What it Means to be an RA

Rachel Chea

More stories from Rachel Chea

The Single Life
March 23, 2017

Photo Courtesy of Campus Life

Resident Advisors (RAs) are one of the staple components to any college campus and this is the time of the semester when Le Moyne is searching for anyone that is interested in becoming an RA. But what does it really mean to be an RA and what is the experience like? Let some of your fellow ‘phins tell you:

Kayla Burt ’17

Psychology major; Philosophy minor

1st year RA

What made you want to become an RA? After my freshman year, I actually said that I would never want to be an RA because I saw how much work other RAs had to do. I did not like the idea of “being in charge” of a bunch of other people who were my age. Luckily, I had a year to grow and learn, and I realized that being an RA is much more than that. Being an RA allows you to interact with others in a unique way, and you get to meet so many different people. I made it through my first two years with the help of my RAs and other members of the Le Moyne community, and I hope that I can show my residents why Le Moyne is such a great place to be.

How do you balance being an RA with your schoolwork and other activities? I do a ton of different things on campus, so good time management skills are a MUST! I love everything that I do on campus this year, so it does not feel like much of a burden. However, it is very important for me to have time for myself. The job of an RA is exhausting, so I try to get off campus a couple times a week to relax and recharge. Also, I love my staff, and we all try to help each other out whenever we can. If one person has a busy week, the rest of us try to make up for it.

What do you think it means to be an RA? Some people think that it is like being a parent with over 50 children, but it is not like that at all. It might sound weird, but being an RA is like being a good friend. To be a good friend, you have to be approachable, and you may have to give up some free time to make sure that your friends are safe, happy, and comfortable. You want to make sure that your friends are always having a great time, but you also have to let them know when they are not making the best choices. They may not always be happy when you tell them, but you know that it will help them in the long run.


Lee Bauter ‘17

Biology Major

1st year RA

What made you want to become an RA? I wanted to become an RA, more specifically an RA for first-year students, because my first year here I had some RA’s that were great in terms of community building along with being extremely helpful when someone had questions about anything involving Le Moyne. It was awesome to have someone who was there to show you the ropes and I thought I could be good at that for the next incoming class.

How do you balance being an RA with your schoolwork and other activities? Sometimes it gets difficult to successfully manage an RA’s schedule with my schedule for everything else, but I think that struggle has been good for me. I used to be really bad about waiting until a deadline to write a paper or something like that but since I’ve been an RA, I’ve been good about getting things done well in advance. In terms of meetings, everyone on our staff is really good about helping out to balance everyone’s schedule. We really try to pick up duties for each other to make sure people can do what they have to do for their other activities.


What do you think it means to be an RA? Being an RA is very much about being there for residents in a very wide variety of ways. Sometimes a resident might not need to utilize you and that’s fine! If they have it under control, then that’s great, but many times, students need someone to go to with problems involving resident life or the stress of being a student that isn’t so formal. That’s the role RA’s fill. We are sort of a first line of reference for questions about being a student, but are also there as someone to listen. 


Jack Nelson ‘16
Philosophy major
2nd year RA

What made you want to become an RA? I wanted to be a leader for Le Moyne students who might need the help transitioning to the college experience. As a transfer, I saw how different Le Moyne is compared to bigger institutions when handling Resident Life concerns. The RA’s at Le Moyne that were responsible for my floor, Anthony and Ryan, became good friends of mine whom I wanted to work with and they encouraged me to think about applying.

How do you balance being an RA with your schoolwork and other activities? Balancing your time is the struggle in college and the struggle is REAL. I am a terrible procrastinator on top of it, so usually it means late nights and coffee. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by friends and co RA’s who also have busy schedules, so we can tackle homework and door tags together.

What’s your favorite part of being an RA? I really like my staff. When thinking about what we do and how we are there for each other I get all choked up and have to step outside. No but seriously my favorite part about being an RA is that I have made lasting friendships with both co-RAs and residents on my floors. I know that I can be lost in Canada or something and as long as I have Wifi to access our group chat they’d come get me.

What do you think it means to be an RA? Le Moyne wants its students to benefit from their education. To help that process, they try and improve the student’s academics and social life through a solid faculty and staff of professionals. Resident Advisors are the buffer between two groups, students and staff. The RA is like a student/staff MEGA person who wants to see her peers benefit from all the cool hood rat things Le Moyne offers.


Henry Eisloeffel IV ‘17

Biology Major & Chemistry Minor

1st year RA

What made you want to become an RA? I think part of the reason that I became an RA is because of the Jesuit values that have been an important aspect in academics and athletics, specifically the ideals of “magis” and the idea of men and women for others.  I had been involved in leadership roles on campus in LSPB and SGA, and I wanted more out of my experience here at Le Moyne and being an RA seemed like the next logical step.  I also want to go into the medical field, where I will be interacting with different patients every day, so in many ways I felt that the RA position would prepare me for my future.

How do you balance being an RA with your schoolwork and other activities? It’s definitely not easy. I like to be available for my residents as much as I can to make their transition smoother, but I have an awesome staff that very accommodating and an awesome Co-RA that helps me study a lot.  It’s all about time management and keeping a good schedule!

What do you think it means to be an RA? I think that being an RA means holding yourself to a standard that people will always respect and look up to and feel comfortable coming to talk to you about issues they are having, or even just talking to you!