Nathan Goforth

Every freshman remembers the experience of moving into the dorm – the unknown of who you live within your hall, your neighbors, and the procedure of how things work on campus. Regardless of how scary or uncertain something may seem, there is usually one friend who can always be relied upon. That would be your building’s RAs and CLs. For those who do not know, RAs are the students who take care of a hall within a dorm building, while CLs are the students who manage a section of another building; for example, the apartment housing. The students were assigned the responsibility of making the living process easier, as well as being reliable friends for those of us on campus. 

Joseph Ross, a senior with a major in Journalism and Mass Communications, is the CL for the MacArthur Apartment dorms on campus. Ultimately, a CL “takes on the role as students, campus workers, and advocates for our residents. So, we are responsible to foster community in our residential halls through building relationships. Our role is to be there for our residents and try to meet or help them with whatever they are needing or going through at the moment. This could be answering late night calls or texts, going out of the way and asking how their day is going, hanging out or grabbing coffee, putting on an event, or going to one of the residential campus events.” Ross said. 

It is less the responsibility of a CL to distribute RVs and fines for dirty rooms or to remind the hall or building of quiet hours and visitation times. Ultimately, they are there to help support the students as they tackle both college and life. In fact, “I became a CL because I wanted to be a helping hand and an encourager to residential life. So, I wanted to be able to help new or current students with needs and try to build a relationship with them that will lead to trust, security, and conversations about their time on campus.” Ross said. 

Of course, the role of a CL isn’t completely carefree. While “a benefit CLs get is that we get to know a lot of students from every building – not just the one we work at. On top of that, Residential Life builds leaders and community. This applies not only to our residential halls but to our staff as well. I love my building and my staff and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys.” Ross said.  

The downside to knowing a vast amount of students, however, is reflected when those students are dealing with stress or trouble. “I love listening to people’s needs and trying to figure out the best way to assist them. But this can be anything from helping during the best times or the worst times.” Ross said. 

Overall, the RA and CL of your building or hall is likely a student just like you – understanding the newfound responsibility of classes, bills, relationship drama and other college-related stresses or trials. In such a way, they can relate – and be a guiding influence for the good, if only you stop by to build a relationship with them and take advantage of their willingness to help. 

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