Monday, February 18, 2013

Meet the Resident Assistant: CHA(RA)CTER, G(RA)CE, ADMI(RA)BLE

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a Resident Assistant? During my college search process nearly ever tour guide mentioned having an RA on your floor but I never truly understood the purpose of an RA until I moved into my residence hall. 
A Resident Assistant is resource, programmer, mediator, ruler enforcer, and representation of the University’s Office of Residential Life. After spending three semesters living in residence halls at Fordham, attending programs hosted by my hall’s RAs, and learning about the role of an RA; I applied and was selected to be a Resident Assistant in Tierney Hall, a sophomore residence hall on the Rose Hill campus.
My position as an RA has been both challenging and rewarding. I have learned to work cooperatively with others, met some amazingly talented students, and have demonstrated the Jesuit mission of creating men and women for others. As an RA, I am required to host programs for the residents of Tierney Hall to attend. Programs are a way to bring residents together and help build a close knit community within the hall. RA’s across campus are required to create and host programs that help foster community building, diversity, service, health and wellness and school spirit. Some of my favorite programs have included taking residents to see Silver Linings Playbook, having a chocolate fountain while residents helped create a banner for the lobby of their favorite things about Fordham, having a discussion facilitated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs about stereotypes, inviting residents to make their own fruit cup, joining a group of residents to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, partnering with Tierney’s Residence Hall Association to celebrate Superbowl Sunday, and bringing a group of residents to support the swim and dive teams for their final home meet of the season. 
One of my favorite parts of being an RA is being able to design a bulletin board each month. I always try to make my bulletin board interactive or useful for my residents. Some of my favorite bulletin boards have allowed residents to play Candyland while earning prizes and getting involved in Fordham, to learn about credit cards and some great student credit card offerings, and to read about some famous female Fordham alumni for Women’s History Month. It always makes me smile when a resident thanks me for supplying such useful information or even to see a resident stop and take some time to read the information posted on my bulletin board. 
Being an RA has been a great opportunity and something I am very proud to do. Though it can be a very time consuming position, I believe it is a way for me to make someone’s day a little brighter. I am so happy to work with others who share the same passion as I do and to serve a community full of extremely unique and talented students.  So I encourage you to enjoy your hall programs and make friends with you neighbors; your RA is working to ensure your experience to be nothing but the best.

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