Resident assistants, commonly known as RAs, work to ensure the safety of Nicholls residents, but do they enjoy their job?
A student doesn’t have to live on campus to know that some students frequently complain about their RAs. Now student opinions on RAs are commonly heard on campus and Yik Yak, but have you heard the story from the RA’s perspective? After all, RAs are students too.
“I know there’s probably some people that see us as the cops,” Sarah Major, elementary education sophomore from Baton Rouge, said. “They tell us in training ‘you’re not supposed to look for trouble’ and we don’t. It just happens.”
Although enforcing the rules and policies, RAs, in the process, develop friendships with their residents.
“There’s good and bad,” Fernanda Morales, biology senior from Cut Off, said. “The bad part about being an RA is that sometimes the residents don’t really get to know us, because they think all we do is enforce the rules. The good part, though, is a lot of times [residents] become your best friends.”
Both Major and Morales like being able to meet new people and help them, but dislike having to write-up residents and enforce policies.
“I wish I didn’t have to get people in trouble, but sometimes you have to go banging on doors when a resident won’t answer his phone,” Major said. “I know every RA has some crazy stories, but that’s what makes the job so much fun.”
Being a RA isn’t all fun and games. They have plenty of duties they must take care of.
“I think RAs are very helpful,” McKenzie LeBlanc, health sciences freshman from White Castle, said. “They’re always there if you need anything at any hour.”RAs take turns being responsible for the Duty Phone. They are required to answer the phone if it rings, except during class time, and must remain accessible to their residents for 24 hours.
“The duty phone is a phone number posted all over the building, so if a resident has an issue they can call it anytime of the day,” Morales said. “It doesn’t matter if the housing office is open or not, because the calls are directed towards RAs.”
RAs commonly have to run multiple rounds to ensure their residents are following the rules by inspecting the building, confirming their residents’ locations and checking to see whether guests who have checked in have also checked out.
Majors had many motivations to become a RA.
“Becoming a RA helped out financially and I knew it’d be a great way to meet people,” Majors said. “My mom was also a RA in college so she pushed me to do it as well.”
Many students appreciate what RAs do for their residential halls, but that doesn’t mean they don’t wish things were a little different.
“I wish some RAs were younger,” LeBlanc said. “Since I’m a freshman, I wish I could find another RA that’s a freshman. Most of them are juniors and seniors. I think they’re very good people.”