FAACT's College Resource Center
For Students: How To ConversationsBack to Category View
How To Talk to Your Resident Advisor
You may have read in this tool kit that an RA is a Resident Advisor. (They may be called a Resident Assistant or Community Advisor as well.) These are college students who have been hired to oversee your floor of the residence hall. They report to the Resident Director who oversees the entirety of the dorm (including safety, discipline, and dorm-wide events).
Not only do you want to befriend your RA, but you also need to let them know about your food allergies as soon as you can. They will be around on move-in day to introduce themselves, but keep in mind move-in day is very busy. Make sure to go introduce yourself again once the hecticness of move-in day subsides.
RA’s are integral in responding to a crisis, calling 911 when necessary, and assisting students on your floor with varying needs. Part of their job is to ensure a safe environment for students.
Not only will your RA be available to help in a crisis, but they also plan a lot of your floor and dorm activities! Your RA should know how to use an epinephrine auto-injector and/or can alert the floor residents of your food allergies (if that is something you want). Having them know about your food allergies will allow them to make floor-wide and dorm-wide events allergen-free or inclusive of your needs.
Example Conversations to have with your RA:
- Hi, [name of RA]! My name is [name] and I live in [dorm room number]. I wanted to let you know that I have severe food allergies to [allergens]. I just wanted to make you aware.
- Hi, [name of RA]! My name is [name] and I live in [dorm room number]. I wanted to let you know that I have severe food allergies to [allergens]. I wanted to make you aware. I am also wondering if you could send an email out to our floor so that everyone can be aware of my food allergies. My roommate has agreed to keep allergens out of our room, and it would be helpful if our dorm mates could do the same.
Your RA will be happy to help you and may direct you to Health Services, Dining Services, and/or Disability Services (places you may have already checked out yourself!).