What it’s like to be an RA during a pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic first happened, I was going through some personal stuff (grandfather died, dog died, mom diagnosed with breast cancer). I was happy to have a two week spring break at the beginning. I desperately needed a break.

How it went down for RAs was this: we got the email from the university about the extra week and then remote delivery starting at the end of March, I was unsure how much longer I’d still be there. The department still wasn’t sure what would happen, but RAs would’ve been required to return for the second week of spring break (none of us were happy about it). Since not much was known about COVID-19 at the time, we were told to keep our distance, wash our hands, and stay home if we weren’t feeling good.

We had also been given a choice: either stay here on campus to be there for the students who couldn’t go home or leave and be able to return in the fall. I left to be with my family and come back in the fall.

Once I was back, there were a lot of new rules. No guests at all, only one person in the office at a time, no more in-person events, and on campus residents were now allowed to have fridges and microwaves in their rooms. Cleaning had also been increased for some halls; others had changed cleaning schedules.

Have residents followed the rules? Not entirely. My hall is more lenient on the guest policy because residents can separate themselves from their roommate. They also ignore COVID-19 precautions and still have parties every once in a while.

Next up: Come back and see!


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