RAs deserve respect from fellow students


Becca Allen/Guilfordian

Binford RAs attend their weekly Sunday meeting with Brain Daniel and Kristie Wyatt ’08, Wellness Education Coordinator, to discuss campus events and issues

Resident Advisors deserve respect from Guilford College’s student body.

From guiding students and aiding in their successes to representing resident communities and embodying Guilford’s core values, RAs are indispensable members of our community.

But some people, mostly students, don’t treat them entirely with respect. Some may disregard their authority, and others may ignore the rules they set forth. But it is about time that we, as a community, recognize the value of RAs.

I attribute the lack of respect to a lack of comprehension concerning RAs responsibilities.

“I’m not sure if most students know what is expected of RAs,” said senior Kelli Uresti.

This statement has stuck with me. It is critical for the Guilford student body to know and understand the responsibilities and expectations of RAs in order to appreciate the work they undertake.

Some believe that RAs are stationed in residence halls only to discourage residents from getting into too much trouble, or in other words, to prevent. Short of being absurd, this is representative of an incomplete understanding. Regardless of their alleged proclivity to prevent, RAs, in truth, provide.

To offer just some of the provided resources and expected duties of RAs, the following information is from the Resident Advisor Position Description from the 2015-2016 academic year which the Residential Education & Housing department offers:

RAs “create, plan and implement social and educational programs for residence halls,” “are committed to the important role of community living, the undergraduate educational experience, and the goals and core values of Guilford College” and “advise residents concerning personal, academic, and social concerns.”

Just three out of the forty-or-so responsibilities that are listed in the RA position description, these prove that RAs have a lot on their plates.

With all of these heavy responsibilities in addition to having a personal life and focusing on their studies, RAs clearly deserve appreciation from the Guilford community.

When looking at the various obligations that RAs have – personal, academic, work-related, etc. – it becomes apparent that RAs must efficiently manage their time.

“You have to balance school, personal issues and the whole RA work,” said sophomore Kalah Dumas, a former RA.

Not only do RAs have to balance these factors in their own lives, but they have to guide a group of their peers in each of their own social, academic, and personal matters.

“The RA position is an integral part of the community because of its capacities to help,” said Brian Daniel ’11, community director of Binford Hall and former Guilford RA for three years.

And, indeed, that’s what it’s all about. What Guilford stands for, what the seven core values represent: helping one’s neighbor and aiding one’s community.

Whereas faculty and staff are the rain and students are the sunlight, RAs are the soil of Guilford’s community. They provide a foundation for the growth, supply the resources for a healthy development and protect the roots of our community.

Treat RAs like the essential members of our community that they are. Give them the respect they deserve by responding to their requests, following the rules and guidelines that they set forth and, most importantly, show them how much Guilford’s community appreciates them by expressing gratitude for all of their hard work.

Next time you see an RA, I ask you to thank them for their continuous effort and dedication to the Guilford community.