I have had good experiences with my last two RA’s; both were helpful in answering questions and, for the most part, knowing what to do in certain situations and jumping into action. Many people believe that an RA is just someone to breathe down your neck and write you up at any opportunity for something they believe is wrong or unsafe. You might not consider that an action is unsafe, so RA’s are just taking into account your wellbeing and others’ safety.
RA’s are here a week or two before our move-in date so they can get the training they need for bad situations or in emergencies. RA’s can save your life if you hurt yourself or if something happens that can hurt another person.
Here are some facts about RA’s:
– They can do CPR and are prepared for several types of bad situations like heart attacks and seizures (they can happen to people as young as us).
– They know protocol in case someone sneaks into the dormitory and attacks students.
– They have their RA phones just in case someone gets hurt, someone gets locked out of his or her room, or someone loses his or her key card. They are always the first responders when you call for help. They take necessary actions by calling security, their Directors, or 911 if need be.
– They are here to help us, work out issues in our contracts and be the middle-man when we can’t agree with our roommates. They are the level-headed ones who can help us figure out what to do.
– They are meant to help build a community where we can get along with our neighbors and can make more friends (why we have the events every month) and make sure we don’t feel alone.
– They do room check-ups in case someone is causing a fire hazard that can easily spread and hurt others and to make sure no one has contraband.
– They are prepared for sexual assault or harassment issues (like someone threatening or planning to rape someone else) and if you report these issue to them, they will investigate without hesitation. They are not afraid of defending you and keeping you away from the instigator.
– If your RA is causing issues or not assisting you, you can go above them and report them to their Hall Directors. They have a lot of responsibility but if they are not doing their job they are not being responsible and are not being serious about your safety.
Sure, RA’s can drive us crazy sometimes but they are here to help us and make sure we are safe. That is their goal and they don’t mean any harm when they tell us to fix up our rooms or when they write us up. They know that your decisions can affect other people and cause harm. They merely wish for our safety and for us to have a good time while in college. Please respect that and get to know your RA!
This article was written by Meegan McCarthy.