Monday, October 8, 2007


"It's quiet hours," "Your music is too loud," "Open your fridge for me," "You have too many people in here," etc.

If you have been in college and lived in a dormitory, especially as a freshman, and are a person that likes to have fun from time to time, you probably have heard at least one of these compliments. If not, something resembling it, and you'll also know who knocked on your door and said it: an RA.

For those of you who don't know, RA is short for Resident Assistant. RA's live in on-campus college dormitories, and are supposed to basically keep the peace between students and enforce all of the rules of the dormitory. Mainly, in my eyes, they're there, especially in freshmen dorms, to regulate the alchohol ban. If you wanted to drink in my dorm last year, you had to be stealth. Bottles were a big risk (that's how I got caught...bottle clanging and a pretty boisterous game of Moose), and if you wanted to do a power hour you were better off using a fucking stopwatch.

As it works where I go to school, one RA would be on duty for the entire dorm per night, and they would stroll the halls making sure that everything was peaceful and quiet. The rules have to be enforced by someone, I guess, since apparently 18 and 19 year olds that have just been unleashed in the world to live on their own tend to go a little crazy. I understand that these gratified babysitters is obviously a necessary evil, and I respect that. In fact, it doesn't really even have to be an evil even, because RAs start their job with a chance to be reasonable and cool towards their floor and dormitory. We can compare the reasonable RAs to that babysitter you used to have that would let you watch TGIF until 10 and let you fill the bathtub up with as much water as your little heart desired.

Now, in my experience, there are two types of RAs. The first type is the kind that I had the most experience with , since the two RAs that were in charge of my floor during freshman year were very approachable and lenient; these guys only punished kids when it was an absolute necessity. If they were disturbing other kids on the floor with their noise or actually seriously damaging something. They'd talk to you, and they actually kind of became friends with me and my fellow tenants. These were the guys that you could tell were RAs for the economical reasons. They got free housing, free food, and maybe some other benefits that they needed because they couldn't afford to pay 2,500 dollars a month to live in a box. They were only interested in damage control and keeping the job that they actually needed. I wish there was some way that the panel in charge of appointing Resident Assistants could select only these people for the job, but sometimes it's easy to hide your true self. Especially if you're a douche bag.

And, I guess we'll call the second type of RA the douche bags. RAs have--if you can really call it that--power, and when people get power, they either treat it as they should, or they abuse it. The douche bags do just that.

You know those rent-a-cops that you see at football games that are always trying to be enforcers? Those are RAs that didn't make it into college.

I wouldn't be surprised if these guyswere RAs for the power, not the monetary reasons. These are the guys that would knock on your door every night and tell you to quiet down, quiet hours or not. They would sit outside of the door with their ear against it, listening to you (like fucking Richard Nixon), just waiting for you to say the word "beer." You might think I'm exaggerating, but this happened to my friends that lived in another dormitory last year. Their RA is, I'm pretty sure, the ring-leader of all douche bag RAs on the Behrend campus. He's at the forefront of power tripping and unnecessary punishment to get himself off. It's disgusting, really, and something oughta be done.

This particular guy I've been basically bashing has had a hard-on for a few of my best friends and me since last year (we'll call him T. Chevy). It started on our first night of college (when he was creeping around the halls trying to bust kids before the year even started), my roommate and I were in my friend's room when he was on duty. To make a long story short, I overdid it with my consumption a little bit, because it was, you know, the first fucking night of college. It's like a right-of-passage. Anyway, I guess I stumbled out of their room, and he told me to stop and leave the door open, so that he could bust everyone in the room. My roommate and I ran for it, me back to my building and him to the bathroom for a simulated thirty minute long shit. He busted the rest of my friends, but they refused to give up the name of my roommate and I. They would not budge, and we eventually got away with it after they had a few meetings. All chargers were dropped, or whatever you want to call it.

This continued later that year, when we were in a dodge ball tournament. We were playing my dorm hall against his dorm hall, in fittingly the Battle of the Halls. My friends and I won, and this dude got so into it (he was wearing fucking Under Armour, skin tight, which I think might be against any and all intramural regulations. You lose the privilege to wear something like that after you finish playing high school sports.), he was complaining to the refs and stuff, it was kinda weird. Anyway, that was it for that year, and I figured it'd be over. Actually I think some of my friends were in a car and saw him and called him a "fucking faggot," which probably didn't help bury any hatchets.

I was thinking about all of this because we had another confrontation with him today, when we were at an intramural flag football game. We lost the game. It happens. We were leaving the field, and our boy Chevy was waiting to play after us. As we were walking away he started saying demeaning things to one of my best friends. We immediately started laughing, which just angers people more, so he tried to say some more. He made an ass out of himself, and we loved it. The best insult he got out was something about my friend wearing a shirt with a sleeve cut off. We, however, cut up on him pretty good. Ferg got off some good insults about wearing Under Armour, which sounds lame now, but you had to be there. It was good.

Ok, that whole ramble right there had nothing to do with my thesis at all, but it felt great to be able to say things to this power-abusing nobody, since he can no longer punish us. We live off of campus, and are away from his pale red-head grasp. Fuck that guy.

Anyway what I'm getting at through all of this is that kids are getting the short end of the stick when they enter college to live on campus. It's not at all fair for someone to have to deal with a cretin like T. Chevy that's only pleasure in life comes from intramural sports and catching kids with banned blenders in their dorm rooms. I know I'm not a really cool person, and that I'm writing this just kind of bashing someone when they cant' really say anything back, but I'll give him his opportunity sometime, the next time he heckles one of my friends.

If you have power, especially such a petty power as those that come with being an RA, don't abuse it. Use it how you should use it, to keep things in order without being tastelessly excessive. Be like Superman, not Kim Jong-il.