Part of the job description?

By ASHLEY SMITH

ra_poster_2009v2Resident advisors might not be superheroes, but we are super-informed!

After completing a lengthy two-day interview process, weekly classes during my spring semester and a full-week of training prior to the start of the fall semester, I finally received the title “resident advisor.” What I didn’t realize then was that researching and presenting information to my residents was going to be one of the most involving and exciting parts of my job.

The more time I spend in our journalism class, the more importance I attach to the information that we cover. When an RA posts new information to his hallway’s bulletin board, he should use the same techniques as he would when writing a headline or titling a blog.

Invariably, it is also important to find information that is pertinent, timely, and helpful to residents (sounds rather like a news story to me.) Although it would not be appropriate to staple the latest edition of The Spectrum to my bulletin board, I still borrow information from on-campus publications, University at Buffalo websites, and other reliable websites with information on my topic of interest.

Creating a bulletin board geared towards the needs of college students is much like writing a feature article. Instead of typing it up and e-mailing it to an editor, it gets sent to an assistant hall director. For instance, if I were to make a bulletin board on sex related issues, I would check the UB Wellness Team’s Web site for information and upcoming Wellness Team events. I would also contact someone from Wellness Services and talk to them about giveaways and programming.

Then, once I have my information, I make a visual news article out of the information and images I have collected and staple it to the wall.

How cool is that! 😀

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2 responses to “Part of the job description?

  1. Content: 4 Indeed, the lessons of journalism apply elsewhere. You take a long time saying so, but that’s your message. It’s a good one. Glad you are applying your skills.

    Headline is weak — it has no keywords.

    Links: 3 Great links Ashley! Really stellar. I liked the search and blog tip sites a lot. Both kept me hooked longer than I wanted — as I am already taking too long to grade these blogs.

    Grammar:2
    The ideas here are solid, but the presentation is off. There are some mistakes with parallelism like:

    I would also contact someone from Wellness Services and talk to them about giveaways and programming. Here, you use the singular someone and the plural them. It’s an awkward construction. Best way to avoid it is to write around it. Say:
    I can tell Wellness Services about…
    (giveaways and programming by the way is vague and means nothing to me. Be specific so readers understand what you mean.)

    Also: researching and presenting information to my residents was going to be one of the most involving and exciting parts of my job.

    Not sure what the most involving means here. I think you mean involved, though.

    Also, this sentence is biased. Why write as if all RA’s are men? Again, write around it!
    When an RA posts new information to his hallway’s bulletin board, he should use the same techniques as he would when writing a headline or titling a blog.

    Why not say:
    RA’s can steal techniques from bloggers.
    (see how a strong verb can juice up your prose?)

    Work to cultivate your inner editor. Re-read this post. How could you rewrite it better?

    Here’s a hint: Try condensing thoughts into more succinct sentences.
    Start here:
    After completing a lengthy (WHY USE LENGTHY HERE?) two-day interview process, weekly classes (during my spring semester — this is unnecessary, say how many weeks of classes) and a full (WHY FULL?) -week of training (prior to the start of the fall semester — again, this is irrelevant) I finally received (became an) the title “resident advisor.”

  2. Isn’t it default to use male gender pronouns when you mean both genders and don’t want to say “his or her”? I wasn’t meaning to say that only men are RAs and I definitely wouldn’t have understood it that way if I were to read it. Let me know if that rule is incorrect. I’ve always understood that the male gender pronouns can be neuter.

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