Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Residential assistants and intercultural aides help students feel at home

September 1, 2015

On top of the day-to-day stresses, nobody wants to have issues where they are living.

As students begin to move into their new living arrangements, they will be introduced to their resident assistant and intercultural aides

When there are problems with roommates in the residence halls or other housing situations, RAs and ICAs, as they are commonly known, are available to help. 

Many people might not even know what an RA or ICA is and the jobs of an ICA and a RA are almost identical. They help students make their transitions to campus and communal housing a little easier.

Human biology junior Austin Whitted has been an intercultural aide for two years and said one of the main differences with ICAs is they are trained to interact on a more personal level.

Both RAs and ICAs are there to help residents and make them feel comfortable and safe. Interacting with either resource is optional, but that just seems to make it harder for the RAs and ICAs to do their jobs.

“The most trying part of the job is the rejection," Whitted said. "A lot of the residents don’t want to open to talk to you and don’t realize that this is a great opportunity. Despite all of that, it’s still our job to be persistent." 

ICAs and RAs are supposed to make students feel at home on campus and be sure they always have someone to go to with their worries and problems. 

Some students, such as nutritional sciences junior Amanda Amsterdam, don’t see the point of RAs or ICAs. Almost like they are there for no reason.

Amsterdam said she had a bad experience with her RA during her freshman year, which she did not want to disclose. 

“I’ve just never felt like I’ve needed them and if I had a problem, they weren’t my first choice of people to talk to,” said Amsterdam.

She is not the only one to feel as though RAs and ICAs are not helpful. Many students might try to solve roommate problems on their own. 

However, having a middle person to help settle tension can help prevent any future problems.  

Communication senior Leticia Gittens has been a resident assistant since this past March and said she feels an important part of her job is to be a mentor to residents. 

RAs are not just available for help with roommate issues, but staying safe at college and following the rules of the residence halls.

"Being a RA is really a 24 hour job," Gittens said. 

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