College Residence Assistant: Your Student’s Live-in Mentor

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.

Residence Assistants are trained to understand many of the transition issues that new students face and are prepared to help students deal with issues that may arise – from informal counseling for homesickness or other issues to mediating roommate conflicts or advising about academic difficulty. They can provide support and resources, as well as explain community expectations. Residence Assistants are also trained to know when to refer students to professional staff or counselors.  They serve as role models for new students.

Residence Assistants are also charged with enforcing school policies and dorm rules, which may involve everything from quiet study hours to guests on campus to enforcing alcohol policies. They are responsible for the safety of their residents and receive emergency training.   They generally report to a Residence Director or Community Director, who is a paid professional staff person.

According to one web resource for RAs, several famous people have served as Residence Assistants while in college.  Some of these may include Adam Sandler (NYU), Katie Couric (UVA), Mike Ditka (Pitt), Hilary Clinton (Wellsley), Wesly Snipes (SUNY Purchase), and Sheryl Crow (UMiss).

If your student is going to be a new college resident, encourage her to take advantage of her Residence Assistant for help, counseling, and an introduction to college life.  Residence Assistants are generally anxious to connect with their residents and to help students transition and grow.  Or perhaps your student will be interested in this leadership position in the future.  Many colleges recruit in the early spring for positions the following fall.

Related Posts:

 Helping Your College Student Find Support on Campus

Helping Your College Student Stay Healthy Living in the Dorm

Is Your College Student’s Dorm Room Too Comfortable?

Ten Hidden Connections Your Student Has on Campus


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Log In

or

Log In to Favorite articles and Post listings

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Find Your School

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Please enter First Name Please enter Last Name Please enter Phone
Please enter Email
Please enter Message

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

Please enter Email

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Success, your registration has been submitted

An email has been sent to you with a link to verify your registration
Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service
%d bloggers like this: