Resident assistants enjoy many perks for their work — free housing, a monthly income and a room alone. But sometimes the negative parts of being a University of Georgia RA outweigh the benefits.
“Well, I’m pretty sure O-House is haunted. Just throwing that out there,” said Christine Rogers, who was an RA in Oglethorpe Hall her sophomore year.
Rogers, a junior finance major, is like many RAs in that she has a number of stories about her craziest experiences dealing with hundreds of college students who are trying to live together.
Rogers recalled one time when her residents had just gotten back from winter break and were settling in. She said a girl across the hall from her had written on her whiteboard, texted her, called her — the girl was freaking out.
“Apparently, a bat had gotten in her room and died in her bed,” Rogers said.
Rats and snakes had also made their way into the residence hall over the break and vacationed in residents’ rooms while they were gone, Rogers said.
Carter Sangrey, a senior math major, was an RA in Russell Hall when three of his residents set up a mini-golf course that ran through three different hallways and the elevator lobby.
“One side of me wanted to applaud them for such commitment to making a mini-golf hole with what they had lying around, but I had to ask them to shut it down,” Sangrey said.
Being an RA isn’t always fun and games however. Depending on where they live, RAs can be responsible for groups of 30 to 75 students, according to University Housing. Logan Duncan, a senior finance major, had 66 residents he was responsible for when he was an RA at Myers Hall, and said his experience wasn’t as intimate as he wanted.
“I couldn’t get to know everyone on the personal level that I wanted to,” Duncan said.
Duncan said he played a support role as an RA, often acting as a counselor for residents.
“You really don’t know what’s going on with people’s lives, and you never know how one thing you say can affect someone,” Duncan said.
The administrative tasks also make the lives of RAs more complicated.
“Sometimes, you’ll get a call at 4 o’clock in the morning, when you’re fast asleep, that you have to take care of immediately,” said Will Murphy, a senior biological science major and former RA.
Other RAs said they don’t miss living in the residence halls.
“I’m extremely thankful now to live off campus with only three guys, to have my own bathroom and to have my own room,” Sangrey said.
Despite these aspects, many said being an RA was an overall rewarding experience.
“My best memory is anything and everything that went into impacting their lives in what I hope was a positive and growth-producing way,” Sangrey said.