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Campus Living: Making the Best Out of University as a Resident Assistant

Our years in university, both undergraduate and postgraduate, are moments we can spend exploring the many roles we can subscribe to. Many of these roles we can find in relationships, while others in responsibilities we sign up for. An example of the latter is the Resident Assistant role.

The Resident Assistant, or RA as it is more commonly known, is a position that one can hold while residing in a residence hall on campus. It’s a role seldom considered among the sea of roles to choose from in a university. However, it’s about time that this changed since being an RA can offer plenty of benefits to a person.

 

What’s Good About Being an RA?

It is the first question most think about before applying for the role. It usually varies depending on the university, but some that are commonly offered are the following:

 

Free Lodging

Our living space is one factor that can affect our stay in university. Students who choose to live in dorms have to pay the full amount, while RAs can stay in dorms either for free or on a discounted amount as long as they do their jobs diligently. A bonus for them is they get to stay in a solo room.

Another thing to note is that dormitories in American cities like Salt Lake City often come furnished. However, some halls aren’t equipped with mattresses and beddings- both are relatively small expenses compared to the hefty price tag that comes with living off-campus.

 

Spending Money

It’s uncommon, but some universities offer stipends to students willing to take up the responsibilities of RAs. While smaller than most salaries, these monthly stipends can still be used on meals, toiletries, or class materials.

An alternative form of stipend that RAs can receive from their universities is meal vouchers.

 

Interpersonal Skills

RAs are the head of their communities. That is, the residence halls that they are assigned to. To be effective in their roles, RAs need to be able to communicate effectively, especially since they’ll encounter all sorts of characters.

Moreover, there are times when these characters will get along, and there are others when they don’t. RAs should expect to spend a lot of time helping their fellow students solve general problems regarding housing and issues between two or more parties.

 

Easy Access

Living within the university may not be as appealing as off-campus housing, but it comes with the benefit of living close to most of the amenities that the campus has to offer. RAs don’t need to allocate time for commutes, come back to their rooms in between classes, and go to the libraries whenever they need to without having to walk long, drive, or ride public transit.

 

How Do You Become an Accomplished RA?

A Resident Assistant’s primary role is to maintain peace and order in their hall. Now, this role entails several responsibilities, starting with rule enforcement. RAs need to make sure that every person within their hall is upholding the laws in the university. If not, it’s up to the RAs to report the individuals breaking the rules to the proper authorities.

Another is dispute resolution. Living in close quarters, students are likely to come into conflict with one another. To settle any issues, RAs need to listen to both sides and figure out a solution that can appease all parties.

 

There are many other responsibilities to note of, and all of them are significant ones. Those who can successfully juggle RA responsibilities with their academics and extracurriculars are rewarded handsomely.

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