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What is a Resident Assistant in College?

A Resident Assistant (RA) is a peer who makes sure that your residence hall community is safe, fun, and academically conducive place to live for you and your neighbors. They work to make your overall experience at Tropicana Del Norte a positive one. As a former RA, I’ll be completely truthful; it isn’t easy. Being an RA was one of the most challenging, yet enriching, experiences of my life. I met so many people from diverse backgrounds, and I like to hope that I made a positive change in their life by making their freshmen year a memorable and fulfilling experience.

There are three basic things that all RAs are responsible for: building community, peer counseling, and community standards.

  1. Building Community. RAs are a conduit for bringing residents together and sparking friendships. Coming to Santa Barbara, you’ll likely not know anyone, and that’s okay. Your RAs job is to put on fun, social, and educational programs and events where you can meet your neighbors and build relationships. Have a special interest? Tell your RA and work with them to put on a program or event.

  2. Peer Counseling. Not seeing eye-to-eye with your roommate? Unsure about where to buy your books? Looking to find out more about getting involved at Trop? You RA can help! RAs are your go-to guide and peer advisor, here to help you establish your new life as a student here at UCSB. They’ve been here for a year or more already, so they’ve already gone through a lot of the things you’re going through now. Take advantage of their valuable knowledge.

  3. Community Standards. RA’s help maintain the safety and academic atmosphere of our building, ensuring that laws and our residence hall community standards (such as quiet hours and alcohol/drug policies) are being followed. When the RAs perform community walks at various times throughout the night, they would like to make it a social visit, just stopping by to say hi. Invite your RA in and get to know them!

You can read the Tropicana policies in our Residence Hall Handbook. Think of your home as your safe haven where you and your roommates can study and sleep in peace. All other activities that are not conducive to an academic environment should be done elsewhere.

Tropicana Student Living Residence Life Staff 2012 – 2013

Your Resident Assistant won’t be a cookie cutter stereotype; each RA is different and colors the role with his or her own personality. Each individual will bring something different to the table. For example, some RAs are really creative and great at arts and crafts, while other RAs love to play sports. Each one bonds with people differently, but the common thread is that your RA wants to connect with you and help you connect to others.

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