The Who’s, What’s, and Why’s of being an RA!
Residence Attendants (RA’s) are full-time students and part-time student staff members who live within the residence community. They provide leadership, resources and support to students while ensuring a safe and respectful residence experience for everyone. The position of RA requires an individual who is self-motivated, capable of functioning independently or within a group, possesses exceptional leadership skills, and is willing to commit their efforts to the enhancement of Residence Life.
The RA’s work as part of the Residence Life Team and live in the Residence community. RA’s are specially trained to provide quality services to the student community from assisting students in need and organizing opportunities for involvement. RA’s create a sense of community in residence and uphold and enforce the expectations, policies, and violations found in the Residence Handbook. RA’s work to foster and promote inclusive living environments for students that directly support academic and personal development within residence communities.
RA’s facilitate the building and feeling of community in residence. By creating programming for the residence community, RA’s are able to make connections with students and residents to make living on campus enjoyable! Programming consists of activities planned and designed by the RA’s that create a sense and feeling of community, and get residents out of their houses and engaging with each other! Some examples of programming that our RA’s have done in the past include, succulent building, West-Edmonton Mall trips, sundae’s on Sunday, de-stress evenings, movie nights and so much more!
Make a difference
RA’s have the opportunity to make an impact in their community. By working with students that live in Residence, RA’s develop strong links and relationships with their tenants that will allow them to leave a lasting mark on their residence community. RA’s check in on their tenants and make sure that they are settling into residence and the Polytechnic life away from home. RA’s also interact with the larger community through the tenants association and do activities such as volunteer once a month with the Red Deer Ronald McDonald House’s Home for Dinner Program, collect clothing items at Christmas for the mitten tree for the homeless of Red Deer and have many other amazing opportunities to interact with the larger community of Red Deer.
Lead a community
RA’s have many different roles in the residence community: facilitator, educator, administrator, role model, team player and mentor. As a member of our Residence team, RA’s have the opportunity to lead the residence community through a great year while enjoying the support of your teammates and professional staff supervisors.
Develop leadership skills
Residence supports our student staff in their professional development. The RA position through experiences will train and develop your skills as a leader and to think critically and respond effectively in difficult situations. This position is what you put into it: RA’s have opportunities to interact with many different people, learn and use active listening skills and plan events! In addition to these skills that you will develop through the year, RA’s get a week of training before the school year starts. This training includes First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, Non-violent crisis intervention and so much more! Then in October RA’s attend the Residence Life Professional Associations LEAD conference where RA’s from all over Western Canada attend and where RA’s can make connections and learn from their peers, finally, there is a Winter Retreat in January where your skills are developed even further!
RA’s develop strong professional connections with peers and make lifelong friends with teammates. Being an RA also provides valuable transferable skills that you can take with you beyond your experiences as a student.