RAs get their day
assistants will get the credit they deserve with the
introduction of a day of recognition.
Leanna Brundrett/The Daily Iowan
Hillary Rodham Clinton, singer Sheryl Crow and The Today
Show's Katie Couric all share something other than
being prominent women: They were all resident assistants during
their college years.
Today marks the
first International Residence Hall Student Staff Recognition
Day, which was created to honor RAs worldwide by Grant Anderson,
a master's student in student affairs and hall director at
Colorado State University.
The idea for the
day of recognition was generated after Anderson saw
Residentassistant.com, a Web site designed to provide resources
for RAs, said Web site creator Dan Oltersdorf, a mentor and
resident assistant at Colorado State University.
RAs are faced
with many challenges and have many responsibilities that most
people are unaware of, Oltersdorf said, ranging from suicide to
broken hearts and failing relationships, he said.
definitely learned how to deal with different situations,"
said Kristina Kidwell, a UI RA. "Being an RA has been a
Being an RA
offers a student the chance to play a unique role in the
beginning of another student's life in college, Oltersdorf said.
assistants are the first person freshmen and new students
usually go to to learn about the various things that are offered
at the university and on the campus," he said.
Because RAs are
responsible for advertising different university events
throughout the school year, Karol Dymkowski, a UI RA, said one
bonus for her is learning about upcoming events before everyone
people is a great benefit," she said. "Another benefit
is getting to be a role model for my residents. I have played an
active role in many people's lives."
Although the job
is rewarding, it is not always the easiest, Oltersdorf said, and
it is nice to let RAs know they are appreciated.
banners, candy, balloons, even scrapbooks that your floor has
put together are great ways to let your RA know that they're
appreciated," he said.
the recognition day will be printed on Chase's Calendar of
Events, a calendar that media outlets use, starting in the year
2001. He hopes the day will become nationally recognized as the
word gets out about it.
that this day is a great idea," said UI freshman Melissa
Sperfslage. "RAs do a lot of work, and I think it's great
that they'll get recognized."
Even though there
was not a lot of publicity about the event, she said, she will
encourage the women on her floor to get their RA a present.