News & Announcements

Equity and Inclusion Statement

The Office of Residential Life and Learning strives to create inclusive residential spaces and communities at Tufts, which actively and warmly welcome people from all identities and backgrounds, engage students, and deepen connections. We commit to serving as advocates for our diverse student population and prioritize our community members’ abilities to communicate and support each other across difference, learn from one another, and promote positive change within our on-campus communities and in broader society.

We dedicate ourselves fully to the above mission and have worked intentionally on implementing these values into our work. Some of the ways we incorporate equity and inclusion into our daily operations are:

  • Holding continuous equity and inclusion trainings for all our professional staff members, spearheaded by our Equity and Inclusion Committee, that focus on topics such as race, gender, and structures of power
  • Creating intentional opportunities for our student staff, including our Resident Assistants, to learn about topics including social identities, privilege and oppression, and conscious and unconscious bias
  • Continuously evaluating and improving our recruitment and selection practices for professional and paraprofessional staff, in order to build a diverse and inclusive team that reflects the culture of our campus community
  • Consistently assessing our Housing Operations protocols and procedures

 

2021-2022 Academic Year

  • Our department read Radical Empathy by Terri E. Givens and discussed ways to apply its concepts to our self-work and work with students
  • During our August 2021 RA Training, we had RAs complete a four-part online module surrounding social identities and inclusive practices
  • During our April 2022 RA Training, RLCs facilitated an Equity &Inclusion activity that allowed for RAs to share important people, places, and traditions that have impacted their lives and identities with one another
  • We collaborated with the University Chaplaincy for an RA in-service for the RAs to learn more about their resources and collaborate moving forward
  • We developed a Land Acknowledgement to utilize in trainings and departmental events
  • We developed an appeal process for residence hall lock-out fees in recognition of financial barriers this may present to our residential students
Molly Chen

What has been your favorite part of being an RA?

Being able to help students navigate through the challenges transitioning from high school to college and continue their success in college life, especially with first-generation, minority, and immigrant students.

What is something that new applicants should know about the RA Position?

It is a great opportunity to discover and develop your leadership style and communication style. How do you balance your RA responsibilities with academics and other extracurriculars? I usually plan ahead of time, for example, I schedule time slots around my RA duties and classes to work on class assignments on Sunday, planning ahead for the upcoming week. In the case where unexpected conflicts occurred, being able to communicate with professors and RLCs is important.

What advice would you give to an applicant in the RA process?

Familiarize yourself with protocols during RA training will help better support your residents and keep records of residents issues will help you backtrack and follow up. Consistent communication is important.

Josh Cohen

What has been your favorite part of being an RA?

Undoubtably, my favorite part of being an RA has been the awesome community of dedicated, outgoing, and hardworking RAs that I can now confidently call my friends. Being an RA has brought me closer to Tufts and getting to play even a small growth in the enormous growth my residents have displayed since move-in day has been overwhelmingly rewarding.

What is something that new applicants should know about the RA process?

New applicants should feel comfortable and be aware that you will hold a position of power and responsibility in the Tufts student community. Some aspects of the RA role will be initially uncomfortable and awkward, but ultimately upholding the policies and standards of our communities make them a more enjoyable and safer space for everyone to live in. RA training will empower you to engage in all sorts of conversations with residents, but you should begin to think about how you would approach some of the scenarios RAs experience.

How do you balance your RA responsibilities with academics and extracurriculars?

Integrate the RA role into your other academic and extracurricular responsibilities. Host study sessions for your floor, collaborate with groups and departments that you are a part of, and be sure to carefully organize and maximize your time. In my experience, I have found that the RAs I have met through training and my own neighborhood have become some of my best study buddies and mentors.

What advice would you give to an applicant in the RA process?

Take the time to reflect on what you can uniquely bring to the RA role. What excites you? What drives you? What kind of community do you want to build and be a part of? Being able to express these in your written application and interview will make you stand out and make you a better RA in the long-run.

Brendon Amorin

What has been your favorite part of being an RA?

My favorite part of being an RA has definitely been the meaningful relationships I have developed through the position. From residents who have become friends to staff members who I have bonded with through our work, the community I have gained as an RA is a part of my Tufts experience that I am incredibly grateful for.

What is something that new applicants should know about the RA Position? 

