different depths and perspectives to things. Every leader isn’t the same, and that’s a good thing.”