Resident Assistants Crush Stereotypes

Denton Day
  • The Resident Assistant position is a position of leadership not a power struggle
  • Becoming an RA requires application process as well as interviews
  • The RA responsibilities take a toll on the RAs


Ever since Liberty University was founded back in 1971 Resident Assistants (RA) have had a power and a responsibility over students. Responsibilities held by RA’s can often anger students and make students think that the RA’s are evil, or out to get them, but that is not the case.

RA’s are the students, usually upper classmen or graduate level, who take a leadership role and have to implement some of the rules to the students. There are two RA’s per hall and they are also responsible for holding hall meetings every Tuesdays as well as performing room checks while students attend mandatory convocation Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Chris Martin is a first year RA and claims that he has already seen changes and has seen a few relationships deteriorate.

“Losing relationships with friends is pretty common especially those who live off-campus,” Martin said. “They don’t follow the Liberty Way as much and they treat me different because I’m an RA.”

Often times students will only look of RAs as villains and evil people because they focus on the negatives. One of the RAs biggest responsibility is too minister to students.

Martin claimed that ministering to students and leading leadership prayer groups is one of the most rewarding parts of being a RA and helping Liberty achieve its mission and training champions for Christ.

Joel Cockrell, in his second year as an RA is Martin’s partner and agreed that the fellowship is one of the main reasons that they each do it, but realizes it comes with a price.

“Sometimes in can be inconvenient,” Cockrell said. “I’m here to help but sometimes when guys come in to talk I have homework that I need to do and work that is due at midnight.”

One of the main reasons that students think that RAs are evil is the strictness of some RAs. Whether that is during room checks, curfew, dress code or any other reason that college students can find to complain about.

“I completely understand why students feel that way, Chris and I have a good balance between grace and following the rules. Some RAs don’t do anything and some are super strict with room checks and stuff like that,” Cockrell said. “If a guy doesn’t make his bed one day sometimes I’ll make it for him, it really isn’t that big of a deal.”

Both Martin and Cockrell agree that experience is key to being an RA at one point in their time here at Liberty both men served as either a Student Life Coach (SLC) or a prayer leader. So they each know what it is like to be in the position of students.


*Quotes from both Chris Martin and Joel Cockrell were taken from personal interviews that I did with them. And the video with Joel Cockrell was one that I filmed.*

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