ResLife Pro-D in a Bag: How Might We Re-Imagine the “RA” role? (30 Minutes)

The “Pro-D in a Bag” series provides all the details you’ll need to create a professional development opportunity for your staff around a given topic. Each facilitation guide outlines free and open source videos to watch, articles to read, quizzes and inventories to complete, and suggested questions for discussion and activities. You can facilitate this as a professional development session or integrate it into a staff meeting. It’s professional development “in a bag.”

We offer 3 tracks of our “Pro-D in a Bag” series:

  1. ResLife Pro-D in a Bag (for Professional Staff)
  2. RA Pro-D in a Bag (for Student Staff)
  3. Roompact Pro-D in a Bag (highlighting software features for users)

Topic: How might we re-imagine the “RA” role?

This Pro-D in a Bag is designed to allow participants to explore how the “RA” (or similarly names student staff role) could be re-imagined to the benefit of the institutions, the residents, and the student staff members themselves.

Time: 30 minutes
Audience: Professional staff members
– Critically examine and interrogate the role and purpose of the modern RA role.
– Discuss what needs the RA role should fulfill now and in the future.
– Discuss the impact of the RA role on the staff members that serve in it.
– Identify the needs of the modern student that can be address through an RA-like role (or roles).
– Identify strafes and changes that could be made to transform the RA role on your own campus.

Before the session:

1. Choose and Read Three of the Following Articles

What is the future of the RA position and role?

The following articles are from a series of guest posts by various authors all asked to respond to the prompt, “Want is the future of RAs?

Optional: Watch These Videos/Listen To These Podcasts

Suggested Facilitation:

Start by asking participants for their initial reactions. You may want to go around and have each participant share their thoughts on one of the articles they read that was the most insightful or impactful.

The following are some prompts for discussion:

  • What is the modern purpose of the RA role?
  • What has changed about the RA role through time?
  • Are there aspects of the RA role that we hold on to because of “tradition?
  • What are the struggles student start members face in the RA role?
  • How can the RA role best serve students?
  • Is the RA role too demanding?
  • Is the RA role developmental appropriate for an undergraduate student?
  • Are the duties balanced and aligned appropriately between the professional staff and the student staff?
  • Do we compensate staff members int he RA role appropriately?

To conclude the session, ask the staff if changing to the current structure of the RA role on your campus is necessary. Take initial steps to address the need for a review of the RA role.

Additional Resources To Dive Deeper:

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