Resident Assistants are Always Ready to Help
As the summer came to a close, the campus student athletes and student leaders began arriving on campus.But there was another organization that was here to make sure that student residents were all set to move in, get comfortable and get the year going.
This year a total of 120 students will be serving as resident assistants (RAs) in the 21 dorms across campus. During the week of Aug. 24, RAs attended a week-long training session to prepare for students to arrive.
The training covered a range of different topics including conflict resolution, campus safety and campus health. The RAs also became CPR certified during the week.
“Through the training I learned how serious our jobs are,” stated Jason Roberts, a sophomore political science major who will be a RA in Harkness Hall. “There is a lot of responsibility to go along with the title especially in the freshman dorms.”
For new RAs like Roberts the training also helped define their role as an RA.
“ I learned that there is a thin line between being too friendly and losing the role of an authority figure,” stated Tishera Foxworth, a sophomore accounting major.
This year Foxworth will be a RA in Moton Hall making it the second year she stays in the dorm. “As a freshman I learned a lot about what is tolerated at Moton. I know a lot about the dorm so I feel really comfortable being here.”
For many freshman and transfer students the transition to new campuses and new dorms is not always easy. RAs recognize the need to be present as counselors and provide much needed support to their residents.
“My freshman year was difficult,” stated Robin Martin, a sophomore communicative science and disorders major who will be a RA in Moton Hall.“I got lost a lot and I had a hard time learning the ins and outs of the university. I became a RA so that I could be there for someone in that same situation.”
The RAs in each resident hall are responsible for creating programs to educate, inform and entertain the residents in their dorms.According to Victoria Harris, assistant to the dean of women, the programs can vary from movie nights to programs about sewing and cooking. Throughout the year some of the dorms have joint programs as well.
The training ended with a talent show and dinner, allowing the RAs to get excited about the upcoming school year.
“I really wanted to give the young men the same opportunity I had last year,” stated Roberts. “This is a great chance for me to motivate others and help them stay focused on school.”