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RA’s: Our fellow students

February 2, 2018

Just this past week, the applications to become an RA were due. There were many students who applied to be new resident assistants and others who chose to continue to develop a welcoming and prosperous community for incoming freshman, as well as returning students for the 2018-2019 school year.

At this time of the year, with RA applications finally being put in, it is also a time to remind ourselves about the important roles that resident assistants play on campuses, especially for students here at Monmouth College.

For current RAs, this is a time of reminding themselves why they chose to become RAs. For many RAs, it is important to get new residents involved in a new environment. In instances like these, RAs are vital in being a resource and source of communication.

For many first-year students, RAs are vital and influential in the retention rates for many students and colleges, in which their first year becomes vital to whether they will continue with college or not.

“How you run this building can affect these students, whether they stay at Monmouth College or whether they leave. Whether they adapt well, and whether they become the best thing they can possibly be,” said Denzel Johnson, a two-year RA of Bowers.

Larry Haynes, an HR for Cleland Hall, has also experienced this situation as a first-year college student who was deciding whether to continue with college or not.

“Those first few weeks are the most crucial weeks for freshmen, as far as retention goes. If it wasn’t for my RAs, I could’ve been ones of those freshmen that slipped through the cracks, said Haynes.

RAs provide resources and aid from students for growth and maturity, and for many people like Haynes, those who are becoming HRs, reapplying to become RAs, and current first-time applicants also want to be able to reciprocate the influence and inspiration that was given to them when they were residents.

With RAs playing such large roles on college campuses, it is also important to acknowledge the accommodations that resident assistants receive as well. “I love my job and working with first-year students, but also because it helps me pay for school and actually stay here,” stated Genesis Vasquez, an RA of Saint Mary’s College in Indiana. At her small liberal college that she attends, she stated that she has other on-campus jobs and depending on your years of experience their stipend increases, with her room also being paid for.

For RAs and HRs at Monmouth, many students question the favorability in being an RA when so many RAs at other college campuses receive free room and board and are allowed to work more jobs other than being an RA.

Although many RAs are okay with current Residence Life staff policies, many also believe that the college should be open to the job opportunities that students are taking without interfering if the college is not willing to take the initiative.

Being an RA is a great experience and gives many students the opportunity to be supportive and influential fellow students who create a space that is safe for students to grow and develop as citizens.

“You can’t control what everyone does, but you can create an environment where everyone can be part of a team,” said Haynes

Taylar Tramil
Contributing Writer

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