It is a tough job but somebody has to do it.
With approximately 3,000 students living on campus, Resident Assistants, or RAs, are the helpers, resources, policy-enforcers, educators, programmers, and the administrators to Quinnipiac students. RAs work with the Office of Residential Life to make sure the dorms are a place where students live and learn, and although students have different reasons for wanting to become an RA, all take comfort in the family-like environment that comes with it.
Rosa Nieves, a junior sociology major and an RA for the freshmen in Commons, says that she became an RA because her experience being an Orientation Leader (OL) in the summer was not enough to quench her thirst for assisting students throughout the year. She wanted to be someone that students could trust throughout the entire year.
“Being an RA is important because everyone needs a support system, a little bit of guidance once in a while, and someone to enforce Quinnipiac’s policies…that’s what we do,” Nieves said.
“Each staff is like its own family, unique and interesting. It sort of is like a family, you might argue, get mad, cry together, laugh together, poke fun at each other, but when you need someone to support you, your staff has your back and you know you’ll have theirs in return, especially in tough situations. I honestly enjoy being with my staff members, even if I don’t say it often,” she said.
Other students became RAs because they wanted to give back to the Quinnipiac community.
“I love being at this school and I really have had an amazing experience here and I wanted to share with my peers and hopefully help them out in anyway I could,” Melissa Jordan, a junior public relations major and an RA in Larson, said. “All of the RAs understand how much time and effort goes into being an RA. We are more than willing to help each other out a lot like a family does. No questions asked we just help out if it necessary.”
Andrew Turczak, a sophomore physician’s assistant major and RA in Perlroth, said the opportunity to hold a leadership position on campus drew him to the job.
“I wanted to hold a leadership position on campus and being an RA was a great way of to do so,” he said. “I am learning how to deal with different people and how to handle difficult situations when they arise.”
The staff, which currently consists of about 75 RAs, is trained two weeks in August and then a week during winter break.
“Training in August was a lot of hard work and was very tough,” Jordan said. “But it also was a great way to make lasting connections with our fellow RAs,”
Turczak agrees. “Training had long days but it was extremely fun. It was also a plus that you get to move in early and beat the rush in later August,” he said.
“You’re on duty 25 out of the 125 days of the semester. You do rounds and make sure everything is under control, but you usually have a lot of time to sit back and watch TV or get some work done,” Turczak said.
They do not have too much time to sit back though. While on duty, RAs constantly deal with stressful situations.
“If there’s an emergency we’ll address it as soon as we get the call,” Nieves said. RAs also have to be in “Central Duty” throughout the semester, which is located in the lower level of Complex. There, they answer telephone calls for things such as lockouts and distribute room necessities, like toilet paper, to residents.
Besides being on duty and doing their own school work, RAs also must have meetings and events with their residents throughout the semester. “Last semester we went on a tubing trip and this semester we will be going to Six Flags,” Turczak said.
RAs make themselves available to talk to their residents, watch movies and go to the Caf