By, Koby Heramil
Resident Assistants (RA) occupy the student housing buildings on campus. Some individuals have their own opinions about RAs, whether them being friends or enemies sent to write up people.
“I say that a lot of people are uninformed of what exactly RA’s do and have misperceived thoughts that RA’s are not our friends and are only there to bust people,” said Valeria Delgado, RA of building 2.
On the contrary some residents feel differently. “I guess some RAs are necessary. Some of them are pretty cool; they let you get away with more stuff. Others are ridiculous; they’re stricter on the guidelines so they crack down harder,” said Duncan Stickle.
“Residents usually think that RAs are out there to get them in trouble. They see us almost like cops, except without guns,” said Lorena Delgado, RA for building 4.
Residents have their perceptions about RAs. Some of which are: what exactly do RAs do? And do some of them even do their job?
“We are here to help build up a community, create education and fun programs for the residents. We are also here to help them resolve major conflict and preserve a safer area so that residents can live in a peaceful community,” said Lorena Delgado, RA for building 4.
RAs are asked for their preference on which building they would like to occupy; however, it is based upon the director’s decision of where exactly that person will be placed. They look into where they feel that person will be most successful and most beneficial for the residents they will be serving.
“I say forty percent of RAs do their job,” said Carly Gulberg
The misconceptions about RAs are mostly misunderstood. Residents may or may not be aware of what exactly RAs do and how they can actually benefit from them.
“They [RAs] build community in their halls through decorating, planning events, acknowledging residents, letting them know about the campus, answering their questions, dealing with their complaints/housing requests, checking them in/out, resolving conflicts, letting them in when they’re locked out and enforcing policy and safety,” said Jason Kamura, RA of building 6.
Even RAs have their concerns and worries; they also enjoy certain parts of their job. “The easiest part of my job and the most fun is coming up with programs for my residents! I love getting to know them hanging out and doing the best I can to be there for them. I wouldn’t say it’s the hardest part but definitely a challenging part of the job is having to wake up at 2am or later to run to calls and having to bust your own residents for breaking policies,” said Valeria Delgado.
Despite the true or false beliefs about RAs there are those who are considering in becoming an RA. But the concerns about their work interfering with school and social life are prevalent.
“Yes, it can interfere if you are not careful in maintaining an organized schedule and managing your time. You have to make commitments to Housing much sooner than when you know if you have things going on. So you have to take risks and try to think ahead in case what you plan to do, as an RA will conflict with something that shows up later. I keep a planner, and without that I’m dead. But I love the challenge of trying to balance everything in my life. I think I do it well,” said Kamura.
Being an RA comes with its perks. They receive free room and board along with a $100 quarterly stipend.
“Being an RA is not for everyone, and when I see a resident or student that seems to have the capabilities of becoming an RA, all I do is ask them “have you ever thought of being an RA next year?” Along with an explanation of what an RA is motivation takes place. Because there are a lot of students who have the capabilities but don’t realize that they do, and with a little motivation, their mind can change and give that attempt to at least apply,” said Lorena Delgado.
No matter the differences you have a choice to experience something for yourself and in return build on skills that you probably didn’t know you were capable of. You will have an opportunity to establish friendships and break the stereotype of a friend of faux.
“I would encourage students to definitely apply! This is one of the best experiences you will have as far as college goes. You get the opportunity of impacting students and somewhat influencing them on which direction they should go. You learn SO much about who you are as an individual and others. It helps you grow leadership skills, communication skills, networking skills and many others to gain characteristics you might not even know you had. Another plus is that it looks amazing on a RESUME! Its an awesome experience and so much FUN and definitely worth every bit of my time!” said Valeria Delgado.