14
Jan

GVSU Resident Assistant Curriculum


– Our program here at Grand
Valley State University really works to promote educating students to shape their lives,
professions, and societies. – In housing, we really try
to focus on the students and their development
outside of the classroom. – What we do in the
residence halls with our RAs throughout the residential curriculum, as well as through our programming, really makes the mission of
the institution come alive. – We have some different learning outcomes and different ways that we
try to make them well-rounded so that when they leave Grand Valley, they’ll not only be experts within their field and
in their curriculum, but also just be good, well-rounded people and members of society. – We bring campus into the living centers and the RAs do that
through their programming and through their everyday
interactions with the students. We center our out-of-class
learning experiences around three big areas and those are, Interculturalism or
learning about oneself, academics, how to be a good student, and then also citizenship, and grappling with what it means to be a part of a community and how you give back to the community. – One of the things that I do with housing is that I’m a faculty fellow for some of the residence
halls here on campus. What that allows me to do is to get to know a lot of the RAs and see what sort of
programming they put on. – The role of the Advocacy office is is to create space for students to feel like Grand Valley’s home. So to that extent, we work
with Resident Assistants and their role in trying
to make campus home, and being partners in that. When you think about the
campus culture and the climate, RAs play an incredibly
important role in shaping that each and every day. We have a lot of policies
and procedures on campus, but there’s nothing like a peer leader to really set the tone
for what does it mean to be a role model, what does it mean to make
for a welcoming community. – A lot of the things that housing does through developing the RA program helps to reinforce the holistic approach until it gets students
to see that education can be a lot bigger than
maybe they think it can be. – Our training starts in August and we go through a series
of different scenarios, different things that we
might run into as RAs. You’re not gonna know
what kind of resident is gonna come in, not all
residents are the same. Not all RAs are the same. – The training that I go through as an RA really helps me talk to students and to broach those topics and to have those conversations that might not be the
easiest thing to talk about. – We really learn a lot
of interpersonal skills, and it’s really helped me, in the last two years of being an RA, connect with my residents
on a more personal level. So it’s not just service level stuff, where it’s like hey, how’s it goin’, how was your class today? It’s how can I help you
become a better person, how can I help you
become a better student, how can I help you get connected
with different resources around campus or with different
people in the community. – We talk about all the multiculturism, and leadership, and citizenship, and being an active
member of where you live. And that crosses over into being an RA because of the programming, because of rounds And duty. When you’re talking to residents you’re sort of sticking
those ideas in there. Like maybe use this word
instead of this word, or have you thought
about the impact you have when you say things like that? – First year as an RA, the girl that moved in next door, first met her when she was crying, she was just crying ’cause
her parents were leaving, very upset, wasn’t ready
for the transition, and now she’s actually an RA on my staff and I see her dealing with students who are going through the same thing, and talking to them how they cope, and we’ve become really close, and just seeing how successful she’s been has helped me to realize that I’ve actually made
an impact on some people. – I wanna do counseling psychology, so I think being an RA
definitely helps out with potential career goals. All the time, we position ourselves as a resource for residents. For counseling, that’s
something that I’m going to be doing in the future, is giving my clients resources, giving them advice, giving them
solutions to their problems. – I’m a finance and economics major. So in that vocation, you have
to deal with a lot of people a lot of times, but really
I found out my priority, I really like to help people, and that’s why I love being an RA. – It’s honestly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’ve changed a lot since I became an RA. I’ve made relationships
with not only staff members and residents, but also
a big community of RAs, just helping a lot of students. – I’m an RA so that I can
make an impact with students, and make sure that they feel welcome and comfortable at Grand Valley. I like to be a human resource for them, but I also like to be their friend.

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