Campus RAs are failing to do their jobs

Chasity Alicea, Columnist

As college students, we all know how expensive getting our education can be. That’s why we take advantage of any opportunity to lessen that cost. For example, we rent textbooks from Amazon, we get part-time jobs, and some of us become RAs.

Having the job of an RA can decrease your tuition by $8,000 a semester, and some positions even offer an additional stipend. For many of us, $8,000 dollars can make all the difference.

I personally have a work-study job on campus, and it’s a similar idea to the kind of work RAs do. You clock in, sit down, and see what needs to be done for that day. Then, if things are slow, and you don’t have much work to do, you are allowed time to complete homework. Seems like a pretty easy gig — I know my work-study is. There are obviously many differences between the two, but the overall day would be pretty similar.

The responsibilities of an RA can vary from making programs for the residents on their assigned floor, to attending meetings and sitting at the front desk. I think someone who lives on campus for free and receives free food should be fulfilling his or her responsibilities 100 percent of the time. And if they are not, it’s only right that said person should lose their privileges of the free tuition and meals. If that’s too harsh, then they should at least be monitored by an actual authority figure, not another student RA.

RAs are just students like you and me; they want to get through college without spending a fortune, and they only care about passing classes or having a good time. Most probably don’t take their role as an RA seriously. This is obvious if you know about the random people entering the residents’ halls. Some of those people aren’t even students that attend Buffalo State or live on campus.

There have been incidents of violence associated with this issue. When I was a freshman living in Neumann Hall, there was an incident of a homeless man entering the building and harassing some of the residents. The RAs are supposed to be looking out for the safety of their fellow students, and their residents, but they’re failing to do so.

If watching the front door is that difficult, imagine the more active duties, like retrieving a package for a resident. Half of the time, when you go down to the front desk, no one is there to take the package slip. Sometimes you don’t even get a slip the day your package gets to your

dorm. This can be problematic for those of us who need to read that textbook for a quiz that’s coming up, or use that art supply for a class the next day.

RAs are also given the responsibility of making sure the noise level of the floor doesn’t get to the point of disturbing everyone that lives in that area. If the volume level of someone’s room is too loud, or if there is an argument going on, the RA is responsible for documenting those students.

An incident that I remember from my sophomore year living at Cassety Hall was one that happened in my room at the time. The RA lived right next door, and was close friends with one of my roommates. That day, my floor was not allowed guests because of a separate incident, but my roommate came in with a group of people, laughing and talking loudly. What does the RA do? She comes in my room, and greets the prohibited guests, and joins in on their conversation, thus adding even more volume to the conversation. Now, I ask, is it ok for RAs to give certain people “immunity” from the rules of a resident’s hall?

These inconveniences can be easily avoided if every RA did what they are supposed to do. Is it really fair to allow a student live for free while doing nothing to earn that privilege? Is the money being wasted on a person who doesn’t appreciate it? I hope I’m not the only person who feels this way or who even notices the inadequate RAs.