Resident Assistants take note of VaTech tragedy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Resident Assistants take note of VaTech tragedy

April 17, 2007

Albany --  One of the victims gunned down Monday at Virginia Tech was an on-campus dormitory Resident Assistant.   RA's reach out to students living on campus and work to maintain a comfortable living environment.  Before now, not a job considered dangerous or deadly.

Authorities believe Ryan Clark was just doing his job when he tried to step in during a dispute at Virginia Tech Monday.  The killer shot Clark and then went on a deadly rampage across campus.

Albany State University is currently interviewing 80 candidates to be RA's. Jeremy Dumas oversees RA's at ASU.   He says his office trains the student leaders to know when to step in during a dispute.  But a lot of it is up to the RA's best judgement. "You haven't been hearing any strange sounds or noises or anything like that?"

Blair Caffey is a freshman who got a job as an RA.  He patrols the halls and keeps students informed of activities on campus.  At times, the job can be tough. "Probably the biggest situation we had was on March 1st when we had the tornado, evacuating everybody down to the 1st floor of the building and making sure everyone was in safety."

He says he feels safe since students who aren't supposed to be on campus can be easily identified. "A stranger can't just get inside of a dorm on campus. You've got to have one of these housing cards that you slide through a detector in order to get access inside of the building."

Dumas says if a RA feels he's in a situation he can't control, his job isn't to play tough guy. "They definitely need to call the police."

And since ASU police are always close by, it isn't hard to do. "Theyre here all day. They don't ever sleep. It makes it a little easier and makes me feel a little safer here."

At ASU, RA's receive room, board, and $150 a month. Ryan Clark, the Virginia Tech RA who was shot, was from Martinez Georgia, outside Augusta.

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