Heavy burden for Resident Advisors

There are three types of resident advisors at this school: the power trippers with a Napoleon complex, the RAs who complacently follow the rules, and the outlaw RAs who understand the true meaning of their job. None of these RAs deserve scorn for what they do. They are all products of their circumstances, the rules and guidelines set by Campus Life.
There is an extraordinary amount of pressure placed on the RAs. They have to go out amongst their peers and “bust.” These are students that RAs see everyday in the cafeteria and in class. Students see the RAs that follow protocol as the enemy, an extension of Public Safety and Campus Life instead of a source of help.
The job of a resident advisor should be to assist their residents in need. In order for that to happen, trust needs to be built between residents and RAs. If an RA is known for indiscriminately writing people up with zeal and glee, their residents won’t go to them for help. A student’s fear of getting written up supercedes their fear of alcohol poisoning. This is twisted and dangerous.
There are shining examples of god RAs out there. They ignore the enormous pressures of Campus Life to write-up students without using thought or free will. They are willing to turn a blind eye to the minor infractions like having a drink in your dorm room. In turn they are rewarded.
Their residents trust and respect them and, most importantly, come to them with their serious problems. There is no debate. It is more important for RAs to handle issues of sexual assault, alcohol poisoning and drug overdose than noise violations and underage drinking. With the current set-up this is impossible.
Campus Life should encourage RAs to give warnings instead of citations. Write-ups are effective in stopping drinking like jail time is effective in stopping crime. If RAs work to be friends with their residents, establish real friendships with real trust, a safer, healthier campus environment will develop. Disasters like alcohol poisoning, depression and sexual assault won’t have to fall through the cracks of non-communication like they do so often right now.