After implementing several changes to its residential life programs at the start of the school year, Scripps College next semester will replace its resident advisor position with resident coordinators and reduce the position’s pay, according to Assistant Dean Brenda Ice.
Ice said via email that the switch from RAs to RCs reflects a shift in the focus of the position toward building community within residential facilities.
The change in responsibilities for the new RC position will be accompanied by a decrease in pay, due to many of the responsibilities associated with the RA position being shifted to professional residential life staff.
The job description sent to the Scripps community for next year’s RCs describes an average of 10 to 15 hours of work per week with a compensation package totaling $11,850 for the year.
A modified Scripps RA program was introduced in fall 2018, prompted by a strike of Scripps RAs in spring 2017. The demands of the strike included reducing the number of hours RAs worked and the modification of practices that allegedly disproportionately affected low-income students, such as limiting the number of times students locked out of their rooms can be let in for free.
With the updated RA program, the number of RAs was reduced from 20 to six, and 27 community coordinator positions were introduced, according to previous TSL reporting. CCs are tasked with ensuring students feel a sense of belonging in residence halls through organizing events and getting to know residents.
In the future, CCs will be mentored by RCs, whose primary responsibility is to plan events designed to create community among residents, according to Ice.
RCs, while primarily involved in community development, will also participate in conflict mediation and resolution among residents, according to the job description sent to the Scripps community. Additionally, there will be nine RCs, as opposed to the six RAs Scripps currently has, Scripps spokesperson Rachael Warecki said via email.
CCs are also expected to assist in event planning as well as facilitating community connections, but are not tasked with conflict mediation and do not go “on-call,” as RCs do. They’ll be given a compensation package totaling $6,000 for the year for 20 hours of work per month, according to the job description sent to the Scripps community.
The removal of the RA role won’t be a big deal for some students.
“I feel like there wasn’t any connection; a lot of us in our hall don’t even know who our RAs are,” Petie Schill SC ’22 said.
Jackie McVay SC ’21 agreed, and said she doesn’t know for sure who’s an RA and who’s a CC in her residential hall. However, she said she’s glad Scripps doesn’t have the traditional RA structure, in which RAs are expected to support students while also disciplining them.
In their new leadership role, McVay thinks RCs should try to foster community by doing things like “knocking on everyone’s door in the hallway and introducing people.
“I’d like to get to know my neighbors but not through a cheesy event that I probably won’t go to,” she said.