California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    A day in the life of an RA

    It’s 2 a.m. and you’re sound asleep in your cozy dorm room bed when you hear a knock at the door.

    Who could it be? What’s wrong? What could anyone possibly need at this hour?

    As panic runs through your veins, your hand reaches toward the door handle and you open the door to see a resident that lives in the hall.

    All the resident needs is a screwdriver.

    This is just something to expect as a resident assistant on campus.

    Andrew Castro is a senior psychology major and a senior RA in Mount Clef Hall. He knows all too well about situations just like the 2 a.m. screwdriver emergency.

    Being an RA is an around the clock job, according to Castro. The RA’s of California Lutheran University are always up for anything, literally.

    The job comes with some perks including the friendships made within each RA staff, but of course being in charge of college students is never an easy task.

    Each RA is on duty one full night a week with additional shifts on the weekends. During this time the RA must be easily accessible to residents who might need them.

    An average shift for an RA consists of many different responsibilities. Community walks are common among the RAs in order to keep an eye on all that is going on in their area of duty. Their responsibilities also include putting together programs for the students living in residence halls in order to build a strong community within the hall and even just being a shoulder for students to lean on.

    Stephanie Fallon, a sophomore majoring in Interdisciplinary Educational Studies and an RA in the Mogen and Old West Complex, said in an email interview that each of her shifts have the potential to be unpredictable.

    “Finding a condom on the floor outside of a hall, hearing random noises coming from who knows where or reading Bible verses from a random mini Bible you find. This job is honestly a lot of fun. We have a lot of business to take care of but our main purpose is to be there for residents and interacting with them is one of the best parts of this job,” Fallon said.

    Agreeing to the unpredictability, senior and math major Jamell Dorton has had experiences with his duties going long into the night. A memory of his includes not being able to catch up on sleep until 4 a.m. and having to attend class early the next day.

    “I’ve had some pretty late nights, let’s just say that,” Dorton said.

    Dorton, being the senior RA of the New West Complex, also has plenty of good memories and experiences from his years of practice.

    “My favorite part [of the job] is the interactions with my residents because it gives the opportunity to help them in some aspect of their life. I’m always open to what they have to say and I just love being there for them,” Dorton said.

    Having the responsibility of being an RA also comes with some hardships. The senior RA of the Mogen and Old West Complex is junior computer science major Gina Domergue. While she finds that most of her policy violations are quiet hour disruptions, she wants to make it clear that documenting residents is not something she enjoys.

    “The conflict is the most stressful part [of my job]. I feel like people think it’s stressful being caught but it’s stressful initiating that. We don’t like to get people in trouble but it’s our job to address issues,” Domergue said.

    Following the rules should not be difficult for student residents according to Castro who also does not enjoy having to lay down the law.

    “You signed a contract, you said you were going to follow these rules, its really not that hard,” Castro said.

    While each of the RAs that spoke with The Echo had altering opinions on what their favorite and most stressful part of their jobs were, they all agreed on one fundamental thing. The reason for becoming an RA was because of the example that their RAs had set for them. Dorton said his RAs during his freshman year were influential in his decision to apply.

    “They were a big part of the campus community, of bringing people together and contacting and I wanted to be a part of that,” Dorton said.

    For anyone who is inspired to become an RA, applications for the 2016-2017 school year will start in January and more information can be inquired from the current RAs.

    But until then, a word of advice, “Don’t make your life harder than it has to be,” Dorton said.