You and Your Residential
It might be
natural to look at the RA of your floor, as well as any other residential
staff, as replacement of parental authorities and then try to have
as little contact with them as possible. That would be a mistake.
In the first place, they don't want to be your parents and would
prefer to never have to exercise any authority. But if the occasion
arises that you do run afoul of them, if you're on good terms, you'll
be a lot better off than if they hardly know you.
Jane was an
only child, and her parents catered to her every whim. She had never
shared a room with anybody, and the experience of not being in charge
was a little overwhelming to her. She was barely communicating with
her roommates. She didn't complain, but when her mom found out,
she didn't hesitate to get on the phone with Fran, the dorm's RA.
Fran went to
investigate, and though it was clearly Jane's fault, the rift between
roommates seemed too big to heal, so she helped Jane switch rooms.
It didn't take very long for Jane to have similar problems with
this new roommate. Fran decided that Jane needed some special attention,
so she took her under her wing. They spent long hours talking, and
eventually Jane realized that, when living with a roommate, she
couldn't always have her way and that she had to learn to compromise.
Jane and Fran ended up becoming friends and actually shared a room
the next year. Obviously not every case resembles this one with
Jane. Sometimes an RA has to be the bad guy and enforce the rules.
Usually it's because the students have not just put their toe over
the line, but have gone 100 yards beyond it. But while RAs are not
looking for confrontations, they do have the weight of the entire
college on their side, so if one of them gets on your case for behavior
that you know is against the rules, don't try to give them a hard
time. Instead, say you're sorry and try to clean up your act.
RAs are a good
source of information about your campus, so make a point of talking
to them when you have a chance. You never know what useful information
you might learn, and you even might make a friend.
to go to an RA with a problem. You can always tell them that you
don't want them to intervene, but they might have a suggestion that
will be really useful to you. Also, by reporting a problem early
on, if you later do need assistance, you'll have proved to the RA
that this is not just a one-time occurrence. Try to extend your
level of contact with dorm staff to include the resident director
and others. They too may one day be of service and certainly can
provide you with good information. This is the information age and
you can never have too much, so use these valuable resources.
Life 101 | Morning
Larks Versus Night Owls | Noise and Other
Distractions | Alcohol and Cigarettes
| Drug Use | The
Sexual Side of Drugs and Alcohol | Food
Issues | The
mixing of the Sexes | Dorm
Alternatives | Work
Your Residential Advisor