Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Thisbe Nissen

Second Advisor

Jane Baas


The life of a Resident Assistant is anything and everything except dull. From training to duty nights, to suitemate mediations and the end of a contract, each day is a story that most others rarely understand, if it is even believed. From these experiences came a collection of short stories, fictionalized accounts of what it is like to be a Resident Assistant in the average American public university.

For four RAs, the stories of their Residence Life incidents are day in the life for them, even if not the day in the life they expected at the start of the job. Ally, an experienced RA, is confident in her ability to do the job as she sees fit, even if it strains her relationship with the head of Residence Life. Brendyn and Liam are both new at the job and thoroughly unprepared for the unusual circumstances they will soon have to navigate. And Cleo just wants to not have her toothbrush used as a cleaning tool for the bathroom sink.

Elaine, the head of Residence Life, just wants to keep the department running as functionally as other schools, to be competitive and produce results. She knows the mess that are the RAs in her department and all she is looking for is a reason to finally clear out her department for only the best of the best to remain.

In these stories are a simple glimpse into the lives of these RAs, the strains they face in their jobs and how the position changes them, for the better or the worse. And, hopefully, they manage to change the lives of their residents along the way. Though, most would just settle for surviving the year and all its troubles without getting fired.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access