Controversy surrounds Residence Life; RAs respond to termination

By Justine Di Fillippo and Paul W
April 18, 2002

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With four RAs fired and fear over more terminations looming, uncertainty and doubt have caused hurt feelings and resentment within the college community. Now, as rumors spread throughout the campus, many residents are left wondering, who will be next?

With only a few weeks left in the semester, four resident assistants have been dismissed from their duties, raising questions among students about the relationship between Residence Life and RAs.

David Carpenter, Director of Residence Life, said, “Each RA has to sign a Resident Assistant agreement. The agreement states the rules and guidelines that the RAs are supposed to follow.” Carpenter continued to say, “Being an RA means that you are a member of a team, you have to be a visible role model. This is a job that pays.”

Depending on the situation there are many steps Residence Life takes in letting go an RA. Carpenter said, “Generally we usually put the RA through what we call counseling, where we sit the RA down, talk to them about the problem and figure out what should be done to fix what had happened. After that is done, there is written documentation followed by probation. The last step is separation from the RA position on campus.”

According to Kat Pirrone, she was let go because her residents decided to write letters on Kat’s behalf hoping she would be a returning RA next year. Pirrone was the RA in Woodcrest and this was the first year she was an RA on campus. Pirrone said, “I don’t think what happened was fair. I did not know that they had written letters, and when I asked to seewhat was written I was not allowed to see them.” She continued, “I was approached in an intimidating way and told that I was giving out information pertaining to Residence Life and that I was let go. I’m sad that I was let go. I finally found something that I loved to do on Cabrini College’s campus and now I am not allowed to do it.”

Clarence Scott and Ricky Cruz were let go because they did not respond to a call when they were on duty.

Both men were RAs for two years. Scott was in charge of the third floor of the Cabrini Apartment Complex, and Cruz was the RA of house six. Cruz said, “It was weird. We were in Clarence’s room all night, and the phone didn’t ring. There weren’t even any voice mail messages.”

Scott said, “I was mad when they handed me the letter and I read it. I was never on probation before and it was harsh for the offense.”

Cruz said, “I have mixed feelings of them firing me. I have been on probation before for not carrying a logbook, no one covers those books, and I’m the only one to get into trouble. We didn’t have control over what happened. The radios did not go off that night.”

Frank Plum, a senior who was recently let go from his RA position, said, “I regret working for Residence Life during my senior year and wasting the year.”

When a student becomes an RA they have to sign a Resident Assistant agreement. This agreement outlines all the rules that an RA must sign and follow to receive their payment of free room and board.

John Verdi, an RA in the New Residence Hall, said, “I have had no problems with Residence Life and my Resident Director, Trish Arnold, has been very supportive. I look forward to continuing as a RA next year in house five, and I might apply to be an RD at a college after my time at Cabrini.”

Josh Dzielak, a pre-RA this year who will be an RA for Xavier Hall next year, said, “The recent occurrences make it obvious that there is a fine line to follow, but I am not overly worried about that. If I don’t follow the rules, others won’t. If I do, then there will be less to worry about. I am excited about being an RA and working in a team.”

There are many duties that Residence Life expects an RA to follow. They must be available to their residents at all times and know all their names by the end of the second week. They must also be able to work well with others, maintain a 2.5 GPA, attend RA functions and only school comes before their job as a RA.

Residence Life is asking any students that want to be an RA for the remainder of the school year to contact Residence Life officials.

***

Section XI Termination:

“I understand that for unsatisfactory performance or breach of contract agreement, Residence Life may terminate me from my position and I will be ineligible for future employment by the department. In the case of appointment, termination or resignation, I understand that Residence Life reserves the right to transfer my housing assignment to another residence hall or terminate my housing agreement. If I continue in a residence hall, I will pay the balance or the rent for the academic year and will abide by the residence hall policies and Cabrini College Code of Conduct. In case of employment termination/resignation, I will repay to Residence Life the prorated amount of my meal plan that should be remaining as of the dates of my appointed termination.”

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Justine Di Fillippo and Paul W

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