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What to Know About Resident Advisors at Merrimack College

The office of Residence Life can be found right before the senior apartments and is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

By Kat Lawrence

Resident advisors are students on a college campus that work to make other students enjoy their time while at school. They assist you in dealing with issues either personal or involving other students. They also are there to help guide you and support you with whatever questions or concerns you may have while living on a college campus. Merrimack College is home to about 58 resident advisors currently on campus.

Resident advisors at Merrimack receive free room and board for the years they are actively working as an RA. According to the Merrimack College website there are a few requirements if you choose to become a resident advisor. You must be a full time student and be actively living on campus. You must also maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher to be eligible for this position. It is also required that you are at least in your sophomore year to apply. And most importantly, you must act in accordance with the Merrimack College Code of Student Conduct.

Brooke Mceachern, a senior here at Merrimack College shares,

“I love the RAs on campus because since they’re students, it makes me feel like I can go talk to them because they are my peers, not just my superiors. It’s clear that the RAs do a lot more on campus than just looking after their residents and making us feel safe”.

With looking after a group of individuals, there comes responsibility. The Merrimack College website describes this list of duties for potential RAs. There are four different sections they break up these responsibilities into. Starting with community development, they teach their RAs to create a sense of community amongst their unit, be available to their residents, and encourage students to get the most out of their time here at Merrimack. RAs interact and watch over around 35 residents in their unit on average. Another aspect to the job is administrative tasks. RAs must submit program proposals, incident reports, work orders, and any other important documents.

Resident advisors must also participate in duty rotations and policy enforcement. They are required to report incidents involving their residents and submit reports by the end of their shift. They must also be available for emergency situations and enforce quiet and courtesy hours. The last main responsibility is staff interaction. You must attend all training sessions, participate in all college closings and openings, and be willing to interact with other Merrimack staff.

Senior Annabelle Mcsweeney, a current resident advisor here at Merrimack College said this when asked about her experience as an RA on campus.

“Through being an RA I have made strong connections with both students and faculty on campus in the past few years. It’s a rewarding experience working to bring people together and improve their college experiences. I love being a resource for my residents as well as a friendly face”.

The Merrimack College website offers some answers to the most commonly asked questions they receive about the resident advisor program. One frequently asked question is what is the compensation for the RA position? They offer full room and board, leadership experience, resume experience, and the opportunity for a single room. Another question is what RA training is like. The training is 2 weeks and is mandatory as well as any other activities during that time. Another important question is what is the time commitment for this position, and how often are you on “duty”? RAs usually work around 20 hours a week between staff meetings, interactions with residents, and being on duty. The amount of times you are on duty depends on how many other RAs there are in your residential area. You will most likely be on duty one weekend a month and one night a week.

To learn more about becoming a resident advisor at Merrimack College you can go to the website or contact the Office of Residence Life either at reslife@merrimack.edu or call them at 978-837-5507.

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