It’s 2:00 a.m. Junior Ellie Kaiser is in the hallway, chatting with the girls on her floor. This, she says, is a typical night as the RA of the second floor of Laguna. Between being a full-time student, having a job, and the occasional trip to Yogurtland with the girls, this is the only time she gets to relax.
“It’s extremely stressful. I’m on call 24/7, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I know I’m where God wants me to be,” Kaiser said.
Along with her responsibilities to be available for her girls, she is also required to plan several events for the floor. Throughout the year, she has plans for a movie night on the beach, Mocha Mondays, 80’s roller skating, bowling, floor dinners and chapels and photo shoots – not to mention the infamous GYRAD.
“I feel so honored to have this opportunity… I love how open [my girls] are,” Kaiser said.
It’s 2:00 a.m. Junior Kevin Strickland, an RA in Balport, is getting ready for bed. It’s been a long day, but now he can finally relax. Strickland believes that being an RA in Balport is definitely not as stressful or time-consuming as being an RA in a freshman dorm. However, it still definitely has its moments. Strickland also works in the mailroom and is a full-time student. But he doesn’t let his busy schedule affect his duties as an RA. It doesn’t get to be too much, nor is there ever a dull moment.
“It’s just right,” Strickland said.
When it comes time to choose a new RA, people line up to submit their applications. However, it is a large amount of work. There is a mandatory RA class every Friday morning to better equip RAs to help their residents. They must live alone, the amount of units they can take is limited, as is the number of hours they can work another job. But it’s more than just work.
“It’s about living together and learning from each other,” Strickland said.
His favorite part of being an RA is enjoying the simple things, like getting to know the guys on his floor, and just having an excuse to get closer to them.
Both Strickland and Kaiser love their positions. Despite the stress and taxing requirements, it is an opportunity neither would give up.
“This is the most spectacular experience I’ve had at VU,” Kaiser said.