With the space between Spring semester and Fall semester, changes are always made around campus. One major change that those who live in on-campus housing will notice is the complete restructuring of residence life. Those in charge have swapped around, job roles have changed, and… no RAs?
Not exactly. The Resident Assistant position has been split into two new positions, a Community Advisor and a Housing Assistant. For those who lived in housing, the Resident Assistant’s duties included: living on your floor, providing you with help, friendship, and resources when you needed it, responding to calls such as lockouts or noise complaints, performing mediations between roommates, and going on rounds every night to scope out the halls for any potential threats or misbehavior.
Residence Life deemed that all of these tasks were too much to fall to one person, so after a long process, they have split the RA position this Fall. Now, those who will be living on your hall, or perhaps the hall above or below you, are called Community Advisors. CAs will take on the more social parts of the job, like planning and putting on fun programs and socials, and being the authority who help with homesickness or roommates.
Housing Assistants will take on the more technical aspects of the job. They will now be the ones to sit at the front desk in the lobbies of Clearview and Broadway Crossing, go on rounds (which consist of walking down every hallway in housing multiple times a night), and handle incidents.
With this change comes some great advantages, but with all transitions, there will be kinks to smooth out.
Lesther Orellana, an HA on Riverpark campus, said “As a former RA, I can see why they split the position. As a new HA, there are still a lot of things that need to be worked on. For example, most HAs, including myself, applied for this job because we were promised 19 hours a week but as of now, we are getting less than that.”
ResLife expects much higher quality work to be put forth by CAs and HAs, since they will be able to remain more focused on their roles. HAs will now be on duty at the duty desks all night long, rather than just until midnight, as RAs previously were. CAs, however, will not be on every floor as RAs were, but rather split the workload with a few in each building.
Another change that came out of ResLife this year was the moving around of the Residence Life Coordinators: those who oversee the CAs and HAs, students, and buildings under their jurisdiction. Michelle Dorrill has moved from Maryland Circle to Clearview, the freshman building on Main Campus. Chris Hovel has moved downtown, from Clearview to Riverpark Campus. Roger Page has moved from Riverpark to Courtyard, the upperclassman housing on Main Campus. Maryland Circle, also on Main Campus, has moved to being a hands-off community, meaning that it will still be under ResLife, but they will not have any HAs or CAs. This housing area is comprised of houses that are occupied by upperclassmen.
The new HAs and CAs are still getting used to the new roles of the RLCs and of their own new positions, but the Residence Life community has taken steps to ensure a safe transition into the school year. With a rigorous training over the summer, all of the returning and new ResLife Staff members are fully equipped to be their very best for you: the residents.
Tiffany Driskell, CA on Riverpark campus, said, “As a CA, all of my attention is now on my residents and I have more time to get to know them and assist them. The split in the RA job has also allowed me to join other clubs and organizations on our campus. I feel as if I am able to balance my time much better!”
On Duty number for Riverpark Campus: 706-507-8037
On Duty number for Courtyard: 706-507-8777
On Duty number for Clearview: 706-507-8710