When it comes to building communities and friendships that last a lifestyle, Residential Assistants (RA) do it best regardless of the challenges the position brings.
Some of the challenges include “lots of work and paperwork” said Sean Tomlinson 19’ who is a first time RA in Mccormick. The building placements are random and sometimes RAs end up with their class year as Tomlinson did.
Fairfield University’s staff in charge of the program spend the time required to train its students to be positive role models. They also have high expectations for them but they do acknowledge that the position can be hard.
Sonya Alexander, the Area Coordinator (AC) at Mccormick hall says she expects the RAs in the building to build relationships with all the residents. She added that she was an RA herself during her undergraduate years and is still friends with some of her former students.
“You have to make some tough decisions when addressing policies” Alexander added. When it comes to friends, RAs often have to figure out how to separate their commitments with the program from their personal lives.
Kaadiana Barnes 16’ who is an RA at Dolan Townhouses said that being a role model comes with a lot of responsibilities. “I feel like I am always watched” she said and that often means that she has to attend parties or events elsewhere to avoid any misunderstandings.
RAs get free room and board that covers a big part of their tuition but they also get to be leaders in their communities and impact change. Regardless of the work involved, Tomlinson and Barnes both agree that knowing that they made a difference in their peers’ experience here at Fairfield makes it all worth it.