I’m an RA in region five, so pretty much all of the upperclassmen housing with the exception of the Linden apartments. I personally oversee 38 residents on the sixth floor of Pilarz Hall and so far, I love my position. I am a strategic communication and history major with a concentration in women & gender studies. I’m from Bryn Mawr. I work for the Aquinas student magazine as an editor and graphic designer and also have my own radio show. I volunteer with the Jane Kopas Women’s center as a P.A.C.T. presenter and help out with events like Love Your Body Day and Take Back the Night.
Why did you want to be an RA?
A lot of what I do as an RA aligns with what I want to do as a student here. I am passionate about peer education and the ways in which we as students have the opportunity to impact the lives of those around us, even in seemingly insignificant ways. I came to this school because of it’s Jesuit identity and I believe that Residence Life does a great job of promoting that mission by caring for the whole person and constantly seeking improvement. I feel that the events I get to plan that promote a sense of community on my floor and the work that my region of fellow RAs does as a whole to support one another is well worth the administrative workload. When I applied for the position last year, I wanted to be a freshman or sophomore RA because I struggled a lot in my transition to college but didn’t have a close connection with my RA at the time, so I really wanted to provide that support to freshmen who might be having a hard time. When I was assigned to juniors and seniors, I was disappointed at first but soon came to the realization that everybody struggles in their own way at different points in their college career, and that I can still make an impact in my resident’s daily lives just by being a listening ear and asking how their day was.
What prepared you in life to be an RA?
I think being one of four children certainly prepared me for daily life as an RA. There isn’t much privacy or quiet when you live in a small community and when your co-workers are also your close friends, so I think that I have had a fairly easy adjustment to that coming from a bigger family. Studying public relations has prepared me a great deal for the workload and responsibilities as an RA. My job involves a great deal of event planning and constant communication between my bosses, fellow RAs and residents. Studying and working in the PR field has given me a bunch of different skills and taught me various approaches that I use every day to try and stay on top of my job as best I can. Being an RA is a 24/7 job where I never really know what to expect or who I’m gonna need to lean on at any given moment, so it helps to plan ahead as best I can.
What does being an RA mean to you?
To me, being an RA simply means being a resource, and I think that’s a beautiful thing because every RA can be a resource in a different way. I bring a different set of skills and knowledge than all of the other RAs in my region and that’s what makes ResLife work as well as it does here. I think that being an RA is also about teamwork and community within my residence hall but also with my region of fellow RAs. In the same way that we bring different perspectives to our residents, we also bring them to each other to plan Late Night events and to collaborate on smaller programs and bond with one another. It’s remarkable what we can all do as a team when we put our minds together to make something happen for our residents.
What’s your favorite part of being an RA
For me, it would have to programming and problem-solving, which oftentimes go hand-in-hand. Programming is a great opportunity for me to get to know my residents better, but it’s challenging to create, plan, and budget for an event that they actually want to attend. I run two programs every month, most of which are on school nights, so it’s never really a smooth process from start to finish. Because of the nature of being a full-time student with a full-time job, an I end up having to pull together a lot at the last minute without compromising the quality of the program itself because ultimately that’s for the residents.