Hill Court, popularly known as Phase, is getting some new leaders among its residents.

Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, Phase will no longer have Community Advisors (CAs) overseeing its student population, and will have Residential Advisors (RAs) in place instead.

But why the sudden change in leadership roles, and what exactly does this change entail?

To understand the full scope of this decision made by ResLife, it is important to know the distinction between the roles of CAs and RAs. CAs monitor spaces that have a high population of juniors and seniors, like the Riverview and Brooks Crossing apartments. Furthermore, a CA is responsible for more residents than RAs in freshman housing, and therefore the CA role is a better fit for apartment-style housing, because of its increasing popularity among rising sophomores.

Assistant Director for Upper Class Housing Thomas Rouse noted in an e-mail that the CA model was no longer working in Hill Court.With only half of the CAs living in the buildings that they actually oversee, engaging with their residents has become more of a challenge. The upcoming change will enable a “better sense of community and resident engagement,” Rouse said.

CAs will no longer only occupy three of the six buildings in the Phase housing facility; rather, there will be an RA presence in all of the buildings. Chambers, Gale, and Slater will have two RAs living on the first and third floors, with one RA overseeing the first and second floors, and the other overseeing the third and fourth floors. For Fairchild, Kendrick, and Munro—all buildings with multiple Greek organizations—a single RA will be placed on the third floor.

With this change, RAs will no longer have to oversee such a high volume of residents. Senior Kelsey Tuttle, a current Hill Court CA, has 89 residents, which is more than 15 percent of the 537-student occupancy there.

“If that [number] is cut in half, it will make the relationships and support between the residents and the RA much more meaningful and personal,” Tuttle said. Questioned on if these changes would affect CAs, she said, “All of the current CAs in Hill Court with the exception of one are seniors, so we are not going to be living on campus after this year anyway. Other than being the last set of CAs in Hill Court, there have not been any effects on myself or my position.”

To Rouse and Tuttle’s knowledge, there has been no backlash so far to the change that will be implemented next semester.

Sophomore Annie He, a current Hill Court resident, was in favor the decision, saying, “I guess the good thing about having RAs is that they’re more readily available if someone needs them.”

Sophomore Justin Walton, also a current Hill Court resident, felt the opposite.

“I disapprove strongly,” he said. “I feel like having CAs gives students more freedom, and at the same time more responsibility.”

Rouse said that the staffing changes are based on the needs of the area and fall under the purview of Residential Life. Though there may be rumbles of disapproval among current and future Phase residents, Rouse, welcoming comments and concerns, said he hasn’t been approached by anyone yet.

Tagged: ResLife

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