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RA Staff MAP West

So You Want to be an RA?

If you love getting to know and caring for the people around you, the Resident Assistant position at Grove City College might be right for you! A Resident Assistant, or RA, is a full-time student who lives on campus in the residence halls and is responsible for facilitating community on his/her hall and upholding policy across campus (among numerous other things). It is a great opportunity to be involved in campus and serve the people living around you.

You are able to apply for the RA position for your sophomore through senior year. All residence halls have RAs, freshmen buildings and upperclassmen buildings alike, so there are opportunities to be an RA for numerous demographics. In upperclassmen buildings you will be the only RA on your hall and will likely have a roommate of your choosing (though some buildings offer the opportunity to live in a single room as an RA). While it shocks many people that as an RA I still have a roommate, I love it. My roommate is one of my biggest sources of support and helps to create a sense of community on the hall just as much as I do. Some freshmen buildings have two RAs per hall, meaning that you will have a roommate who is an RA and the two of you will work together to care for your hall.

RAs work in teams with three to 11 RAs (depending on the size of your residence hall) and one Resident Director (RD). New this year, MAP North, the primary residence for freshmen women on campus, also has an Assistant Resident Director (ARD) as part of their team. These teams are great opportunities to learn and grow in both a professional setting and a personal setting – they will likely become some of your closest friends and will understand your experience as an RA and student better than most others on campus.

As an RA you have the opportunity to plan events (called programs) that will help your residents learn and grow beyond the classroom in addition to building stronger relationships with one another. These are very neat, as Residence Life provides funding for these programs so there is really a lot that you can do with them. These events really shape people’s college experiences and I highly encourage you to attend RA programs even if you are not an RA yourself.

You will also have duty responsibilities as an RA, which each residence hall does slightly differently. In general, you will be “on duty” one night per week, which means that you will have to be in your building and do some rounds of the building to check for facility concerns, to uphold policy, and to check for safety concerns. When you are on duty you are “on call” and if a resident in your building experiences an issue, you are the first one they would call and/or come to. These nights are great opportunities to hang out in your room with your door open and see who is around to hang out with.

Being an RA also means weekly staff meetings with your building staff and bi-weekly or weekly one on one meetings with your direct supervisor, the Resident Director (RD) for your building. Otherwise, being an RA is a very flexible schedule – you choose when to run programs, you have input into the duty schedule, and you get to choose when to knock on doors and invite people over.

The RA position has shaped my college experience entirely. I am currently a senior and have been an RA since my sophomore year. For both my sophomore and junior years I was an RA on the same hall in a suite style building and my residents were primarily seniors. This year I am in a different suite style building and my residents are primarily freshmen and transfer students. All three years have been amazing experiences and God has grown me so much through them. The other RAs who I have worked with and each of my RDs have shaped me and supported me through my difficult semesters and my easier semesters, and I have definitely made lifetime friends through this position. If you are wanting to be an RA during college, Grove City College is the place to do it.

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