What is an RA (Resident’s Assistant) in College?

Posted: September 30, 2021 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 2 minutes

What is an RA in College? Once you begin college, you will be introduced to new terminology. Learning the vocabulary in college, while not necessary, is helpful to navigate the collegiate world with more ease. One new term you will hear often, especially if you live on campus, is “RA”. What is an RA? RA stands for Resident’s Assistant.

What is an RA in college?

In college, RAs are older students- usually juniors and seniors - who live onsite in private dorms designated for RAs. In student housing, typically each floor is assigned one RA. They are hired and trained by the university to help create a good living environment on campus. The RAs host things like floor meetings and community-building events to create a positive living environment, and they conduct room checks and enforce housing rules to create a healthy living environment.

Why do college dorms have RAs?

In addition to their regular duties, dorms have RAs to help ease the transition from living at home to living independently. RAs are still college students themselves and can help guide new students through the college process on all fronts, from establishing a study routine to knowing how to purchase a meal in the dining hall. RAs also go through training to be fully qualified to handle a range of situations- which is helpful in a dorm full of new adults.

What are college RAs for?

RAs are there for everything, from building community to maintaining peace between roommates. RAs help maintain a good atmosphere on campus in housing both on the students’ end and on the housing end. You can contact their RA if you get locked out, if you are having trouble with their roommates, if you need someone to confide in, etc. RAs do a bit of everything!

How do I contact my RA?

The easiest way to contact your RA is to walk over to their room and knock on their door. But when you move in, you will be given contact information for your RA. There is also contact information posted on the doors and in the hallways of the campus dorms and apartments for the RA on site if you need something after hours.

Who is my RA?

You will meet your RA the day you move into campus. But if you are wondering who your RA is beforehand, check out this blog post to meet the 2021-2022 RAs.


As a new student, maybe you have more questions about college beyond “what is an RA.” Visit the T-Bird Nation blog to learn everything from how to read a syllabus in college to how to make a student budget.

Learn more about campus housing at Southern Utah University.

Tags: College Prep Housing

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