There are 61 resident hall assistants at USD. Their job is to ensure safety among USD students and get them involved within their
Senior Tristan Beck has made these things top priorities in his two years as an RA.
Beck decided to become an RA during his sophomore year after his hall director suggested it to him.
After organizing a game of “Survivor” for his friends during his first year and participating in Complex Council during his sophomore year, he knew that he enjoyed putting programs together
Beck has worked in North Complex for both of his years as an RA. He enjoys working with the first-year students because of their sense of involvement, he said.
“They are more willing to go do things and go out and find people,” he said. “They are ready to do some crazy programs.”
First-year Cooper Seamer, one of the residents on Beck’s floor in Mickelson Hall, said Beck “gets us involved as much as he can” and is a “community-oriented guy.”
“He’s not like some RA who just checks up on us every now and then,” Seamer said. “He tries to talk to every single one of us every single day.”
Beck said he values his relationship with his residents and the other RAs.
“My favorite part about being an RA is the sense of community,” Beck said. “You get to be really close to the other RAs that you’re working with because you have shifts that can last until 3 or 4 a.m., so it’s a really good bonding experience. If I wasn’t graduating, I would still be an RA next year.”
Seamer said Beck is a trustworthy RA.
“I definitely trust Tristan more than anyone else on this floor,”
A big commitment
Beck said he’s learned a lot during his time as an RA.
“One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned as an RA is probably just taking time to slow down,” Beck said. “Your life gets really, really busy so you have to be really good with time management.”
Beck is also the president of USD’s Resident Hall Association and works as a delivery driver
Annalissa Miller, the residence hall director for Beede and Mickelson, said she enjoys Beck’s creativity, connection with other students and hard work.
“When he signs up to do something he is 100 percent committed to doing that thing and doing that thing really well,” she said.
The large time commitment and making sure the job doesn’t affect his personal life are the two biggest challenges of being an RA, Beck said.
“You end up living where you work so it becomes difficult to separate yourself from that,” he said.
This is something Miller thinks Beck does well, she said.
“He’s really good at finding those boundary lines between being an RA, a mentor and a friend,”
Reflecting on last year
As for his residents, Beck said he likes the different perspectives they have.
“I’m graduating in May, so I look at this as, ‘Oh, I’m done! I’m almost out of here,’” Beck said. “But from their perspective, they just started. It’s kind of cool to look at them and see how amazed they are with everything that I find so
After graduation, Beck is going to graduate school for student affairs, where he plans to work as a graduate assistant. After that, he wants to work as a
Miller said she’s sad to see Beck go, but is excited for his future.
“Tristan has been really fun to work with. He was here when I started, so he helped me with my transition here,” she said. “I’m excited though that he’s looking at going into higher education because then he’ll kind of be my co-worker going forward because I’ll get to see him at conferences and all that kind of stuff.”
Beck said he recommends the RA position.
“It’s a really good way to learn a lot about yourself,” he said. “And it gives you a lot of skills that you can use later on in your future.”