As an HA you have many responsibilities, you are here to provide assistance whether it be social, academic or emotional to your residents as well as direct them to resources and educational opportunities. As you will be entering this journey, not sure what exactly to expect, I would like to share some of my HA experiences that I believe will help make you understand your role much better.
I was the HA on Pem West 2nd this year. I had a large hall, and as an HA you might be nervous that it’s such a large hall, that might mean there might be more issues that arise. However one thing I would like to share is, that I loved my experience being part of a larger community. As an HA , yes I have made a commitment to maintain and take care of my hall and always be there in need, but also to provide incoming freshmen and welcoming back students with an environment they can call home or have a special place in their heart for. I got the opportunity to meet so many new faces and build relationships that I otherwise might not have had the chance to do so. I had the opportunity to impact some of their lives and to motivate them to also take DLT positions. Here are some tips coming in to this position:
1.) Always make sure supplies in the bathroom and pantry are stocked.
2.) Don’t be afraid of conflict management and confrontation.
3.) If there is any situation you feel uncomfortable to confront on your own, use your resources such as the GA’s, Residential Life, Deans as well as Campus Safety. Just because you were chosen to take this position does not me you have the burden of taking care of everything on your own. Use your resources, they will always be there for you, and this will make yours and their job much easier.
4.) Watch out for any thefts
5.) Always try to smile and make conversations with your residents, this will make them feel comfortable around you. They will be able to approach you when they are having issues with anything and will know that they can rely on you.
6.) You can also have office hours to help you set a special slot of time to help them and for them to know that you are available those times.
7.) Have four teas and always try to make them fun and engaging. Remember for some people teas are a way of releasing stress and also bonding with others they might not have usually do.
These tips are coming from my experience as an HA, although it was hard at times knowing how to manage a certain situation, relying on my resources and confrontation are two important characteristics that I believe led to my success as an HA.