The excitement is back! Classes have begun and summer is gone. Resident Assistants (RAs) completed two weeks of training before the start of the school year.
RA training began August 10th, which brought all the returning and newly hired RAs and Hall Directors (HDs) together for two weeks of fun, learning, and close bonding time. This year, there are four new and two returning HDs.
2015 Residence Life Staff
Photo courtesy of Deborah Nahrgang
A total of 37 RAs have committed to a job that takes on big responsibilities with their residents and staff. The search for a Director of Residence Life is still ongoing, but once the decision has been made, an announcement will be sent out to the students.
The first step of RA training starts with a trip to Dunrovin, a Christian Brothers Retreat Center, located north of Stillwater in Marine on St. Croix, MN. A two-night, three-day trip brings group activities, games, reflections, and much more to the RA staff.
Maetzin Cruz-Reyes, who is a returning RA this year, said, “I really like my staff this year and I am excited to see how we grow and bond together.”
RAs spend time getting to know each other
Photo by Connor Bonfe
RAs have a lot to learn within the two weeks, from building relationships with each other to learning about policies, confidentiality, and the SMUMN handbook knowledge of being an RA.
“I feel like I got to be a little mother hen to help the new RAs and I know they’re nervous, but I have to let them know it is fine to be nervous because it was exactly where I was last year,” said Cruz-Reyes.
Not many changes have occurred in the system, but training is more organized and intense than in past years. First-year hall director, Lisa Thao, is beginning her experience in the Saint Edward’s Living Learning Community.
“Being an HD for the first time is actually pretty exciting, a lot to do, but very manageable and rewarding,” said Thao. “I have been most excited about meeting all the RAs and knowing who they are, going to Dunrovin, and just bonding with the HDs and RAs, but mostly just getting training started and ready for students to move in.”
Move-in day is set for August 22nd, which will bring in all the new freshmen and returning students for a very busy, exciting day. The challenge for RAs is to create a home-like feel for the first-year students and gift them with the SMUMN community feel and love.
The RA responsibility is more than just a job; it’s what makes SMUMN a better place.