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RA Dan Sheehan and three freshmen in his hall went White Water Rafting at the Poconos in September. 

Being shoved into a tiny dorm in the Quad or in Hill with a new roommate is not always the smoothest experience. Resident Advisors seek to ease this transition into college and keep a mindful eye on their residents.

But what makes the difference between a good RA and an all-star one? There are always the popular RAs: the ones who bake brownies, the ones who don’t care about the 30-person pregames in your dorm room and even the ones who are just really good at listening.

Mention the name Phil Davis to any freshman that lived in or even near Butcher/Speakman third floor during his two years as an RA, and you will most likely be met with a huge smile. Most of Butcher’s residents declare Davis to be the “coolest RA.”

“It’s a cool feeling,” Davis said of the title. “If I’m being cool, I must be doing something right. I didn’t exactly try, so it’s nice to know that I’m a cool person.”

During his two years, he said he evolved as an RA.

“I definitely learned from my mistakes. I tried to be a more active presence, and got much better at reading my residents,” Davis said. Other mistakes he learned from were learning the best times of the year to plan hall events for the best turnout.

Some halls have historically been close-knit, brought together by a long-standing RA, like first floor Butcher. 2014 College graduate Keolamau Yee was the RA for the floor in 2013.

“She was very friendly and almost motherly, took really good care of us, helped us find our way around campus, but was also very careful not to talk down to us,” said Engineering junior Nimay Kulkarni, who was in Yee’s hall freshman year. Kulkarni explained that she treated her hall like friends but was tough when she needed to be. She understood that once in a while, kids wanted to do something stupid, but she would laugh along with them.

“Something about her made you wanna talk and open up,” Kulkarni said.

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