RAs, or resident assistants, are the face of university housing for students living on campus. These upperclassmen live and work in dorms, and are there to help students adjust to the university, stay safe, and succeed. Senior Mackenzie Brown, an RA at Holly Pointe Commons, gives us an inside look at what it’s like to be a Rowan University resident assistant.
Name: Mackenzie Brown
Hometown: Lumberton, NJ (Burlington County)
Major: Public Relations
- Resident Assistant in Holly Pointe Commons
- Mentor in Dr. Harley E. Flack Student Mentoring Program
- Public Relations Representative of Black Cultural League
Mackenzie, what inspired you to become an RA?
I transferred to Rowan University in the fall of 2015 from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC). Luckily, I enjoyed living in Edgewood [Park Apartments]. I took on leadership roles at RCBC and wanted to continue at Rowan. I heard great stories from previous RAs and wanted to create my own memories and impact. Taking on the job as a resident assistant comes with a lot of responsibility, but there are lessons to be learned.
What is an RA’s job?
My job is to enforce school policies for my residents, as well as make sure they are adjusting to the university. Most of my residents are new transfer students so making a good first impression is extremely important to me.
Was your RA a big part of your college experience?
I loved my RA last year! He was part of the reason why I wanted to become one this year.
What is your favorite part of being an RA?
I love when my residents come to me with issues and questions. I’m still new to the role but I do feel a sense of accomplishment when I can answer their questions or help them in any way! I love building relationships with my residents—I lucked out because they are awesome.
Do you have any activities planned for them this fall?
I am planning to do a body image workshop in the middle of October. I’m super excited for that one and hope everything runs smoothly!
What is a day in the life of an RA like?
Very busy! I haven’t quite figured out how to manage my time yet but I’m getting my work done. Throughout the week I have different meetings with the organizations I am involved in, class, events, and I can’t forget about homework. I take one day at a time.
Would you advise other people to be RAs and why?
Absolutely. If you are willing to take the job seriously and make the best out of it, I say go for it! It’s a lot of work but it is a fantastic learning experience and I can’t wait for the rest of this year as an RA.
What are the benefits of becoming an RA?
Not having to worry about housing or a meal plan, and possibly meeting some of the best people you would never meet without the job. It looks great on my resume. And living in Holly Pointe Commons; it’s an extremely beautiful building and they did a great job. It’s so modern looking and I love my room.
Are you excited to graduate? Will being an RA play into your future plans?
YES YES YES YES!! I am looking forward to starting a new part of my life. I am not exactly sure what I plan to do after graduation but I do know I want to continue [as a graduate assistant] and get my master’s degree.
What questions do you have for an RA? Leave them in the comments below.
By: Bianca Blando