Surviving the cold by having Training

by Dylan Ruffra

Over the past week I have been in Hall Director and Resident Assistant (RA) training. Concurrently, temperatures in North Dakota have dipped into negatives degrees. It has been good to see my staff bonding during training as they learn how to manage hall situations and work to build stronger communities on their floors. It will be interesting to see how my resident assistants are able to use what they learned from this training over spring 2016 semester.

The role of an RA produces many situations students must be equipped to manage. On the Friday of training the RAs were given multiple scenarios and had to act out how they would deal with them. Doing this activity gave them practical experience for how to help their residents. As a supervisor and administrator, I find it important that we are preparing them with skills to connect with residents and handle confrontation when it comes up. Especially considering that our RAs are more often than not first responders.

Another important thing that RAs have to deal with is building community with their residents. There can be many ways this is done, such as programming, bulletin boards, and through interactions. There were multiple sessions that we focused on how to build their community. Sessions included how to network with your residents, Programming 101, and social justice awareness to help our RAs start the semester strong on their floors. We’ve all heard of those horror stories of the resident who never left his/ her room. Teaching RAs how to program will prepare them against facing such a tragedy of an uninvolved resident. It is our belief that these programs will help the residents living in our hall to grow academically and socially.

No training should go without mandatory fun. From a kettle party one night to a hockey watch party another night, these social opportunities were gave the RAs opportunities to build connections outside of the job and focus on the team experience. I enjoy helping put on activities and presentations during training. So wish us luck, after an intensive training it will be interesting to see how the resident assistants can finish out the year and how I can keep growing as professional. Have fun staying out of the cold!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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