Residential Advisers have a very unique job. Depending on the type of residential enviroment (e.g. type of hall, floor size, apartment building, etc...), they deal with a variety of tasks. From being a student role model, to an authoritative discipliner, and a behind the scenes all-around typical student (e.g. student oranization involvement, doing office paper work, doing homework, and learning life overall as a non-student with family back at home).
I know this because I was one back in 97'-98' at Clayton A. Gay Hall. I can't speak for all RA's, but I can only speak for myself through the 1 year experience of a lifetime.
When I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my job as an RA, my job was a lot more easier than I could think of handling it any other way.
That is why I decided to do this website, to help current and future RA's at UMM or any campus. Below are some advices from RA Alumns to help serve current and future RA's in their jobs.
"Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."-John 21:18
When were you in RA and when did you graduate? What made you want to be an RA?
What were some of your highlights in this job?
What were some challenges or lowpoints?
As you look back, are there any things that you would like to change?
What did you get out of being an RA that helps what you do now?
Do you have any suggestions or word of advice for current RA's?
Thank you very much for filling-out this survey, which will be used as a resource for current and future RA's at UMM
Name: Sal Monteagudo
City Born-Raised: St. Paul
When were you in RA and when did you graduate? 1997-1998 and UMM 99' Alumn!
Where on-campus where you in RA at? Clayton A. Gay Hall
What made you want to be an RA? To be honest, financiall reason, to help pay for college and take care of some past debts. Also, to build my own self-confidence to do something that I couldn't do in my mind. I wanted to be in a leadership role as a "minority" in campus after seeing others do it.
What were some of your highlights in this job? The relationships built between me (an upperclassman-junior at the time!) and my predominately multiculturally diverse lowerclass-freshmen floor. There are handful that I still keep in touch with to this day (2004), which I've been to 2 weddings so far. There is another wedding that I couldn't make it because I attended my roommate of my first 2 years at UMM the same day!
What were some challenges or lowpoints? Not being bold enough to discipline different issues within the floor.
-One was alcohol, which a resident that was 21+ influence some of the freshmen in my floor to drink on the floor. I caught him drinking at one of the freshmen's room with other freshmens. This was just one of several drinking violations that I had to "write-up".
-Another was a roommate conflict, which two residents of mine coudn't get along with various reaons. For example, each of them had a boyfriend, and they had conflicts about one of the other having them sleep overnight.
-A moral issue was giving out condemns, which I did-wasn't deep in my "stand" on this.
-A difficult issue that came suprised to me was "racism", which I was accussed of favoring one race over the other. I had to prove to them I wasn't by making the effort to attend as many "cultural events" they were involved in. -Other issues were other floors that I dealt with during "on-call", where another RA and I would walk the floors of the hall. One time, we "busted" two roommates for underage drinking. My RA peer started to "friendly" chat with them and pointed to an object in their room. Suprisingly, he found 5+ bottles of beer hidden behind the corner. We ended up having them do a "community service project" of putting-up posters on "effects of "alcohol".
As you look back, are there any things that you would like to change? -feel free to contact me with other issues that I ran across that was very helpful in my educational experience in life
What did you get out of being an RA that helps what you do now? I learned many of the different issues that many I wasn't aware of, like mentioned in my answers to the question above this. I got a whole new perspective of college life, which I didn't see when I was a "regular" resident for 2 years prior to my junior year. I got a lot of self-confidence built inside of me, which I didn't have before. Plus, it was another step to another experience that I would've not get myself into-Gateway Mentor-that I participated the following summer at UMM. As I have a heart to do "cultural cross-ministry" (international student ministry for my local church and UMM Alpha to serve as a resource person. Also, it was a step to take before my current job in-town as a Consumer Counselor at a group home for #8 developmentally disabled adults. I believe it was all preperation (educational, social, and spiritual) that God had me do to get to where I am at right now and down the road.
Do you have any suggestions or word of advice for current RA's? You need God in your work! He'll help you through all the obstacles that you'll be facing as an RA to get through the whole year. Don't try to do this job by yourself. You need constant fellowship with other RA's-especially believers-to pray through the many issues you'll face as an individual and group-team! I continued my habit of working-out (particularly swimming!) at the fitness center, which was a "get away" time from the floor (residents love to hunt you down in and out of the floor). You can't be there for them all of the time! Also resources, you need to be "direct" them-not hold their hand! You may not know all the answers to their questions, but you can direct them to the source (being familiar with the campus-student organizations-is a helpful knowledge source). Have fun-it's only a one time life building experience that you might never get anywhere!
Below are separte student organization's I was involved in when I attended UMM from 1995-1999. I met many diverse people in UMM when I got involved with different student organizations (culturally, religiously, etc..) Sadly to say, it does appear these links I set up are segregated. Explanation down below.....
*Note: I'm not intentionally segregating each race. I'm actually distinguishing each student organization I was involved in with each former alumn's experience (each has a different question as each member came from a different background and went through a different experience here at UMM) with each organization. God has opened my eyes when I was an "involved" student at UMM and continues to do so after living here. Getting involved with various student organizations was a time of searching my identity, which I found it-in Christ-one of many God's children I think that is why it's been hard to leave "Motown"!
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