By Hailey Wood, Staff Writer
When you see residential assistants (RAs) roaming the dormitory halls at night, that isn’t the only thing they have on their schedule.
Students who take on the role of an RA take on the many responsibilities required for maintaining their roles.
Gabrielle Thompson is the RA on the fifth floor of Anderson Hall. As an RA for Anderson, she also works in tandem with Woodward RAs. “An RA is on duty three or four times a month depending on how large the building staff is,” said Thompson over a recent email conversation.
During a night on duty, RAs have to make have to make multiple rounds around the dormitories, depending on the day of the week. On Sunday through Wednesday they are on duty from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and are required to do at least three rounds. Thursday through Saturday, RAs must be on duty from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and do at least four rounds. The rounds “consists of walking through the entire building/buildings, checking in with front desk workers, checking bathrooms, taking down old posters, checking in with specific residents/rooms and checking to make sure that safety and policy standards around the building are met,” Thompson said.
“After each round we must log what we saw/any situations that occurred during that time,” she said. “If there is an incident that occurs we deal with it, inform the residential director (RD) on call, and write up incident reports, as we are mandatory reporters.” Mandatory reporter means if an RA sees or is told of something illegal, possibly harmful, or if it goes against school policy, they are required to report it.
“Although RAs are sometimes on specific duties during the month, we are RAs at all times. We are always doing most of these tasks and more on the regular even when we are not specifically on duty,” Thompson said.
Aside from their regular rounds, RAs have other responsibilities as well. Among these are roommate mediations, door decorating, creating monthly bulletin boards, putting posters up around the buildings and at the same time being available to the residents of their halls whenever they are needed. RAs also have to make sure every month that put on two programs, “one community builder and one learning initiative,” Thompson said.
Students taking on the role of an RA arrive on campus long before the other students, to prepare for the upcoming year.“We go through two weeks of training before the semester starts that prepares us with the tools and resources we need in order to help our residents and students on campus,” Thompson said.
RAs aren’t just around for when you’re locked out of your dorm, they are also available for emotional support if someone needs it.
“We are always trying our best to enforce policy and create a welcoming, safe, and comfortable environment for all students on campus,” said Thompson.