The RA position can include challenging, difficult responsibilities, but at the end of the day, it is a role that is very rewarding. You will develop meaningful and sometimes lasting friendships with staff and residents while practicing leadership skills that will help you even outside of the RA position. 

How do you balance your RA responsibilities with academics and other extracurriculars?

Being an RA has certainly challenged me to improve my time management skills. However, tools, such as to-do lists, have made RA responsibilities, along with academics and other extracurriculars, possible. Also, communicating with my ARLC and my fellow staff has been important. While the RA position can be difficult at times, you are constantly surrounded by a team of people who want you to succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help

What advice would you give to an applicant in the RA process?

Be yourself. One of the most amazing aspects of residential life is that it is a group of people from different backgrounds coming together to form a community. Share your identity as much as you are comfortable and welcome the identities of others and you will enjoy this position a lot.

When do you feel most in your element within the RA role?

In the past, I have felt most comfortable and confident while having conversations with my residents. Whether it be in my room, the hallway, a common area, or a dining hall, I always enjoy hearing about my residents’ interests and perspectives. Having someone trust you with their experiences is an incredible feeling that is one of the most rewarding aspects of being an RA. 

 

Francisco Salazar

What has been your favorite part of being an RA?

I would have to say it is definitely the community with both residents and fellow RAs. My residents this year have been wonderful people, and I've been able to make some great connections with them. They are great people and I'm always learning from them. Also, the RA community is a very supportive place. Other RAs have proven to be true allies and simply great people. 

What is something that new applicants should know about the RA Position?

I believe being an RA is as rewarding of a job as you make it. It can be a great place to grow as a leader by creating a sense of community. Additionally, when you are an RA, you serve as a role model not only while in your residence but all-around campus and in classes

How do you balance your RA responsibilities with academics and other extracurriculars?

I believe setting a schedule is fundamental. Being able to balance school and RA work is fundamental, but also finding personal time. Taking care of oneself in order to better help others.  

What advice would you give to an applicant in the RA process?

Knowing when to listen and when to contribute is important. The RA role is an unusual job, being and adaptable and reliable member of the community is fundamental. 

When do you feel most in your element within the RA role?

I feel most in my element while on community events. As a first-year student RA I'm able to see residents’ journey through their first year at Tufts. It is a welcoming community and during events such as Halloween or Winter Holliday decorations people’s kindness is evident.  

Arya Pindiprolu

What has been your favorite part of being an RA?

My favorite part about my job is definitely the community building aspect. I enjoy using the RA role to help foster a space where the residents can form meaningful connections.

What is something that new applicants should know about the RA Position?

Being an RA isn’t a typical job. You are an RA everywhere you go, even outside the dorm. You have to remember that you are a role model and your actions carry weight.

How do you balance your RA responsibilities with academics and other extracurriculars?

Google calendar is my best friend. Beyond having a method to stay organized, establishing boundaries has helped me mentally balance the variety of roles I have on campus.

What advice would you give to an applicant in the RA process? 

There is not one type of RA. Sometimes there is a misperception that you have to be super outgoing to be an RA, but a good team of RAs have a mix of personalities and strengths. When writing your application think about how you see yourself in the role.

When do you feel most in your element within the RA role?

I feel most in my element when I’m having one-on-one conversations with other RAs or residents.

Priyanka Kadam

What has been your favorite part of being an RA?

The community! It gets harder to meet new people on campus as you become an upperclassman, so it’s always fun to have a community outside of everything else in my life that I can come to. Residential Life is made up of some of the most welcoming people I know!

What is something that new applicants should know about the RA Position?

I think you get the most out of it that you put into it. It’s been such a great way for me to develop my leadership abilities, as well as develop great relationships with my residents, and I think you’ll find the more effort you put into the job the more you’ll feel rewarded.

How do you balance your RA responsibilities with academics and other extracurriculars?

This is a tough one! I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging at times, but our supervisors are incredibly understanding of the fact we’re students first and will give us leeway at times because of it. I’d say the most helpful thing was to devote just an hour a week in my schedule to RA responsibilities, so I can get everything done on time.

What advice would you give to an applicant in the RA process?

Don’t be worried about projecting what you think you should look or sound like as an RA! Being authentically yourself is best because that’s what you’ll present to your residents, and how they’ll feel connected to you.

When do you feel most in your element within the RA role?

During orientation every year! It’s so exciting welcoming everyone back, bringing first years to campus, and guiding them and their families around.

