As an RA, one of my jobs is to be on duty throughout the year. Every dorm is different, but ultimately the purpose of being on duty is for the RAs to ensure the building and residents are safe, as well as building community by talking with residents throughout the night. In Christensen, there are always two RAs on duty. On our staff of sixteen, each RA is responsible for being on duty one weeknight every other week, as well as two Thursdays and two weekends which were randomly chosen during training.
Each night, one RA on duty sits at the FYI desk from 7pm-10pm. He or she is responsible for lending out board games, cleaning supplies, etc to residents, hosting a program on the weekend and being available to assist his or her duty buddy in case of emergency. The RA plays music throughout the lobby and tend to get many visitors from residents and RAs! The other RA on duty is on rounds, meaning he or she carries the duty phone and does rounds around the building at 8 pm while the other RA is at the FYI desk. Both RAs then do rounds again at 10 pm, 12 am, and 2 am on Thursday and weekend duties.
Rounds involve walking around each floor checking all common areas including hallways, bathrooms, and lounges. If any doors are open or if residents are seen in common areas, the RAs chat with them and will tend to give them “Christensen Cash”, which serves as a raffle ticket for an end-of-semester hall raffle sponsored by hall council, so the more Christensen cash, the merrier! Rounds are really fun because you get to interact with other RAs and their residents!
Part of being on duty is handling any incidents that we come across throughout the night. We have been trained on how to handle a wide variety of incidents that may occur during any given night. This part of the job may not be as fun as the social aspect of rounds, but it is for the safety of the staff and residents of Christensen.
When rounds are over, the RAs on duty write the duty log for the rest of the staff to read the next day. The duty log is a summary of what happened on rounds including some really funny stories! I enjoy being on duty because it allows me to meet residents from different floors as well as get to know my duty buddy of the night.