The primary resource for a first-year student is the Resident Advisor (RA). The RA is an upperclass student who has been selected through a competitive process, has undergone intensive training, and is familiar with University resources. The RA knows what to do in case of an emergency.
RAs live in close proximity to their first-year students, usually on the same floor. This person is a good first contact for students who are not sure where to go for help. The RA may know the answer, or likely knows someone who can help.
RAs also sponsor programs and help residents organize their own activities. Programs vary, from simple social events that help students get to know one another, to important sessions on safety or academic planning.
RAs also are responsible for ensuring residents uphold the University's Standards of Conduct (see University Judiciary Committee) and the Housing & Residence Life Terms and Conditions. Because the Resident Staff program operates under a peer support model, the RA will often encourage and expect first-year residents to hold themselves and their fellow residents accountable.