A day in the life of Stephen Richert, sophomore, and an RA in Beckman Hall.
First things first, I met Stephen at the beginning of this semester. He is a bright, energetic student with a contagious love for the people of Loras College. He also has a bone to pick concerning the pronunciation of his last name, so I hope to help him out here. Stephen’s last name is Richert, pronounced “Rich-ert”, and I won’t even say the ways it’s mispronounced.
Why did you chose to be an RA, and did another RA help influence this decision?
I chose to be an RA because I thought it was a way I could contribute back to the Loras Community that I have received so much from. My RA’s last year, Lucas “Schmidty” Schmidt and Brody Tupy were definitely an influence on me doing it. While they were tough at times, I saw in my personal interactions with them, good humor, how caring they were, and their honest concern for my well-being, and that made me realize what an RA should be.
Is being an RA what you expected?
It is similar to what I expected; I don’t really have much to say on that point.
What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of the job?
My favorite part is heavily related to my least favorite part: living in Beckman Hall is so much fun because I get to have a socially active residence hall and get to meet a lot of the first-year students. Because of that, I’ve made some new friends and met really cool people. However, living in Beckman can also be difficult because of the messiness and noise levels; it’s just kind of a mixed bag on that point, but, overall, I’d say getting to know the first-years and helping build up that community is really a wonderful thing.
Do you feel being an RA is giving you real life experience you can apply to future careers or relationships with other people?
I definitely think it is both good career and relationship experience; I’ve learned a lot about conflict resolution, which is always useful when interacting with people. The skills I’m learning while working within an environment with multiple levels of supervision might be important in a career setting, as well.
Does it take time away from your studies?
The impact it has on my studies is pretty minimal. I still make time to get everything done, so I wouldn’t say there’s much of an effect there.
What do you want people to know goes on in the mind of an RA? Any final thoughts?
When I’m on duty, I try to be very aware of my environment to ensure it’s as safe as possible for all of the residents, because that’s really the essence of my job. Overall, being an RA has definitely been a mixed experience, but I am glad that I am taking this year to do it. As a result, I’ve met and gotten to interact with some really cool people, and I think that building up those relationships over the remainder of the year will be a good experience.