The Daily Evergreen

RA strives for intentional interaction

CHRIS ARNESON | Evergreen columnist

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Does sprinting from Murrow Hall to Stephenson East in less than three minutes to break up a fight make you a great resident adviser?

Jake Sirianni told me he had “never run so fast” and that he also phoned the police in an incident that occurred during his sophomore year when he was a resident adviser at Stephenson East. Sirianni is a junior communication major and RA at the co-ed Global Scholars Hall, which he said “smells like a hotel.” He is currently in charge of 30 to 35 students.

Or perhaps making a special trip to the market to buy lactose-free sorbet for a person in your hall who is lactose intolerant makes you a great RA? Sirianni said after knocking on the individual’s door, he “saw a gleam in his eyes.”

In regard to the situation, Sirianni said, “It all goes back to intentionality — if you’re not intentionally interacting with residents, you’re not doing the job wholeheartedly.”

What about being woken up at 3 a.m. by a student who lives in your hall to talk about their life struggles? Jake told me about the importance of having “meaningful conversations and getting to know residents on a personal level” as well as how the relationship with your students starts with trust.

Sirianni became an RA because he liked his RA during his first year and wanted to “do the job justice,” in addition to having the opportunity to help students. We spoke in his Cable 8 office, where he is president and general manager, making his life a “game of balance between student, Cable 8, and RA life.”

Although his schedule is full and he sometimes even has to wake up for therapy sessions in the wee hours, Jake Sirianni is not going to let that stop him from being voted the best RA at WSU.

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RA strives for intentional interaction