What An RA Wants You to Know

By Sabrina Carroll
Student Life Editor
Being an Resident Assistant is one of the best decisions I’ve made as a young adult. The job teaches patience, acceptance, time management, and leadership skills. There are often misconceptions about RAs, and I’m hoping I can clear some of those up, at least for the Washington College community.

RAs are not out to get you.
I cannot stress this enough. We are trained to be another part of personnel to keep everyone safe. RAs don’t sweep the halls every minute looking for each and every violation to write up. In fact, writing up doesn’t even happen unless it absolutely needs to. We’re only another set of eyes to make sure everything is running smoothly and safely. If we see something suspicious, we have to take a look at it. It is never our intention to make sure you get in trouble. In fact, we’d rather that not happen.

We’re students too.
Just like you, we have 8:30 a.m. classes, huge exams, and lengthy papers to complete. Having students as RAs is helpful because we know exactly what you are going through since we’re going through the exact same thing. We understand the all-nighters and incredible amount of stress that comes with being a student. Believe me. We feel your pain. We try to be a source of support for you and cheer you on through your college years.

Appreciate the bulletin boards and flyers – they’re there to help you.
Although you only walk past these in the halls for a split second, take a second and try to learn something from your RA’s décor. We spend a great deal of time on them so you taking a look at tips on them means our work has paid off.

We treat you with respect, and it’s nice if you reciprocate.
Speaking for myself, I always make sure to treat every single person I meet with respect. We work really hard to make sure you’re comfortable in your environment or to help you get through rough nights. Personally, I really did not appreciate popping into a room on my weekend rounds asking if everyone was okay and getting an abudance of cursing as a response. As always, if you feel as though you have not been treated respectfully by an RA, you can reach out to Residence Life by talking to Ms. Ursula Herz, Ms. Amy Sine, or Mr. David Steubing.

We’re another resource for you – use us.
Whether you have a question about a center on campus or have a serious concern, never hesitate to come to your RA. I will always answer my door or phone. If I don’t know the answer to question a student has, I will find the answer. If I cannot directly help with a concern, I will find someone who can. It’s my job to help students along. I love to do it, and I know other RAs do too.

RAs are sometimes thought of as another kind of police, but I think of RAs as students helping other students adjust to and thrive in college. It’s a job that is more than just working out incidents. It involves strengthening bonds, creating friendships, and making sure everyone is comfortable and happy. Go to an RA’s program or chat with them in the hall. The RA-resident bond can be another great part of college.

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