Residential assistants here at Radford perform various duties throughout their assigned residence hall in order to lead their fellow students in the right direction, and make their living experience on campus as pleasurable and safe as possible.
RA’s put a lot of time and effort into their job. Whether it’s something significant such as planning a mandatory hall meeting or something with a much more relaxed atmosphere, like hosting a Super Bowl party in the lounge, RAs typically plan out their agenda after taking into account all of the possible consequences. After all, as the leader of the hall, they are held to a much higher standard than the average student.
In addition to arranging both formal and informal get-togethers within their residence halls, RA’s do a lot of extra tasks that, for the most part, go unnoticed by their peers. For example, before school starts in the fall, RA’s must come back to campus approximately two weeks before any other students to partake in special training. This tedious training prepares them for the numerous dilemmas they may encounter during the school year.
Also, RA’s have monthly meetings with the heads of Res Life to ensure that everything is going as planned in each residence hall. The RA’s then must inform the heads of Res Life of any incidents or occurrences that have taken place within their hall over the past month in a conduct report. RA’s execute the tasks listed, as well as an assortment of other duties that usually go without much recognition.
Kimberly Thompson, a junior here at RU, is the RA on the first floor of Madison Hall. In addition to being an RA, Thompson works as a cashier at Au Bon Pain and is a full-time student majoring in criminal justice with a minor in psychology. Although she has her hands full, Thompson finds a way to manage her time wisely and says she really enjoys being an RA.
“I like knowing that I’m responsible for everyone on my floor. I just love helping people in general,” Thompson said. Aside from helping her residence, Thompson also takes pleasure in putting up different door decorations on everyone’s door frame each month.
The only downside to the job is when she is forced to write a conduct report on a friend. “I hate to do it but I have to. It’s part of my job.” Thompson said. She really takes pride in her job as an RA and it shows in her demeanor.
John Jewell, a senior math education major, is also an RA in Madison Hall on the second floor. He enjoys working as an RA because he gets his own room, free food, but most importantly, he gets to meet a lot of new people.
“Having my own room, which is paid for, and the free food is pretty sweet, but I also get to meet a lot of cool, new people and make new friends,” Jewell said.
Jewell admitted that he isn’t too fond of setting up social gatherings within his hall.
“It’s not really my thing. I mainly do it because I have to.” Just as Thompson mentioned before, Jewell isn’t a fan of the conduct aspect of his job either but he understands that it comes with the territory. By and large, Jewell enjoys being an RA and says that although there are many responsibilities that he must tend to, there is nothing too dreadful about the position.
Whether we realize it or not, RA’s work extremely hard to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for their residents. They don’t receive enough credit for the job they execute each and every day. Without question, RA’s are some of the hardest working individuals here on campus.