The Oxford College RAs

     Resident assistant is a name that people from every college campus recognize. Resident assistants are the people who enforce policy and tell you to quiet down. They are the ones who force you to socialize with people who you don’t care to socialize with. These are universal ideas about an RA that are seen to be true around the country. I wouldn’t say Oxford College is an exception, but I would say the role is so unique on this campus. As an RA, I am able to see the way that Oxford shapes the job in such a different way than any other campus could. The inherent difference comes not only from the small campus size, but the unique interactions Oxford students have with each other.  

     Obviously being an RA is a huge time commitment in an Oxford student’s already busy schedule. But the main difference I have noticed is within being an RA on such a small campus. On campus, you know practically everyone- or at least recognize them. This is true for every aspect of Oxford, but the dynamic is especially interesting when examining the role of RA. When you interact with someone, they know you are an RA, and the things they thought they could tell you before don’t seem as appropriate. The biggest issue we face is when you have to enforce policy, they are usually very familiar faces. Documenting people you know, or at least have seen around campus is very difficult. Anything that happens at Oxford spreads like wildfire. Everyone knows that an RA had to bust a party last Friday night. This makes it feel like there is a divide between RAs and other students, even though this is our least favorite part of the job.   Although being an RA comes with inherent stressors and difficult situations, it is all worth it. The impact you can have on campus and the fact that you are someone that your residents can come to for support is extremely rewarding. I have found an amazing community in the RA staff. Everyone on the staff is kind and supportive. I know that I can go to each and every one of them when I need to talk about an issue. It is amazing to watch all of them make this campus a better place. 

     I am sure there are people on this campus that still just view me as someone who documents them and forces them to socialize, but I really believe being an RA is one of the most beneficial experiences I have had. I love being able to connect with my residents, getting to know all of the other RAs, and be directly involved in Oxford campus life. I know that being an RA on Oxford’s campus is one of the most rewarding jobs a student could have.  

Photo by: Darya Farrokhi