The Life of an RA

Posted on 02. Dec, 2014 by in Community, Future Butler

The search is underway for some of the most organized, helpful, and responsible Butler students to be next school year’s Resident Assistants. The first interest session took place in November, but there are still two more opportunities to see if RA life is right for you.

Morgan Sohl, Resident Assistant in Schwitzer Residence Hall, shows off her decorative door.

Morgan Sohl, Resident Assistant in Schwitzer Residence Hall, shows off her decorative door.

Morgan Sohl, a junior who is spending her first year as a resident assistant, said she first became interested in the position because of the positive impact her first R.A. had on her during her freshmen year.

“My RA was super influential. She really helped me ease into college life,” Sohl said.

Although there are plenty of sophomore RAs, Sohl decided to wait until this year to take the job.

“I realized I am comfortable with who I am, and I know more about Butler,” Sohl said. “I thought as a junior, I would be able to be more of a resource for freshmen.”

Sohl has 22 students in her unit, which is smaller than most units in Schwitzer. She said she likes the smaller size because of the more personal vibe.

Throughout the fall semester, Sohl has already made countless memories with her unit, even if those memories don’t involve a big night out. “One night, we sat in my room for three hours eating pumpkin pie and just talking about nothing,” Sohl said. Sohl resident’s can talk to her about pretty much anything, from work, to school, to boys.

Michelle Jones, a resident in Sohl’s unit, said Sohl is always very helpful. “She’s the best R.A.,” Jones said. “She is very open, and even bakes cookies for us.”

It’s not all about baking, though. Sohl knows that being an R.A. is a big time commitment, and must be balanced with academics. Once that balance is found, however, Sohl said the bonds she forms with her residents are rewarding, and she recommends others to consider the position.

“Sometimes school and the job can be stressful, but this is a place we can all congregate and have fun,” Sohl said.

Moe Simmons, Resident Assistant in Ross Hall, relaxes in his room.

Moe Simmons, Resident Assistant in Ross Hall, relaxes in his room.

Over in Ross Hall, Moe Simmons, Junior, is working his second year as a resident assistant.

Simmons said that he primarily loves the job because of the connections he makes, and likes the idea of people coming to him for help.

He also admits that having his room & board fee paid for is an added bonus. However, Moe tells students interested in becoming an RA that it isn’t all about that.

“If you don’t like this job, and you just take it for the free room and board, you have to deal with 31 people that need your attention on a daily basis,” he said.

Simmons also struck down the assumption that anyone can be a resident assistant. “You really have to make sure you are mentally, emotionally, and physically ready because this job takes a toll on people,” Simmons said. “No matter how cool you are as an RA or how good you are with people, you are going to get criticized.”

At the end of the day, Simmons said the number one benefit is building long lasting relationships with his residents. “I can go to any fraternity or sorority house, and my old residents will say ‘oh Moe, I remember you. You were such a good RA.’ That’s the vibe I want to put out to people.”

Rachel Hahn, a second year Resident Assistant in Residential College, won R.A. of the year during the 2013-2014 school year.

Rachel Hahn, a second year Resident Assistant in Residential College, won RA of the Year last year.

Just across the street from Ross Hall, Rachel Hahn, a Resident Assistant in Residential College, is also in her second year on the job.

Hahn manages 40 residents in her unit, almost double the size of Sohl’s unit in Schwitzer. Despite the larger size, Hahn said she has taken the time to get to know her residents. She also plans 1-2 events per week so that her residents can get to know each other.

Going into the job for the first time, Hahn said it was a lot more training and a lot more dealing with serious issues than she first expected. Still, she returned for a second year because she loved getting to deal with a variety of personalities. “You really don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life until you actually get to know them and talk to them,” she said.

In a normal semester, Hahn usually takes 19-21 credit hours of classes. She said adding her RA role to her academic schedule was challenging at first, but she’s learned to keep up. “It’s kind of a 24/7 job,” she said.

While on duty, Hahn said the experiences she’s had have truly been valuable because the job has taught her to open up more. “It’s the absolute best opportunity on campus to grow as a leader, invest in other people, and really learn about Butler,” Hahn said.

 

Interested in becoming an RA? The next interest session is Thursday, Dec. 4th at 7:30 pm in the Ross Hall Basement. The last session is Wednesday, Jan. 14th at 7:30 pm in the Schwitzer Hall Lobby. 

Applications are due by Friday, January 23rd at 12:00 pm. The application can be found at www.butler.edu/reslife

 

great picWritten by Tyler Springer ’17

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