The Office of Residence Life Education and Housing will change the name of “resident assistants” to “resident community leaders,” and “assistant directors of residence halls” will be called “senior community leaders” starting in Fall 2017.
Jenny Butler, associate director of ResLife, said only the titles are changing, not roles or responsibilities. She said in the ’60s, before they were called resident assistants (RAs), student leaders living in the hall were called “dorm moms.”
“We’re just trying to better tell our mission story,” Butler said. “What we do in the hall is a wholisitic education. It’s so much more about the community that they’re facilitating.”
Butler said the name will help parents have a better understanding of what ResLife does for students, especially because parents who attended the university would have had a different residence experience. She said she hopes upperclassmen will be understanding about the name change.
“They had an RA, and it’s OK for them to hold on to the fact that they had an RA because that was true,” Butler said. “It’s just important to recognize that we’re trying to make this a better student position. That name even actually makes the position more powerful.”
Freshman halls will still have resident directors who live in a hall and oversee the senior community leaders. Sophomore halls will have area coordinators who oversee the senior community leaders in two or more halls.
Butler said new resident community leaders, or RCLs, will begin the hiring process with interviews in February. The Office of Admissions will begin using the new name when telling incoming students about ResLife.