The days have seemed elongated ever since the end of fall break. Now that we’re over that hump, the stretch towards Thanksgiving feels long and ever so arduous. And now the advent of snow on campus causes the trudge back and forth from classes to take on a whole new level of tiring. So imagine my delight when, after climbing to the third floor of Taft house one day, I see adorable pictures of bears (and one marsupial) on the bulletin board opposite the stairwell entrance. Our lovely resident assistant made a “NovemBEARS” themed board just to make residents smile. It’s those little things, in addition to the big ones, that make me appreciate all that resident assistants do for students. My floor’s RA spends countless hours planning and hosting events, decorating the floor and handling the inner workings of our residence hall all while balancing her own classes as well as extracurricular commitments. She amazes me.
I was always perfectly aware of how dedicated each and every RA is to promoting the success of the CWRU community. To my apparent editorial shortcomings, I was not aware—until recently, after receiving an email from one angered RA and reading the letter to the editor from two weeks prior—how many hours RAs spent training over the summer. Up until that point, I was also oblivious to the fact that I had deeply offended more than one RA with my critique of the underage drinking policy. My response is this: I value the time and effort RAs put into their jobs. Just because I think some of their practices aren’t necessarily best doesn’t mean I believe I’m the authority on all things RA. It also doesn’t mean I fault RAs for the questionable policy they must carry out as part of their jobs.
I respect RAs. However, I don’t feel obligated to assert that they’re perfect or impervious to lapses in judgment, especially regarding whether or not to follow a student from a different residence building for a chance to incriminate him or her for his or her drunkenness. I don’t believe anyone should seek to discipline for the sake of discipline. There’s a possibility that this RA was simply looking out for the safety of the stumbling kid. Though, the story still illustrates how a less-than-perfect policy tied the hands of the RA once he saw the student vomiting. I ask of you, RAs: Try to see it from where I stand. I only wish to humbly comment on whatever appears widely problematic to students. Besides, who am I to not be grateful for the RAs who vastly improve my CWRU experience? Just to reiterate, I am very grateful.
That being said, I’m also grateful for the board our RA put on display last month. This featured ways to ease academic pressure. One tip that really hit home for me was to not compare the amount of time you spend studying with the time other people spend studying. This is pretty key, as the sign explains: Everyone has different methods of studying that work for them, so it doesn’t make sense to measure yourself up against people with totally dissimilar sets of priorities, studying backgrounds, available study time and so on. I wholeheartedly agree. It resonated with me to the point that I applied it to picking my schedule for next semester.
Maia Delegal is a first-year student from Jacksonville, Florida. She is planning to double major in music performance and either cognitive science, psychology, neurobiology, political science or women’s and gender studies. In her free time she likes to read, write and have jam sessions with the talented musicians in Taft.