Don’t diss the RA

By Samantha Randol
April 24, 2008

Free room and board and a room all to yourself, who wouldn’t want that? Roommates can be aggravating and room and board is expensive. These things would make it seem like being an RA is worth it, but of course, as with everything in life, with the good comes some bad. Sure, your own room and free room and board is great, but the position comes with a great deal of responsibility and annoyances.

Personally, I don’t think I could even be an RA. For some, it seems so simple and they have the easiest time with it, but others can’t. I wouldn’t want to have to deal with telling other students what to do. Once you get to college, you really don’t want someone telling what you can and cannot do.

You always see residents disrespecting their RAs and not taking them seriously. I think it’s hard to gain the respect from the residents. If you’re too strict, they won’t like you, but if you’re too lenient, they’ll love you but you put your job at risk. I’m sure there’s a happy middle point between the two, but it would probably be very difficult to find.

I think the RAs deserve more respect than they get, but sometimes they make it difficult. If you blur the line between friend and authority figure, sometimes that can screw you over.

The whole situation can put everyone in awkward situations at times. Say you got caught drinking and the RA that busted you was a friend of yours. It puts the RA in a difficult position because they have a job to do and they have to stick to it, but at the same time, who wants to get their friend in trouble?

Also, it brings up the question if the RA will even get taken seriously. If you were friends with the RA and they told you to get rid of whatever alcohol you had, would you think they were kidding or serious? You don’t want to put your job at risk and you don’t want to piss off your friends. There have been many times I’ve seen RAs tell people to turn the music down or get rid of their alcohol and the residents will just laugh in their faces.

Like I said, I could never deal with it. Finding the proper balance between being a good friend and doing your job seems like it would be very difficult and I give credit to those who have figured it out. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

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Samantha Randol

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