After reading “Student Sees Lack of Assistance,” (Dec. 3) many thoughts came to mind. Who is the RA that prompted such an article? As a freshman, can the writer really have the insight to write such harsh things about the Residence Life program? After all, one bad experience surely cannot speak for the program as a whole. Furthermore, is this what people really think about RAs, or is this just the view of one person?
As a second-year Resident Advisor, I must say that I disagree wholeheartedly with the article. First of all, RAs do not make a lot of money. In fact, I have friends who work in the library who make more money than I do.
Secondly, the author wrote, “I was expecting to be working all day.” RAs are not expected to work all day. In fact, when we are not on duty we are obligated to report any incidents to the RA on duty, but we do not need to respond to it ourselves. Do we though? Most of the time, yes. It is important to remember, however, that we are students first and foremost. We go to class and do homework. We are involved with clubs and have friends that we hang out with.
I am not saying that RAs are perfect, and just as in any job, I’m sure there are those who are not living up to the expectations of their Residence Directors (RD). This is why we go through evaluations and have one-on-one meetings with our RDs in addition to our regular staff meetings. If a resident thinks that an RA is not behaving properly or has not been supportive of his or her residents, I would advise that resident to speak with the RA personally or contact the RD.
Please remember that RAs do much more than meets the eye. We make door decorations and bulletin boards, host programs every month, hang back after everyone leaves to close the buildings and come back early to go through training (every semester) and open the buildings. I have, on more than one occasion, been awake from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. working on an incident. And trust me, we fill out so much paperwork it’s not even funny. It isn’t easy to gain the respect of your peers, but we try the best that we can.
I don’t want anyone to think that just because it may seem like one RA is not living up to one student’s expectations that all of Residence Life is like that. Again, if you have a problem, talk to your RA or RD.
– Amber Currie
Class of 2011