Your favorite show is about to start and you are locked out of your room. Who are you going to call? Ghostbusters!
Actually, a call to your RA may be more sensible.
Sure, your Resident Assistant may have unlocked your door a few times and you may have even chatted with them once or twice, but have you ever taken the time to get to know your RA?
Veronica Cirrincione is an RA at Lakeside Hall, which she proudly refers to as “the hidden gem on campus.” Cirrincione actually believes that the most important responsibility an RA has is to communicate with, and be a resource for, the residents on their floor and in their building.
“Our overarching job as a Resident Assistant is to be a resource for our residents. I’m here for my residents if [they] need help with someone or something. Anything they need, I am here,” explained Cirrincione.
Some students often think of RA’s as more of a hinder than a help. Cirrincione stressed her role as the latter.
“One of our biggest jobs is communicating because we need to tell our residents what’s allowed and what isn’t, so [residents] don’t break the rules, even unknowingly. I wouldn’t want [a resident] to get in trouble because I didn’t explain the rules.”
At the end of the day, RA’s are just like the rest of the Springfield College students, in the sense that they are, just that, Springfield College students.
Every Thursday, Cirrincione, a sophomore in the Health Science/Pre-Physical Therapy program, attends class from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. She has an hour break during this time, which she often uses to attend meetings for student clubs she is a part of.
Cirrincione then works from 4 to 6:30 p.m. A Music minor, from 7 to 9 p.m. Cirrincione attends SC Singers, one of the student organizations she is involved with.
Cirrincione then puts her RA hat on, figuratively, and her RA nametag on, literally. Most weeks, she is “on duty” from 9 p.m. on Thursday until 3 a.m. on Friday.
While “on duty,” Cirrincione explains that she and the other RA’s are simply “maintaining the building, making sure people are observing quiet hours.” During this time, RA’s are also required to walk through the building once an hour, not only to maintain safety, but also as Cirricione said, to “cultivate relationships.”
However, the job of being an RA requires much more than a six-hour per week commitment.
Those wonderful nametags on your door? They were made by an RA. So, too, were the bulletin boards in all of the residential halls on campus.
In addition to decorating the buildings in which students call home for much of the year, RA’s are also required to complete Health and Safety checks and meet at least once a week. The five RA’s and the RD at Lakeside, for example, meet every Monday. Every other week, each RA also has a one-on-one meeting with the RD to ensure that both the RA, as well as their residents, are doing well.
However, as Cirricione stressed, the main job of an RA is to work with, not against, their fellow students. She continuously preached the same message regarding her fellow Lakeside dwellers.
“I’m more than happy to help you, to be a resource, to build a relationship with you…the best part is my residents. You guys are awesome.”