The resident assistant experience

Ariel Themm, Staff Intern

When there’s something strange in your dorm, who you gonna call?

Resident assistants!

From academic program planning to roommate contracts, the RAs live in the residence halls and for the residence halls. At least one RA is assigned to each floor in all residence halls to help the students living on campus feel comfortable and to encourage involvement in campus life at Oakland University.

Before students moved in during Labor Day weekend, the RAs created bulletin boards to help students navigate the various opportunities they would have at OU. Many freshmen and transfer students find themselves in a new atmosphere filled with fresh events and tutoring opportunities but with little understanding on how to become a part of the Grizzly family.

Mackenzie Mead, a sophomore RA from the 2nd floor in South Hamlin Hall, has a personal vision of how to best aid newcomers on campus.

“The main goal is to build a community, get people involved,” Mead said. “You succeed when everyone’s at home here. I love working with people and I believe it’s very rewarding.”.  

Creating GroupMe chats or Facebook groups allows each student on the floor to share with their peers, invite others to events and promote unity on all floors.

Samaira Rosado, a sophomore RA on the 6th floor of Hill House recalls when she felt inspired to take on this role.

“I had a really great group of RAs last year,” Rosado said. “It was like having a family away from home.”

RAs want students to feel that they are not alone on their journey to get degrees. Many RAs set times for floor dinners and ask students to gather for meetings to discuss issues and also just to hang and connect with others. RAs are rewarded with this family-style-life as well as free room and board.

Students can become future RAs after they have completed one semester of living on campus. Guiseppe Giammalva, a freshman living in Hamlin Hall, stresses the importance of House Council meetings.

“It basically introduces how you can become a part of the residence association,” Giammalva said. “There are elections you can run for… Each residence hall has its own board and every so often they come together for one general meeting. It was actually pretty interesting to go to,” he added. 

Students can expect emails at the end of the winter semester, inviting all to become a part of the RA experience. For those who are looking to make a difference, guide the future students and create community with an entire residence hall floor, an RA position might be the right position for you.