Waking up to a loud phone call at 3 a.m. and hearing the words, “University Police,” isn’t a situation most college students experience. However, for Residence Assistants, it’s just a part of the job.
After recieving this 3 a.m. phone call, resident assistant Blake Brown walked to the front of Coyote Village to meet with a UPD officer. Brown was asked a series of questions and had to identify a man who was caught entering the dorm without a student ID card.
While being an RA comes with a multitude of perks, such as free housing and meal plan, it also comes with the responsibility of hundreds of students.
“The best part is being able to connect with a diverse group of people on the floor and the people I work with are really great. I enjoy learning from them and their stories,” the sophomore accounting major said.
Brown said the biggest part of the job is the weekly desk shifts and assisting residents who seek help. Also, Brown said the most common situations he deals with are helping with roommate conflicts and finding necessary solutions.
“One situation involved a girl who really felt like she couldn’t go into her apartment due to the other girls in her room, so I worked with [Resident Hall Director] Nathan [Stuessy] to get her room change processed quickly to help her out,” Brown said.
Other tasks include a “power weekend,” when an RA is in charge for a full weekend. A specific RA is in control of the whole dorm for a weekend, taking control of phones and patrolling floors. Brown said RAs are more on guard on the weekends, specifcally Thursday through Sunday.
“Having to stay up till 1 a.m. and do rounds isn’t fun due to the lack of sleep,” Brown said.
RA’s are also required to host five different floor programs each semester in order to get their residents involved, Brown said. Programs typically focus on education, community development, as well as things people are interested in doing.
“Since I’m a Coyote RA, a lot of my residents are athletes, so I go to a lot of their games to try to connect and support them that way. I am also in Coyote Crazies and enjoy watching their games,” Brown said.
Lexie Ellerbeck, Junior French education major, said an added bonus to being an RA is the close knit relationships built within the housing staff. She also said the program planning process was something she enjoyed doing, as it allowed her to get to know her coworkers and residents better.
“I wanted to become an RA because it was part of my four-year plan. I enjoy all of the relationships that I have made with my residents so far and planning fun events,” Ellerbeck said.
Ellerbeck said other reasons students become an RA is to branch out and try something new.
Applications to be a resident assistant for the 2020-2021 school year are currently open.