Get to Know Your RA!

The Basics

Name: Kaylie Kennerson

Position: Resident Assistant for the 8th floor of Pardee Tower

Major/Minor: Business Administration/ Planning to minor in Non-profits, Volunteerism, and Philanthropy

Year at USC: Sophomore

Her Campus USC: What made you want to be an RA?

Kaylie Kennerson: I wanted to be an RA because, I know that a lot of people tend to try to get the position because they care about the free housing and the free meal plan, but I knew that I cared about the position because I had such a great freshman year I wanted to try and make the freshman year of everyone else at USC just as great as mine was. And I feel like having a really involved RA really changes that experience, and I wanted to give back all the passion that I have for the residential education system to freshman.

HCUSC: Are there any things that surprised you about the job?

KK: I didn’t expect it to take up as much time as it did. Everyone always said that say goodbye to your social life, say goodbye to your friends, because you won’t really see them for a year. And in some aspects that’s true, yes I don’t really see my friend’s from freshman year as much as I’d like to, but in other aspects that’s not true because I see my friends every day, because they are my residents.

HCUSC: I know that being an RA can be a lot of work, what impact has it had on your life?

KK: It’s definitely helped me with time management, because there are so many little things that go on, and with being an RA it’s not an eight to five job. It’s a twenty four seven job. You could get a knock on your door at three in the morning or at 4pm regarding some problem, and sometimes it’s not something that you can say, “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow.” It’s something you have to deal with right then and there. So I’ve learned how to kind of shift things around at last minute, which is something I really didn’t know how to do before. And then also, it helped me increase my planning skills, because planning events people want to go to is kind of important in the RA position. Also, I’ve kind of learned about myself as well, and just more about what I care about, just because living by myself has taught me a lot about myself.

HCUSC:  Is it sometimes hard to draw the line between you as an RA and your residents?

KK: I kind of—it is a very hard line to draw, especially because I’ve grown so close to a lot of my residents, but how I tried to start at the beginning of the year, is that I think there should be mutual respect. I don’t want to be this power hungry person who just only cares about holding power within the floor, I want it to be a friendly and approachable area for people to come and ask me questions. So, I think I established that pretty early, but you can approach me and we can be friends, we can be a huge happy family, but if you respect me.  And in that respect, it’s not that I’m super strict. It’s just in that you respect me by following the rules, and I will respect you by being really fun, really open, and just try and make your freshman year as awesome as possible. But that only comes from following the rules, which is what would be “the mean RA.” Someone who had the continuously implement the rules, but considering that my residents are really nice and follow the rules, I don’t have to be the bad guy.

HCUSC: Besides being an RA, what other activities are you involved in?

KK: I am an Alpha Phi Beta Pi social sorority, on campus. In that I am on the Scholarship Chair Committee, so I host study hours and such. I am also director of recruitment for Marshall Business Network. So, in that, I am in charge of member relations as well, so just kind of trying to keep cohesion in the group as well as a strong new member class. I’m also in the Career Advantage Program, which pairs Marshall students with a mentor, so they can learn more about themselves professionally, and then increase professional development. I am also in Global Brigades at Marshall, which is a philanthropic consulting club, in a sense in which you travel abroad to different countries and do consulting there within business and micro-finance. And I’m also in SC Outfitters, for fun.