Remember that embarrassing time when you were locked out of your room in only a towel? Or that time you stumbled in after a night of partying with only one shoe and a ripped dress? Or that other time you were forewarned about the fire marshall coming through, and you had time to hide those illegal Christmas lights? Well, even if you don’t, your Residential Advisers (RAs) absolutely do.
The job of an RA is quite unique. While the position entails a large amount of responsibility in supervising a hall of residents, the job also involves dealing with — and fixing — the many obscurities that constitute a college experience.
For most, freshman year is a constant struggle to not embarrass yourself too much while adjusting to life on your own.
As such, RAs in freshmen dorms have a particularly interesting job.
In his time as an RA in the Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls, junior Abhishek Sharma has encountered a variety of cases in which his assistance was needed to help out an unknowing freshman.
“The most common occurrence is being locked out of a room,” Sharma said. “I think freshman students often find it difficult to remember to bring their key with them at all times.”
On multiple occasions, Sharma has been woken up early in the morning to unlock the doors of his shivering freshmen residents still in towels after showering. Sharma can attest that such an experience is awkward for both RA and student.
During International Student Orientation, Sharma was awoken at 5 a.m. by a phone call from a petrified student on the other end of the line asking for help in getting into Sue B.
But it’s not just freshmen who run to their RA’s for help.
While most “lock out” stories are incredibly embarrassing and sometimes awkward for the student, the rare case of a “lock in” takes the student’s embarrassment to another level.
RA in Sue. B. and senior Jacq Carpentier recalled that earlier this semester one of her former residents encountered the seemingly unheard of issue of being locked in, rather than out, of his room.
After attempting to pull the door from the inside, the sophomore student then slid his key under the door to his friends, who, to no avail, attempted to unlock the door.
When all possible options were exhausted, UR Security was contacted. Still with no success, the Rochester Fire Department was called and the door was axed down, freeing the trapped sophomore.
While a case like this is rare in the everyday life of an RA, others reported less than exciting events such as telemarketer calls to their room phones.
For the most part, RAs live ordinary lives, but in the case that something does occur, they are ready to help those in need.
Lerner is a member of the class of 2016.