Lexi Harvey Shares Her Life as an RA

The roles of Resident Assistant (RA) or Inclusion Assistant are highly coveted positions for students on campus. Each fall hundreds of applications are submitted to work for the Office of Residence Life, more commonly known as ResLife. A select few make it through to interview rounds and a limited number are hired in to vacant positions in one of the 22 residence halls or Northwest Apartments. Senior Alexis “Lexi” Harvey has been an RA for Campbell Hall, one of the newer buildings in the Towers complex for the past year and a half. Harvey is studying Public and Nonprofit Administration and minoring in Global and Cultural Studies, Political Science, and History. When she isn’t in class, you can often find her getting dinner with her Campbell and Troutman staff, working in the Towers Fitness Center, or monitoring the halls while on duty.

Why did you want to become an RA?

I thought that the position would be beneficial for developing leadership and critical thinking skills. I also love getting to know new people and creating a welcoming fun atmosphere, so the job felt like a good fit.

What types of duties come along with your job?

There are the usual responsibilities that come with being an RA like monitoring the halls, having floor meetings and solving problems, but the duties that are most meaningful are when I am actually able to help my residents. Many of them are sophomores and are still learning how to find resources on campus, how to make friends and, most importantly how to be the best person they can be. My job allows me to help nurture that growth and be an educator and role model for them

What's your favorite part of being an RA?

My favorite part of being an RA is how much I’ve grown as an individual. Having 40 plus residents with different backgrounds and experiences allows me to practice how to connect with those who may not be the same as me. It teaches me patience, leadership, love and most importantly the power of community.

What’s the funniest story you have?

The funniest story I have would probably have to be having to write one of my residents up for shattering a fire extinguisher safety box on the floor. After being told repeatedly throughout the year not to play sports in the hallways, my lovely resident, while playing sports, shattered the fire extinguisher casing. I wasn’t thrilled in the moment but now I look back on that moment and laugh.

What is the hardest part about being an RA?

The hardest part about being RA is self-care. At times I find myself over-extending and constantly trying to be at 100% for my residents. What I have learned though is that it is okay to take time for myself. I don’t have to have my door open constantly and I am allowed to have bad days; I am still human. Being a role model for my residents is important, and part of what I have learned to role model is self-care.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about going through the RA application process next fall?

I would encourage students to do it! I will say that the process is pretty long (November to March), but there is value in learning how to interview if you do not get offered a position and obviously the huge perks if you are. If you would’ve asked me my freshman year if I wanted to be an RA, I would’ve thought you were crazy. Now, I can’t imagine the person I would be without this job. So try it, you never know what friendships, happiness and growth could be waiting for you.