UK resident advisers always on call

Brady Trapnell

It is about three in the morning and the phone starts to ring loud and clear. Someone on the other line says, “Hey sorry to wake you up, but we need you downstairs. A resident needs your help.”

Late night scenarios, such as this, occur regularly for the majority of resident advisers on UK’s campus. Typically, in these situations, RA’s are needed to let someone in their room because they lost their key; however, sometimes they have to take on a more serious issue. These require a response that addresses the needs of the resident in the most professional way possible.

 “Being an RA is a fun and unique experience, having the opportunity to live right there with residents making an impact,” Michael Kithcart, a nursing sophomore major and an RA in Champions Court II said. “From planning to organizing events, to checking in on people on a daily basis, I think it is a very unique experience to make an impact on a resident’s life.”

According to the UK housing website, RA’s have a variety of responsibilities, such as being accessible to residents, building community on floors, and planning regular programs and activities.

 On top of all the responsibilities with the job, RA’s have to juggle school and a social life among many other things. However, the experience is all worth it according to Susannah Gutierrez, an elementary education sophomore and RA in Champions Court I.

“There has never been a time when I wish that I was not an RA,” Gutierrez said. “Just knowing that a lot of my residents come and knock on my door anytime makes me think, ‘wow, I am so glad that I have this job where I am able to be here for these girls that need me.’”

Tristan Koerner, a communication sophomore and RA in Champions Court I, said that the opportunity to build community on a floor is one of the most meaningful aspects of the job for him.

“The CI Connect LLP, which is the living learning program that I am associated with, did a Thanksgiving meal together,” Koerner said. “They did the whole thing all themselves, I did not do a single thing. Just seeing them develop their own community and embrace their family as an LLP made me feel like a proud dad.”  

Carrie Arrastia, an RA at Roselle Hall and a choral music education junior, said residence life can sometimes be chaotic and enforcing the rules is not a fun thing to do for most RA’s. But the main purpose of the rules and regulations is to keep students safe.

“We are here to hold students accountable to the things that they agreed to when they decided to live in a residence hall,” Arristia said. “We are also here to help make students transition to college easier . . . we are here to be an ear when we need to be.”

In the end, relationship and community building is the main focus for RA’s across campus.

“We aren’t robots. We are here to promote and guide the academic and social success of every person that lives on this campus whether they live in our building or not,” Koerner said. “I really encourage any resident to get a close relationship with their RA, if possible. It allows for growth on both sides of the relationship because we grow as much as the residents do.”