Who or what are Resident Assistants? While you’ll definitely meet them during move-in day, we want to give you some insight so that you know what to expect ahead of time. The main role of a Resident Assistant (or RA for short) is to build a residential community. This primary objective is achieved as a culmination of the many different parts that an RA must play. Some common responsibilities of an RA include: programming, acting as a mentor for students, being a familiar first resource for students with academic or institutional questions, and enforcing residence policies. RAs also assist residents with problem solving or refer them to counseling resources if necessary.
I was an RA for three glorious years. One of those years, my residence hall won “Hall of the Year” because we were simply that awesome. Don’t be afraid to utilize your RA, and remember – they were hired because they’re able to help and also because they have a keen sense of community building and inclusivity.
Many students who do become an RA were heavily influenced by their own RA. Personally, I became one because not only was my RA a great person, he was a great friend, too. He kindly took time out of his busy schedule to help me with questions I had. Considering how immensely social I am and how much I enjoy helping others, applying to be an RA was truly a no brainer.
At the end of the day, try to remember that just like you, they are students too. So, there will be days, like finals week, where you might not see them because RAs do have to maintain a certain GPA in order to keep the job.
Don’t be intimidated to speak to your RA and definitely be ready for the warm welcomes to come this fall semester.