RA on duty – a night full of waiting

Most people get nervous when they see three RA’s in blue shirts walking around the hallways of a dormitory every Friday and Saturday night.
Cali Hettrich, a sophomore Resident Asisstant living in the Commons, was on duty this weekend. Her night began around 7:45 p.m. after she picked up her radio and keys at Residential Life. Then the waiting began.
Around every hour on duty RA’s make their rounds to the resident halls and make sure everything is alright. There are always three RA’s on duty in each resident hall. When the time comes they all go on rounds together with their walkie-talkies in hand. Then they wait.
Another hour goes by and they make their rounds again. The RA’s wear their radios all night. They can hear what other RA’s report over the radio, including security calls. The radio calls help the RA’s get to the problem immediately.
This process continues for another five hours. An RA’s shift on duty is seven hours long, from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.
“Most of the time nothing happens until after 2 a.m.,” said Hettrich.
For six hours the RA’s wait until something happens.
“We usually just tell most residents to turn down their music after hours,” she said.
While waiting for the next round, Hettrich and the other RA’s watch television and talk to pass the time.
“Sometimes we do our homework while we wait or we watch movies together,” said Hettrich.
RA’s aren’t looking to write students up for every little thing they do wrong, they are just doing their job to keep everyone safe on campus. RA’s are students just like the rest of us, but they have a job to do.
So, next time you see the three blue shirts coming around your corner on a Friday or Saturday night, do not be scared. Take the time to say “hi,” and get to know your RA’s.