By: Brittany Thompson
Campus Life Editor
Resident Assistants (RAs) play an important role on campus. RAs’ responsibilities, according to the Viterbo Residence Life page, include building community, providing personal growth opportunities and creating fun, social floor activities.
Jacob Hart, a sophomore Management major from Marengo, Ill., is the current RA of Marian Hall, third floor.
Q. What inspired you to apply for the position of RA?
A. It was a spontaneous decision. I saw the sign and filled out the application last minute, not really knowing what to expect. I really didn’t know much about the position, other than what I could see from my own RA, but I believe he helped me get interested as well.
Q. What are some highlights of the experience so far?
A. The relationships I have been able to build with the staff, coordinators, administrators, and residents, have been life-changing. I could not have asked for better people to work with or a more active and engaging floor with such a dynamic it has. The greatest reward so far has been the ability to share what I can with my residents and watch them grow as students and members of campus life. It’s been incredible to see the changes in my residents in one short semester. To see them learn from their experiences and adapt, the way they have been able to, really impresses me.
Q. What has been the greatest challenge as an RA this semester? How have you worked through it?
A. Perhaps the greatest challenge so far has simply been my ability to manage my time. The toughest part is making sure I have enough time to be there for my residents, while at the same time getting done what is necessary for my future as well. The easiest way for me to get through the stress is to just think about what I am gaining from the entire experience. I may be losing a few hours of sleep and I may be putting in extra work that doesn’t necessarily need to be done, but the reward I get of building the community on my floor outweighs any struggle I can think of.
Q. In what ways have you felt you have improved the dorm or apartment experience for the residents?
A. I would like to think I have improved the level of acceptance for the residents. It is sometimes difficult to be respectful of everyone, especially on a floor of college males, but I believe what makes the experience enjoyable is being able to communicate with everyone in a respectful manner. What I really stressed at our first floor meeting was respect and I hope to keep the theme in the minds of my residents throughout the year. I also believe I have improved the experience by acting not as an authority figure, but rather as a resource for the residents. I let them know that I am not above them but simply here when they need guidance.
Q. What are you looking forward to in the upcoming semester?
A. I am looking forward to just gaining more knowledge from my residents and watching them progress through the year. I hope I can end my year as an RA knowing that I have made an impact on the lives of my residents and have instilled some values I believe to be necessary to success on campus and in the rest of their lives.
Q. What is something your residents may not know about you?
A. One thing my residents may not know about me is that I have had four eye surgeries. Another being that I am an Eagle Scout.