A Day in the Life of a Resident Assistant
by Yasmine Dabash
A lot of Hilbert residents want to be a Resident Assistant (RA) for a multitude of reasons, one of those reasons being on-campus housing free of charge. But what do RAs really do?
The job description states that the RA role is a “10-month para-professional employee of Hilbert College’s Office of Residence Life.” Aside from creating Pinterest-y door decorations and information boards for their floors, RAs at Hilbert are required to create a constructive campus community that fosters the academic learning, personal development, and safety of all Hilbert students. This is achieved through programming, administrative duties, and serving as a first responder to the campus community.
I am one of two second-floor RAs in Hilbert’s Trinity Hall. On an average day, I attend all my classes, go to the gym, eat in the Campus Center with friends, and do homework. Every week I go to a staff meeting in Bert’s Perch where I catch up with all the other Hilbert RAs (as well as Jacob Peters, the Resident Director of Residence Life, and David Goldstein, the Area Coordinator). Every other week I go to a one-on-one meeting with Jacob Peters. Most of the time I am putting up flyers for events I am coordinating and decorating the bulletin boards on my floor. I can often be found rushing to my room because a resident needs to borrow a vacuum.
This is not to say being an RA is a lighthearted task; it requires the drive to make your community a better place for people to live. RAs have to go through a lengthy hiring process that requires multiple interviews— both group-oriented and personal. After being hired out of a pool of applicants, RAs must attend a three-day Leadership Camp after the closing of the Spring Semester and a separate two-week RA training pre-fall semester. These trainings, though sometimes involving games and activities, are not to be taken lightly. Critical and sometimes even uncomfortable discussions such as multicultural awareness and diversity are a crucial part of RA training.
If you are a freshman at Hilbert College (or an upperclassman, for that matter) who is curious about the RA role, talk to a current RA before formally indicating an interest to the Office of Residence Life. A list of current RAs on campus can be found at http://www.hilbert.edu/student-life/living-on-campus/residence-life/current-residents/meet-the-staff.
If wish to indicate an interest in being a Hilbert College Resident Assistant for the 2018-2019 academic year to the Office of Residence Life, visit the Become an RA webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image provided by the Office of Resident Life