By Amoni Lewis
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- Being a resident assistant at a university has its pros and cons. From free room and board to time commitment, the job can be beneficial and challenging. I recently spoke with resident assistant Mya Bursey, a junior psychology major from East Saint Louis, Illinois.
The Clarion: How long have you been a RA?
Bursey: I’m a rookie. I just started a couple of months ago in August.
The Clarion: What made you want to become a RA?
Bursey: I just really wanted to get to know people and communicate with others. I feel like I could have a really big impact.
The Clarion: What characteristics do you think make a good resident assistant?
Bursey: I would say knowing how to communicate with others and settle disputes. I’ve had a lot of practice because I have sisters and brothers. Also, by being friendly, understanding, and unbiased.
The Clarion: How much time do you feel this position takes up during a typical week?
Bursey: I would say about half of the day. About 5-6 hours each day, but I feel like as long as I’m here on campus then I’m a RA.
The Clarion: What is the most difficult aspect of your job as a RA? What is the easiest?
Bursey: I think the hardest thing that I’ve had to learn is setting boundaries. The easiest is being friendly because I’m naturally a social butterfly.
The Clarion: What have you learned about yourself?
Bursey: I’ve learned that I’m very understanding, but not to the point where people can just step all over me.
The Clarion: How do you juggle being a resident assistant and a student?
Bursey: During my office hours I use my free time to do homework as well in class. It’s not easy, but I do it.
The Clarion: How have you built a relationship with the students you assist?
Bursey: They are very friendly. It’s not hard at all. They come to me even when they don’t have a problem. They see how I’m doing and I check on them as well.
The Clarion: Are there any programs or activities you have planned or already had as an RA?
Bursey: In October, I had “Tea Time Tuesday” where I informed the residents about things the school has to offer and what they should and shouldn’t be doing. That’s just one activity, but it’s an example of what I’ve been doing.
The Clarion: What is your advice to someone who wants to become a resident assistant?
Bursey: If you have good communication skills, a kind heart, and self-control you would make a great RA.