Doing their job

As a third year Resident Assistant, my reaction to Christine Rechner’s letter “RAs too strict,” is that Christine is very mis-informed as to what an RA’s job responsibilities consist of.

One of the RA’s job responsibilities is to complete a series of rounds in their building each night. While on rounds many times we hear loud voices, music etc. As well as the residents of each floor, it is our responsibility to remind people of quiet hours and other necessary rules—as stated in the university residence halls’ Guide Post. Christine stated that she didn’t understand why the rules are enforced on the weekends. The answer to this is simple: not everyone uses the weekend to “party.” Many utilize this valuable time to study, sleep, relax, etc.

Christine also stated that there were not any neighbors home to either side of the room that her confrontation occured at. It is hard to determine what is happening behind the closed door of a room—unless a person is gifted with psychic powers or ESP!

Christine stated that the room the confrontation occurred at had ten people in the room. With three years of experience as an RA, I have never come across a room with ten people in it that was quiet—or even at “normal conversation” level. I am confident that the RAs who confronted the room had a legitimate reason for doing so.

Before you look at RAs as a group of people out for write-ups, consider the following: we are students also. Some of us are carrying a full load of classes. Writing someone up takes anywhere from twenty minutes to two hours of our study time (paper work, judicial hearings, etc.). Time that, quite frankly, is difficult to come by.

I have great respect for the RAs I work with and the other RAs throughout campus. We experience hostility, offensive language, obsene gestures and intoxication. This semester I witnessed a fellow RA put his fingers in the mouth of an incoherent resident, because he feared that the student’s air passage was blocked from the pool of vomit he was lying in. This resident was intoxicated to the point that he had passed out.

Sticking your fingers in someone’s mouth—so they won’t die—is not the RA’s job description. Nor is being a babysitter (as Christine so slyly referred to us). I have no problems with having fun, responsibly. However, college is a time to mature.

Marthony Longo


Special education.