Meet Resident Assistant Winnie Berry!

It's no secret that Wesleyan's RAs are some of the busiest and most dedicated students on campus. Between carrying a full course-load and advising other students, being an RA is essentially a full-time job. According to campus celeb Winnie Berry, being an RA may be demanding—but it's also equally rewarding.  

Her Campus: What is your typical day like as an RA?

Winnie Berry: I wake up, go to class, refill the candy bucket I keep outside my door for people who come and go, do my homework and greet my residents. Later on in the evening, I have one or two people in my room or I’ll come to their rooms just to talk. I always keep my door open in case any of the residents need anything. I also sweep the halls if I see they need a little touch up.

HC: Do you feel overwhelmed being an RA?

WB: Yeah, from time to time I feel overwhelmed. I have to keep up with my social life, but I also need to balance being connected to residents, having time to myself, and keeping up with the demands of being an RA.

HC: In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good RA?

WB: Someone who values honesty, hard work, determination and has good communication skills. They have to be naturally comforting, welcoming and understanding.

HC: Which of your own qualities do you think helped you get the position?

WB: I’m outgoing, responsible, empathetic, sophisticated and engaged in community work. I think those are the things that really make me stand out. 

HC: How do you stay organized with everything you have on your plate?

WB: I keep everything at the front of my mind. I’m good at remembering: major dates, deadlines, reports I have to do. Having a planner isn't really helpful, but I think I'm still able to balance a lot.

HC: Are there any stories from your time as an RA that stand out in your mind?

WB: I do have a horror story. It was my first night of being on-duty, and I was doing a round on the third floor. I opened the door to the lounge, and I was welcomed with the surprise of two students having sex on the floor. They kept going even after they saw me. Other than that, my most memorable experience was helping my residents with their roommate contracts. It really allowed me to get a sense of my residents' personalities and their interests. 

HC: What’s the process for becoming an RA?

WB: You have to shadow another RA, fill out an application, answer a few essay questions.The RA has to complete a recommendation form for you, and you go to a workshop to do group activities. Later on, you’ll be notified for an interview. From the interview, they'll send you a letter to let you know whether or not you got the job. I was nervous but excited when I got the news!

HC: What’s the best/worst part about being an RA?

WB: Explaining to residents your reasoning behind writing them up. It's important to make them understand that isn’t because you don't like them, but to help them understand that they should make better decisions.

HC: Do you have any advice for other students who might want to be an RA?

WB: You have to be ready to get into a situation and handle it. Be on-the-go and be ready for anything. Be a strong individual. Take insults and criticism without getting offended. Be social. Be open-minded.

Be on the lookout for Winnie on campus. Her door is always open!