An inside look into what an RA’s job entails

Every new student steps on campus and immediately wishes for a step-by- step guide to the unusual world they’ve entered.

Who better to give the straight answer than your Resident Adviser.

The real question lies in discovering how these individuals happen upon their knowledge, how they handle their responsibilities and what their lives are really like.

Quan Flowers, an RA in Living/Learning, gave the candid scoop on being the ringleader to a bunch of bumbling first-years.

There’s more behind the title than first glance might glean.

On the surface, an RA’s job may be smiling faces and mentorship, but “it also means handling budgets for programs, enforcing health and safety rules and definitely balancing everything else in your life,” Flowers said.

Applications for the position consist of three parts: paperwork, group skills and an individual interview.

Training can start as early as the beginning of August with competitions for the RA House Cup.

That’s not the even the tip of the iceberg: once the school year starts, RAs have to juggle “breaking up beer pong in the hallway” and “keeping up with academics and interests,” Flowers said.

But it’s not all rough going; there are plenty of benefits to being an RA.

“It always makes me so happy to see the kids on my hall going to dinner together,” Flowers said.

Not to mention free room and board.

In the endless game of time management, the weekly meetings with supervisors and groups build strong support systems among the RAs of UVM.

Flowers said one of the most rewarding aspects of being an RA were the relationships built with younger students.

“My first-year RA was super busy, but they got me hyped about applying to be one too,” he said.

“I love Quan,” first-year Manza Campaz said.

“I stayed up talking with him for like five hours the other night,” Campaz said.

Behind the role, Flowers is the man who wants to help guide people, whose favorite color is red and who loves to shoot hoops when he gets the chance.

In the end, RAs are the assistants for all those who are new to college resident life. “It’s great,” first-year Julian Lathrop said.

“They told me where to get the toilet paper,” he said.