A Day in the Life: Residential Advisor At SCSU


Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

Residential Advisors are a constant part of a student’s life if they live on campus. Whether or not they are a friend, a counselor, or just that person at the end of the hall who does room checks, in the Residential Halls, there really is no escaping them.

Though this may be the case, and student’s feelings on their Residential Advisors may vary, Residential Advisors do a lot in our Residence halls here on campus, and their daily life is quite different than most might think.

Richie Magnotti, senior physics major and Residential Advisor in West Campus Residential Hall, gave a breakdown of what it really meant to be a Residential Advisor, but also what it takes.

“The first thing to understand about being an R.A. is that you are a student leader,” said Magnotti. “That being said, you have to notice that first you are a student, then you are a leader and then anything after those two can come into play.”

While attending to his rounds on his duty night, Magnotti gave a breakdown of the typical day for him as a Residential Advisor.

“So first things first, I have to go to classes, there is no escaping that, and it’s my first priority,” said Magnotti. “Then comes the real work of an R.A. I will come back to West, see if there is anything that needs to be done, and I do it or see what can be done.”

Following this, Residential Advisors also have “Duty Nights” which are nights specific to their work schedule as a Residential Advisor.

“So we have our normal nights of the week, and then we have our duty nights which are a little different,” said Magnotti. “On those nights, an R.A. typically will either ‘sit’ first, which means they work at the desk, or they do rounds throughout the building and make sure everything is okay. Then, adding onto that, stay up until about 2 a.m. before being able to be off duty.”

In talking about the lifestyle of a Residential Advisor, Magnotti also made a point to highlight some of the benefits and hardships of the position as well.

“I think one of the best things about being an R.A is being able to just connect with my residents,” said Magnotti. “Sure there might be times where we disagree or something happens, but being able to help them out and just getting to know so many different people is one of the best parts.”

On the other hand, there are also varying hardships which Magnotti illustrated.

“I think the hardest thing is learning how to manage time, and prioritizing your work,” said Magnotti. “I thought I was good at time management, but this job really showed me how to. It was stressful at first, and I was on the e-board for a club, but when I became an R.A. I had to drop it and focus on maintaining my schoolwork and the job.”

Though that seems like a hefty price, in reality Magnotti sees it completely differently now.

“Even though I had to give up some stuff, the job made me put a lot more effort into my work,” said Magnotti. “I love what I do, and I have a good circle of co-workers, friends, residents and that is what keeps me going.”

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas

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