Starting college is an exciting and challenging time. For many freshmen, it's also the first time living away from home.
At Quinnipiac, Resident Assistants play a key role in helping students successfully make the transition to college life. From offering advice on sharing space with roommates to opening a locked door, RAs not only provide day-to-day support, they also play a crucial role in the educational experience of students. RAs help to build community, encouraging co-curricular involvement and celebrating diversity.
"Becky has made adjusting to college life so easy for me and has made me feel welcome since day one," said one Quinnipiac student in a recent Quality of Life survey conducted by the Department of Residential Life.
"[My RA] is a great support system and is a reliable resource for anything that we need," said another.
Last year, 198 Quinnipiac students applied for the 30 available positions as RAs in University housing, making that job among the most competitive on campus. It is also one of the most demanding. That's why the University provides a comprehensive training program and support system for its RAs.
In collaboration with the counseling center, public safety and other campus partners, the residential life staff trains RAs in areas such as conflict resolution and mediation, team building, crisis response, mental health issues and fire safety.
"A great deal of research goes into our program in general-and goes on in our professional field-so we make sure the RAs are familiar with a lot of this," says John Goepfrich, assistant director of residential life.
RAs in their first year receive additional support in the form of a monthly in-service called "RA 101." In addition, all RAs participate in weekly staff meetings, individual one-on-one meetings with their supervisor, and an additional week of training in January.
While residential life staff members are committed to ensuring that Quinnipiac's 4,800 residential students have the best RAs, they also foster an exceptional experience for the RAs themselves. RAs have the opportunity to develop skills relating to leadership, customer service and communication, while benefiting from practical experiences like creating budgets, writing proposals and marketing campus events. The residential life staff helps RAs use these skills and experiences as a springboard for future employment.
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