There are plenty of college comedies that poke fun at the floor R.A. They are portrayed as always ruining the fun and perhaps even being a bit of a tattletale. If this is true, why would anyone ever do it? Let's explore what an R.A., or a Resident Assistant, does and why it might be a great opportunity.
What is an R.A.?
In college residence halls, an R.A. is an upperclass student that lives on the floor and has a variety of responsibilities. While some may view this position as an annoyance, their goal is really to create a safe community on the floor. This can be done through a variety of ways some of which may be required by your school. As always, I know that each school is a little different and job requirements may fluctuate, however, I will speak about my experience in this position.
In my role, we had specific weekly, monthly, and yearly requirements. Every year, we would assist in opening and closing of the building for the school year and all breaks. We would also provide door tags for each resident at the beginning of the year. Monthly, we were required to put up at least one bulletin board and conduct at least one program. We also would attend a full staff inservice. Weekly, we would be assigned duty nights where we would do rounds in the build every couple hours to make sure rules were being followed and everyone was being safe and we had a few office hours scheduled during the day to help with visibility and administrative tasks. We also had one-on-one and staff meetings with our supervisor each week.
One of the most important parts of this position is to be available to assist your students. Those living in the halls can have any variety of concerns and you are a frontline resource to help them find the best way to get their answers. Just like the title says, you are there to assist everyone in having a great year!
Why should you consider becoming an R.A.?
First, R.A. looks great on a resume. It shows that not only did you complete your own college courses, but you were able to assisted others. You have a track record of being a responsible mentor. You have probably also mediated your fair share of roommate conflicts and developed excellent communication skills.
Next, the position can be quite lucrative. Compensation for this work varies from school to school. During my time working as an R.A., I received a double room to myself and a small monthly stipend. Just the savings on the room alone can be worth the work. Having that room to yourself is a great added bonus!
Finally, I really enjoyed the aspects of being an R.A. Creating fun and educational programs for the residents of my floor to enjoy was one of my favorite pastimes. I loved to plan the events and create invitations and marketing for them. It was always exciting to see my students building bonds and friendships throughout the year. Some of my residents were even inspired to become R.A.s themselves. I was able to head up the committee to recruit new R.A.s each year. I loved the quiet time in the buildings during openings and closings. The best part, however, was bonding with fellow staff members.
Are you attending college and looking for a great experience? Reach out to your R.A. to find out more!
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Rayna Moore -
© 2021 by Rayna Moore