If your student is heading off to live in a college residence hall, there is a very good chance that there will be someone there just to help make dorm life go as smoothly as possible and be as meaningful as possible. That person may be called by different names at different institutions, but may be known as a Residence Assistant, Resident Advisor, Senior Resident or other similar title. This person is often referred to as an “RA.”
Residence Assistants are generally trained peer leaders who live in the residence halls and serve as mentors and guides for the students- answering all types of questions and conducting programming to engage their residents. They work to build a sense of community on their floor and in their building. RA positions are often competitive and students are sometimes paid and sometimes receive discounts on housing or meals.