Duties of an RA: Part 1

This is the route I take when doing my rounds every three weeks. Picture by Cameron Campbell

As an RA, you have to do these walks called rounds around your residence hall multiple times a night. It’s not an all-night thing; our three rounds have to be done within the time from 7pm-12am each weekday night (which is considered Sunday-Thursday), 7pm-2am each weekend night (which is Friday and Saturday), and two extra rounds done during the day on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-7pm. It can be a little confusing at first, but its easy to remember after a few weeks.

What we have to do during each round is simple depending on your residence hall. At mine, we walk around outside to make sure people aren’t trying to break in, and make sure there aren’t any parties being thrown (yes, even in a pandemic). We also have to take mental note of anything we see that could be out of the ordinary. If we see any water heaters sitting outside, furniture that’s supposed to be inside, and also having to try and locate “funny” smells coming from somewhere.

If anything happens and we need backup, we either call our secondary (who is another RA that’s on-call with us), or we call the RDOC (Residence Director On-Call). The secondary usually gets called if the RA on-call is uncomfortable handling a noise complaint or can’t locate the “funny” smell. The RDOC gets called if the University Police Department is on site, if we’re handling a situation and don’t know what to do, or updating them on a situation that we’ve handled.

At the end of every night, we have to submit a report detailing the times our rounds started and ended, what we observed, and if we got any calls/who we called. Some on-call nights are easy, some on-call nights have a lot of things go wrong. It just depends on how the universe feels.

Next up: Duties of an RA: Part 2- Desk

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