Residents Assistants Adapt to New Guidelines

What it looks like to be a RA during the pandemic

In an effort to make Waynesburg as safe as possible the university has adjusted the way that resident assistants operate. Riley Holsinger, resident assistant for Willison Hall,  expressed how RAs coming into contact with more resident students than most has changed their door policy. 

As RAs we’re really not supposed to go door to door like how we have in the past unless we feel comfortable doing so,” Holsinger said. “RA’s tend to have one of the highest contact rates throughout the dorm since we interact with many different students, so they want to limit us going around students.”

Meaghan VanSickle, a resident assistant in Denny Hall, says the school is mainly focusing on visitation and masks. 

“Masks and limiting the number of visitors has been the top two changes that we’ve enforced this semester.”

Due to the lockdown over the summer, the RA training ended up being mostly online instead of being in person like usual. 

“Training was 90% online this year. Since I am a returning RA I found some of the information as a refresher from last year,” Holsinger said. “I also felt like the first-year RA’s didn’t get the same experience as I did my first year since we were limited on in-person activities.”

RA’s are trying their best to enforce the rules as students are still adjusting to the new life on campus. 

“The big thing is keeping the six feet social distance and wearing masks,” Vansickle said. “It’s early in the year and residents are still getting comfortable with the new rules. We are reminding residents to comply with the rules as best as we can.”

In Willison Hall, however, Holsinger has noticed a few hiccups in students adjusting to the new rules.

“Residents have been following most of the rules regarding visitation hours and visitors,” Holsinger said. “But I occasionally catch some residents packing more people into the elevators than they should as well as not wearing masks around the dorm.”

Overall, it is an adjustment for RAs just as much as it is for students.

“It definitely is tough adjusting since I really enjoy the aspect of the job where I walk around and meet new residents,” Holsinger said. “It is kind of awkward for me to message residents through the phone on rounds since I’m not used to doing it unless I already know them well. 

In Denny, the RAs still do activities to try and keep interactions with fellow students while keeping the rules in mind.

“We post names of girls on our floor and we let the residents choose names that they don’t know,” VanSickle said. “They then write notes to their Secret Adventure Buddies without revealing who they are. At the end of the semester, they reveal who they are to their S.A.B. and hopefully become friends.”