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Some RAs and GAs go the extra mile in support of the students they look after.

Credit: Giovanna Paz

Living in a dorm automatically entails close corridors, shared facilities and, of course, a resident advisor or graduate associate. This can be seen as one of the greatest drawbacks of dorm life or a major bonus.

Some RAs or GAs can be a good source of information or support, especially for freshmen. The Daily Pennsylvanian took a look at what makes all-star RAs and GAs indispensable to their halls.

College freshman Madison Kahn said her GA created a nice social environment in his room for his students to hang out and talk.

“I would look forward to returning from classes usually twice a week to find my GA with a box of Insomnia cookies or a box of Domino’s,” she said. ”He always left his door open to talk about whatever we wanted, for however long we wanted. He is the best person ever.

“I even Instagrammed him once,” she added.

Providing free food appears to be the best way to please residents. While some leave hot chocolate packets and candy outside of their doors, others go a little further.

College junior Zoe Stern described her freshman year RA as “amazingly friendly and beautiful.” She said, “Every week, she made us buffalo chicken dip and baked Brie in the lounge.”

Though Stern thought that the end of the year would be the end of her friendship with her RA, she said that the RA still regularly interacts with her on Facebook and recently wrote in their old hall group chat, informing the group that she would be coming to Philadelphia in the spring and would be bringing their favorite buffalo chicken dip with her.

RAs and GAs can provide more than just support.

College sophomore Francesca Reznik said that she and her freshman year RA were, and still are, very close friends.

“One of the reasons he was such a good RA is because he tried to treat us like we were equals, not as if he was our boss,” she said. In building a friendship with his students, he created a person for them to confide in.

Reznik described a time in which her then-boyfriend became very ill in her room. Though he eventually called MERT, she felt comfortable enough to seek help from her RA, trusting that he would use MERT as a last result and attempt to care for the student himself.

“I was hysterically crying,” she said, “and my RA took all the sheets off of my bed and wiped all of the vomit off of my floor and allowed me to sleep on the couch in his room while my room aired out.”

Reznik said that the best example of how much she values her former RA occurred over the summer. She was living in Philadelphia for an internship, and he was acting as a summer RA.

“I was living off campus on 41st, and my refrigerator broke, and all of the glass bottles in the fridge fell and cracked on the floor. I had glass on my feet, and I was bleeding at 10 p.m.”

After calling him for help, he said, “I’ll be over in five minutes.”

She said, “He came over with nursing school issued gloves, a full medical kit and tweezers to pull the glass out of my foot, and he wasn’t even my RA anymore.”

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