I’m a Stooge With a clipboard and a Polo Shirt
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 17:02
In the past few weeks, there was an article published “describing” the moral groundings and hard work of a group of students on campus, the Resident Assistants. Although I’m bitter that most Holy Cross students were “more popular” than I was in high school, I’d like to make a testament to the RAs, who truthfully do perform a lot of unnoticed work at Holy Cross.
I’ve had the opportunity to witness the multitude of challenges other RAs have faced as well as those I’ve experienced in my two years as an RA and one year as Head RA.
On top of the pressures created by immense workloads and extra-curricular activities, which all Holy Cross students understand, RAs must successfully navigate the added stresses of helping their peers deal with issues such as roommate conflicts, relationship issues, medical issues, and unfortunately too often situations when residents want to hurt themselves or others either mentally, physically, or sexually.
Almost every RA deals with these issues, and does so to the best of their ability.
It is said that respect is “earned not given”, and contrary to some students’ beliefs, I think most students see this hard work and respect their RAs, not just because “we attended a two-week training camp about how to make your life inconvenient.”
So these RAs deal with stressful situations, but they’re still afraid of the fun-filled, “dangerous world” of spontaneity, right? Considering the 84 RAs include individuals from all different walks of campus life, I would say they are a uniquely diverse and spontaneous group of people. The idea that we “only endorse community when it is scheduled” is completely untrue, as most of you have probably seen in your own residential experience. Some of my best times spent with residents were a result of random putting tournaments in the hallways or rap battles and dance offs in social rooms.
Our paperwork is to show the board of trustees how much time we actually spend trying to make our large buildings feel like home. In a perfect world, this would obtain more funding so we can put on events residents actually want - and buy more free food.
Of course they wouldn’t be RAs if they didn’t write you up. Believe it or not, enforcing the College’s policies is the toughest part of our job. There will always be some residents who can’t understand why their forced triple was documented when they had 25 people in it, but the majority of residents understand that when they get documented, it’s not the end of the world.
Most RAs are on the same page that documenting rooms is to prevent people from getting hurt or sexually assaulted, as these instances usually happen in large parties where some students are drinking irresponsibly.
From personal experience, almost all serious medical transports I have been involved with were due to irresponsible decisions at a large party. Our number one concern on duty is everyone’s safety, and as long as everyone is respectful to the community they live in, there are usually no issues (which is how a normal duty night goes).
Because RAs here receive so little compensation for their work, they perform their job because they care about others and want to make someone else’s college experience enjoyable. None of us believe we are on some higher level of the hierarchy at Holy Cross, but we all take pride in our work of helping out our peers.
If someone wants to compare RAs to Nazis it’s their First Amendment right to do so, but they just need to remember, his or her RA will still be at hand to help them with roommate issues, homesickness, or any other questions that ever come up while living on campus if he or she has them.