West Virginia University will recognize the hard work of its 220 dedicated Resident Assistants by celebrating National RA Appreciation Day on Wednesday (Feb. 19). Each residence hall will be engaging in special activities to honor their RAs.
The job of an RA is multi-faceted. Not only are RAs expected to help maintain an orderly and reasonably quiet living environment for students, but they enforce the rules of the residence hall. In addition, they act as role models, mentors, community builders and tutors to WVU.
“RAs choose these types of position, because they want to do more than just punch a clock. They want to help others succeed,” said Trish Cendana, director of Housing and Residential Education. “Their personal interactions and caring interventions assist the students with their achievements, and we know that without their assistance, we could not provide students with the necessary connections and support to ensure student success.”
Cendana considers RAs the glue that holds the foundation of the residence halls together.
This year’s annual celebration will also include recognition of WVU’s Wellness Coordinators. The WCs are live-in staff members who encourage and promote healthy living through wellness programs and activities sponsored by Residential Education, the Student Recreation Center and WELLWVU.
“We want our students to recognize the time and effort put forth by their RAs and WCs on top of being full-time students,” said Scott Rubin, residence hall coordinator. “RAs work so hard and make such a big impact, yet they are often forgotten and underappreciated until an emergency pops up, at which time their hard work and training makes everyone realize that the residence halls and University could absolutely not function without them.
“We hope students will reach out and thank their RAs. RAs have also impacted the lives of upperclassman once living in the residence halls.”
Resident assistant Jessie McCollum decided to become a resident assistant in hopes of making her residents’ first year all it could be.
“I remember how intimidating my first year was here at WVU,” said McCollum a senior elementary education major from Canon City, Colo. “I wanted to be here for my residents to help them through their homesickness, reassure them that they can make it across campus in time for their class and to simply be a person they feel comfortable coming to for help.
“It is those little moments that make the job of an RA so incredible and worthwhile,” said McCollum.
Check with your individual residence hall for information on events for Wednesday. WVU Dining Services is providing cake for each hall as a thank you to the RAs and WCs.
CONTACT: Scott Rubin, Residential Education
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