CU RAs discuss dorm discipline
Resident advisers could be considered the only supervision for freshmen who are living in the dorms. At CU, RAs face the challenge of maintaining order while building trust.
The downside of being in charge of a floor full of freshmen is the disciplinary actions that may need to be taken, including writing students up for breaking dorm policy. It can be difficult to be seen as both a friend and a disciplinarian.
The rules for drugs and alcohol in the dorms are very clear: do not have them in your room.
The policy appears to be very strict, but that doesn’t mean that it is always enforced. Some RAs admit to suspicions about residents’ drinking.
“You can’t stop kids from drinking,” Brendan Byrd, a second-year RA and senior said. “I am aware that they are experimenting, but if it’s not obvious, I’m not going to go around knocking on every door until I find the party. I definitely will not write up a kid based on an assumption.”
Byrd likes to look at is job as acting like a big brother. He’s a friend, but one that has to lay down the law every once and a while.
“There is a fine line between being a friend and being a disciplinary role model,” Byrd said.
Whether residents believe it, RAs are not out to get anybody. However, they do take their jobs seriously. Building a community and making friends with residents is important to them, but they still have responsibilities to uphold.
“I don’t want these kids to kill themselves,” Kyle Greufe, an RA at Stearns West said. “I try to make them aware of the dangers of drinking. I want to educate them.”
Sometimes by being lenient with the kids on their floors, these RAs feel that they are doing about as much as they can.
“I’d say about 99 percent of freshmen drink in the dorms,” Greufe said. “There is a very large gray area when it comes to writing a kid up for drinking.”
If the music isn’t too loud, and no one is directly talking about using alcohol, most RAs usually don’t enter a dorm room.
But smoking marijuana in the dorms is another issue.
“Drinking is definitely easier to find, but with pot it is more difficult to detect the exact location from which it is coming from,” Greufe said.
In the past, Greufe has been offered to smoke bowls with some of the kids on his floor, but said he declined because it would be unprofessional and could get him fired.
RAs cannot be fired for being aware of students drinking in dorms and not writing them up for it.
Even though RAs hate writing people up, they feel that sometimes the best way to learn is to get in trouble.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Clare Lane email@example.com