Katherine Powers

What has been your favorite part of being an RA?

My favorite part of being an RA has been the connections I’ve made with my residents and other staff members. I’ve met so many incredible people doing this job.

What is something that new applicants should know about the RA Position?

There’s a really great community and network of support with other RAs and Reslife staff! There are always folks to cheer you on and for you to lean on when you need help.

How do you balance your RA responsibilities with academics and other extracurriculars?

Time management is a crucial skill. My personal favorite tools are Google Calendar and Todoist! It’s definitely a challenge to live in the same place where you work, so making an intentional effort to make time away from my dorm (like studying in the library or hanging out in the campus center) is important.

What advice would you give to an applicant in the RA process?

Be authentic and don’t try to fit yourself into the mold of what you think an RA is! A staff team works best when there are a diversity of perspectives, personality types, and experiences that people bring to the table.

When do you feel most in your element within the RA role?

I feel most in my element when spending time with my residents, whether it’s providing support, advice, or just socializing. Having the opportunity to make a positive impact on a resident’s experience in college is so rewarding.

Jun Seo

What has been your favorite part of being an RA?

My favorite part of being an RA is the meaningful relationships that I have made with my team and residents. I have made some of my best friends at Tufts through this position. Not only have I learned many practical skills, I have learned what it means to be a community leader and friend who looks after others. Watching your residents grow as individuals through your help is one of the most rewarding experiences as an RA.

What is something that new applicants should know about the RA Position?

The RA position is both an opportunity to grow as a community leader. The skills you develop as an RA, both during training and during the school year, will serve you for a lifetime. However, you have to be open minded and willing to take up responsibility and put in the work. Think of the reasons why you want to be an RA. Are you going in with a mindset to help people while growing yourself? If so, this may be the right role for you.  

How do you balance your RA responsibilities with academics and other extracurriculars?

Time management is so important in balancing all of your tasks and roles. As a visual-learner, I write down all of my to-do’s for the week in a small journal and also print out calendars for the semester, writing down all of the big exams and assignments in the semester. At least having the important tasks written down or recorded somewhere really helps! 

What advice would you give to an applicant in the RA process? 

Take some time to reflect on your life, including your responsibilities and commitments outside of academics. It’s also important to know who you are as a person, such as knowing your personality strengths and weaknesses, your interests and hobbies, and your values. Many RAs I know have a passion for caring for others and living life with a growth mindset. This will ultimately help you with the application and interview process. 

When do you feel most in your element within the RA role?

I feel most in my element when I make a positive impact on a resident’s wellbeing. Being present for your residents is so important because, like everyone, they are learning how to navigate college and life in general. Sometimes, you see them struggling. Being there to listen to their problems, connect them to helpful resources, and just seeing them feel better afterwards is such a rewarding feeling.

 

Akash Maney

What has been your favorite part of being an RA?

My favorite part of the job is easily bonding with my residents and neighborhood RAs. Being an extrovert, I enjoy getting to know new people, building relationships that extend further than my role alone.

What is something that new applicants should know about the RA Position?

Something a new applicant should know about the RA role is that you will learn so much about other but especially yourself. After two years in this position, I have learned so much about leadership ability and realized my own social qualities. As a varsity rower, these qualities have helped me be a better teammate. In clubs, these qualities help me be a better contributor to discussions and planning.

How do you balance your RA responsibilities with academics and other extracurriculars?

The RA position is unique in that there are not set hours, it is a more of an integrate lifestyle. While programming, policy enforcement, report writing, meetings, and duty sound like a lot of work, you notice that these duties tend to meld in with your day well. For example, I am a part of three different clubs, an undergraduate researcher, an athlete, and a Biochemistry major on the premed track (on top of being an RA). My role seldom interrupts other aspects of life but time management doesn’t hurt.

What advice would you give to an applicant in the RA process?

Use the RA process as a way to assess your own motivations for the job. Although the process is shortened this year, being an RA requires a lot of compassion and commitment as well as team spirit. It also requires that you be comfortable with being uncomfortable. The RA role is super rewarding but only if you are willing to truly commit with your heart and soul.

When do you feel most in your element within the RA role?

I feel most in my element as an RA when I make a positive impact in one of my resident’s lives. I like building individual relationships with my residents and when I can make someone’s day, on a large or small scale, it reminds me of why I do my job.