by Grace Hatton, Reverb Editor
The Residential Life staff are a large part of a student’s Wilson experience, and just before the upcoming Thanksgiving break, Residents Life staff will be releasing the Residential Life Satisfaction Survey. The survey will be sent out in an e-mail and will give students the opportunity to answer questions about community spaces, dorm rooms and resident life staff. In the past the survey has been an effective tool in incorporating changes in dorms around campus.
“Last year there was a question about getting cable,” said Area Coordinator Margot Jebb “Now the halls that requested cable on the survey last year have cable in the common rooms. This year’s survey will also cover furnishings in dorms since we are in the process of improving our buildings.”
The survey is also one of the few opportunities students have to voice any concerns over the performance of their RAs and RDs. After all, there is no personalized evaluation such as the ones students complete about their classes and work crews for residence life staff. According to Jebb, the survey is the main outlet for a student to express any issues they may be having.
“There are open sections in the survey that allow for comments about staff and any other concerns,” Jebb said.
But what happens outside of the survey? What is the system for evaluating residence life staff for the rest of the year? Well one thing to remember is that resident’s life is a crew and as such, students go through the same evaluation system any other crew does at the end of the semester. According to Jebb, RAs and RDs are evaluated on the G.R.A.P.P.L.E. by fellow RAs, RDs and ACs.
Yet unlike other crews residence life is a crew that is dealing with students on a personal level on a constant basis and sometimes a difficult experience with an RA or RD can taint a Wilson’s student’s dorm life experience. If a residence life staff member were to receive multiple complaints about an RA or RD they would be dealt with like members of any other work crew.
“They would receive written warnings, then probation, then termination,” said Jebb. “There have been some situations where it can skip ahead if they’ve been found violating a policy.”
For any student that may be having problems with the residence life staff in their dorm Jebb encourages them to speak up.
“At any point students can contact their ACs or director of residence life with concerns and we take them very seriously,” said Jebb. “Students can even talk to the Dean of Students. I’d hope students come to us and we can cultivate that feeling of understanding.”
While sitting down with your AC is a perfectly reasonable option for giving feedback, the upcoming survey may be the best opportunity students have all year to voice any concerns that may have been tugging at the back of their minds, and allows for an honest conversation between students and residence life staff, but Jebb urges students to take time with their responses.
“We like to see concrete examples of things on the survey,” said Jebb. “Rather than just saying my RD isn’t doing so great or they’re awesome, be specific! We want to try to meet students’ expectations, and do the best job we can. The survey is a way for us to get feedback and make changes if needed.”
However these changes will never happen if students don’t complete the survey. So when the Residential Life Satisfaction Survey lands in your inbox, take a few minutes to answer the questions and exercise your right for your voice to be heard.