The Knollcrest East Apartments: Where RAs go to Die

Being an RA in the dorms is a coveted position, unlike at a lot of other colleges/universities where the administration has to plead and bribe potential Resident Assistants, at Calvin the process of becoming an RA is a grueling 3 month long marathon of hundreds of interviews, essays and intense prayer sessions. As the number of candidates gets winnowed down from hundreds (literally!) many grow weary of being dragged through the process. The friends/floormates of the candidates especially get sick and tired of the process, as before the application period even began they had to sit through their friends debating whether or not they were called to the demanding life of an RA and now that the interviews and whatnot are underway they have to listen to their friends/floormates overanalyze every interview question and compare themselves to other people positioning themselves to become an RA.

Most of these candidates are gearing up for a full year of hard, rewarding service. It starts in the middle of the summer with activities, ice-breakers w/ fellow RAs and sessions of pointers. Then the day when the Barnabi move in they have to re-do all those ice-breaker games. Then, move-in day for the freshman and a week later the rest of the floor. Once the year starts, they have a full schedule of symbolicly leading their floor by doing God-only-knows-what and helping freshman figure out where The Cave Cafe is and what distinguishes it from the Fishhouse. They also must submit to patrolling the floors each night to catch those brazen underclassmen who would dare to play sports in the dorms or to invite a member of the opposite sex over at 4 am to watch “The Matrix” and to discipline those who are making others in the lobby sick with their PDA (that is, if the deskie doesn’t kill the couple first). And, after their official duties are over, the non-RA enthusiast who will not try to be an RA three straight years in a row, are retired to living in the KE apartments where they will continuously relive their glory days whenever a former floormate or other RA encounters them in the hall or in the library.

But there is one particular breed of RA that does none of those things and, in fact, does nothing at all. This is the RAs in the Knollcrest East Apartments. They start the year by organizing a mandatory apartment building meeting, during which they try really hard to achieve that perfect “laid back but still an authority figure” vibe and announce the plans they have for the year. These plans are then promptly thrown out the window as residents quickly learn that their RA (who probably got burned out being an RA in the dorms last year) is mostly doing this for the perks, notably the pay that makes living on campus close to free and the mealplan.

In fact, these RAs will go pretty far in order to escape the responsibilities of being an RA. This year they have gone so far as to organize an RA retreat the week that many students (everyone’s favourite dinosaur included) are leaving for semesters abroad, which is quite a few KE dwellers as most off campus semesters favor juniors and seniors. This means that these students are scrambling for the few precious hours this week that the RAs will not be on retreat, and many RAs haven’t even told their buildings nor have they posted sign-up sheets.

Occasionally though, if they are an RA in Theta-Epsilon where Cooke, the director of KE lives, they may catch of few drunks coming back in after a night of fun. But that’s about all they do.

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