Are Resident Assistants Out to Get You?

Mike Ryan

By Mike Ryan

Yearning for a job that pays two grand a semester and gives plenty of grief?

Try being a resident assistant – that is, RA as most students know. Many students think resident assistants have cushy jobs. Well here is just one RA experience that could change a mind or two:

The hallway was eerily silent, except for the commotion from one bedroom at the very end. The RA had heard such horror stories during his training, but this was his first night doing full weekend rounds. It was past 2 a.m. Most residents were passed out cold.

The powerful stench of vodka filled his nostrils as he shuffled closer to the end of the hall. He was so exhausted he barely realized he was pounding on the door to room 206. A terrified 18-yr-old boy answered, cracking open the wooden door.

“What’s the problem?”

“You realize your guys’ music is at full volume, right? I can’t even hear myself think. And the hallway reeks of alcohol. Do you mind if I come in and take a look around?”

“That alcohol smell’s not from us, and we’re going to turn down the music and go to bed. And no you can’t come in.”

Slam. So much for a conversation.

This type of rude and rowdy encounter is common for RAs.

And then there’s the questions …

Prity Kharawala is an R.A. who has patrolled the dingy halls of North Campus for two years. Despite being a veteran, she still is surprised by how many timid freshmen ask her ridiculous questions.

“‘Am I going to lose my housing? Are they going to kick me out?’ It feels like the students know nothing about what we’re actually trained to do,” she said.

South Campus resident Tom Hewitt grasps an understanding of the position, having spoken frequently to his RA from freshman year.

“We kind of just want to have a good time,” he said. “Most of my friends see RA’s as hindering their fun, not building our community. [My RA] told me he really just needed the extra cash. It wasn’t about trying to bust us at all.”

Where there’s freshmen, too often there’s alcohol

Andrew Roberts has managed RAs for a few years. He moved to North Campus in 2009, and saw the behavior of new college students.

“The reality exists that people are going to drink. When we call students into our office, we don’t promote or condone the practice. But we also do not yell at any students or try to get them booted from school. It’s just not our style.”

Still want to slam that door in your RA’s face?

Interested in becoming an RA?

Check out this page for some useful information.

For more information on UConn Residential Life, follow this link:

UConn ResLife home page.


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