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JU RAs seek to help

From+left+to+right%2C+RAs+Sam+Ayala%2C+Richard+Tyler%2C+Professional+Staff+member+Kelsey+Parker%2C+Kasey+Williams%2C+Ruda+Less%2C+and+Ryan+Noles.+In+the+middle+row%2C+from+left+to+right%2C+Lasiana+Nunu+%26+Professional+Staff+member+Melissa+Alberto.+Lastly%2C+in+the+bottom+row%2C+from+left+to+right%2C+Marcus+Shields%2C+Maggie+Ruiz%2C+Reggie+Lynn+Agulto+and+Angie+Acedera.
From left to right, RAs Sam Ayala, Richard Tyler, Professional Staff member Kelsey Parker, Kasey Williams, Ruda Less, and Ryan Noles. In the middle row, from left to right, Lasiana Nunu & Professional Staff member Melissa Alberto. Lastly, in the bottom row, from left to right, Marcus Shields, Maggie Ruiz, Reggie Lynn Agulto and Angie Acedera.

From left to right, RAs Sam Ayala, Richard Tyler, Professional Staff member Kelsey Parker, Kasey Williams, Ruda Less, and Ryan Noles. In the middle row, from left to right, Lasiana Nunu & Professional Staff member Melissa Alberto. Lastly, in the bottom row, from left to right, Marcus Shields, Maggie Ruiz, Reggie Lynn Agulto and Angie Acedera.

KELSEY PARKER

KELSEY PARKER

From left to right, RAs Sam Ayala, Richard Tyler, Professional Staff member Kelsey Parker, Kasey Williams, Ruda Less, and Ryan Noles. In the middle row, from left to right, Lasiana Nunu & Professional Staff member Melissa Alberto. Lastly, in the bottom row, from left to right, Marcus Shields, Maggie Ruiz, Reggie Lynn Agulto and Angie Acedera.

Jenna Thompson, Staff Writer

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— College is a time of transition and living independently.

For some students, this is their first time living on their own, and this can cause stress and uncertainty. One of the goals of a residential advisor is to make that transition easier.

“It really makes moving into college a lot easier when you know your RA has your back,” said Rayna Greene, a freshman at Jacksonville University. “No matter how little or big my problem is I can call my RA and she will always help me out.”

RAs are placed throughout the halls to develop a sense of community among residents. To do this, RAs may decorate residence hall, have meetings with the other students living there, and organize activities.

“An RA’s first priority is to develop their residents—getting them to discuss and reflect on their independence, identity, and impact,” said Kelsey Parker, the assistant director of Residential Life. “They really create the culture of the hall or building and help students transition into, through, and out of the university.”

Parker stresses how hard RAs work to make the campus community more positive for students. RAs have one-on-one conversations with students, create bulletin boards to announce news and events going on in Jacksonville, and interact with the Jacksonville University residents.

RAs are responsible for other students, meaning they must be sensitive to the needs of many different people. Advisors encourage residents to respect one another, get involved with the floor, hall, and area activities, and provide information about campus resources.

“It is so cool when you are walking around campus and every so often you have residents waving at you and administration recognizing you because you are an RA,” said Maggie Ruiz, an RA in North Hall. “It has really helped build my network and credibility on campus.”

Ruiz says some of her fondest memories have been made since becoming an RA.

“During RA training over the summer, we would stay up till four or five o’clock in the morning decorating the halls. It really creates bonding moments between you and the other staff.”

Ruiz said that RAs are expected to be strong team players as members of a residence hall staff and residential programs. They are expected to display a commitment to the development of an effective RA staff.

Parker said that becoming an RA can teach you many lessons and open opportunities for students. Opportunities include knowing administration on a more personal basis, gaining experience in a workplace setting, and developing time-management skills. The extra bonus of becoming an RA is having your housing paid.

“One can learn so much from this position, mostly how to be a successful leader,” said Parker. “You can only be an RA in college, so say yes to the opportunity while you have it!”

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