Many resident assistants (RA’s) at The University of Tampa are quitting. Several RAs have said that this job is more demanding than people think it is.
“You need to be good at time management to be able to do the job and school,” said Lohi Sakamuri, RA in the Palm Apartments. “You also need to be good at setting boundaries so you’re not being overworked or compromising your professionalism versus friendships.”
With many students left without on campus housing in the past year, it is possible that several of these students may try to take advantage of the RA openings to secure on campus housing.
There are quite a few openings to be an RA, especially because of the addition to the Barrymore Hotel as a residence hall, and the excess of RA’s quitting.
According to Sakamuri, she does not know why a lot of RAs seem to be resigning but assumes it is because of the overwhelming nature of the job and that it can be hard to balance.
There are a lot of roles to take on when becoming an RA, including becoming a mentor for students.
With more RA positions to fill, more students will have the opportunity to become an RA. Being an RA allows students to live on campus for a lower housing cost. Though the job has its ups and downs, it is a resume builder and provides housing in a time when housing is scarce.
“There are a lot of responsible students at UT,” said Kendall Lucas, freshman business major. “Through interviewing and selective choosing of the students who apply to be RAs, I think a lot of people would fit this important role extremely well, if they wanted to.”
UT has a growing student body, and the RA interviewing process can be intense. The hiring process is situational and dependent on how responsible and mature a person is, according to Lohi.
Before each semester, RAs have to go through a little over a week of 8 hour daily training, according to Lohi.
However, Lucas also questions the hardships that come with the job.
“The large numbers of UT students quitting their RA positions speak to how stressful of a role it can be. This may be problematic in putting too much pressure on the RAs, especially if people do the job just for free housing and not for the other values that come with it,” said Lucas.
For the sake of living and securing on campus housing Lucas says she would consider being an RA in upcoming semesters, but when she feels ready.
Being a resident assistant could be a great opportunity to take on for people who want it. According to Kendall it sounds like it could be a daunting task, and as Lohi said it is difficult, but rewarding.
Photo Courtesy of The University of Tampa website.