The department of residence life has been under fire lately for its policies and university codes of conduct after the dismissals and resignations of several residence life staff members in recent weeks.

However, more alarming to many current and former members of the resident staff is the lack of trust within the system as the infractions of Clark Callahan, Becky Robinson and Kevin Saville were reported by other RAs.

“Another problem is the lack of brotherhood among the RAs themselves,” said Sean Barrett ’05, a former RA in Loyola. “The students that are RAs are supposed to support one another so that there can be some kind of trust, not police each other, but that is exactly what’s going on.”

John Vallee ’06 previously told The Mirror, “When you become an RA, it’s a common understanding that you look out for each other, watch out for each other. It’s like a family.”

The department of residence life takes pains to ensure that this “family” does exist within each residence hall and within the entire staff during the intensive two-week-long training all RAs go through.

“We go to camp overnight to facilitate staff development,” said Fran Koerting, director of residence life. “We do team-building activities with the assistance of the YMCA staff and low ropes elements.”

Colleen Sweeney ’05, an RA in Claver, enjoyed the team-building exercises and found them to be very beneficial.

“We did the human knot, where we all hold hands and have to untangle ourselves, and got to know everybody,” she said. “At camp, we all got blindfolded and, either with a partner or as a team, went over obstacles and through the woods.”

The rest of training consists of procedural matters such as emergency situations, duty, judicial reports, inspections, programming, and maintenance, according to Koerting.

The staff also works on skills necessary for an RA such as listening, roommate mediation, building a dorm community, safety, Jesuit ideals, communication, and building preparation.

However, the trust within the family has taken a blow as all three dismissals and resignations of staff members came as a

result of other RAs reporting their infractions.

Callahan, the former Jogues RHC, was forced to resign after he broke a cardinal code of conduct. He was the primary RHC on duty Saturday, Oct. 9 and was required to stay within 30 miles of campus. However, he traveled into New York City and was spotted and reported by an RA.

Robinson and Saville lost their positions after another RA in their own building informed higher authorities that they had violated university alcohol policies.

So, the family that residence life strives to create has turned on themselves. Instead of watching each other’s backs, the focus is now on watching their own.

“I heard that RAs are ratting other RAs out,” said Vallee. “I am pretty pissed off about it and I have no respect for that. It’s absurd.”

Barrett agreed with Vallee.

“One of the perks was being in this kind of extended family where you can have ultimate trust with your co-workers,” he said. “When that is broken, the RA job becomes completely miserable and turns into a game of Survivor.”

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