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October 8, 2018 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Residential Advisors to Receive More Training and Support in 2019

Victoria University has confirmed that they will increase the length of Residential Advisor (RA) training in 2019, up to 4 weeks. The training will be completed in time for the RAs to have two days’ break before students move in.
Salient reported in April this year that RAs have voiced multiple concerns about the training time, which decreased from five weeks to three weeks in 2018. RAs had said that they felt ill-prepared to deal with critical incidents. The changes to training followed a review in July 2017, which found that the “key role of RAs is to engage students in community life, not to manage issues and incidents”.
Cath Green, Associate Director of Campus Living, said the changes were in response to feedback from RAs this year saying that the training was not long enough.

The training is to include “in-hall training and a wide range of combined training sessions”. Green mentioned that “the schedule remains flexible and we are open to ideas from the RAs”.
VUWSA President Marlon Drake said that “the University has acknowledged they got it wrong.”
“We’ve been pushing them hard on this one,” he added. “It’s a really good example of strong partnership. Thank you to all the RAs who got in touch with us and gave us the ability to advocate for them”.
Green said that the training period will focus on “greater depth in the subject matter”.
Two RAs, we’ll call them Sid and Nancy, told Salient that the content of these trainings was relevant to what they have experienced in the role so far, although more practical in-house training would’ve been more beneficial to them personally. Nancy stated that the current training was the perfect length of time needed, as they got the last week to themselves allowing them to begin “preparing for the residents… like calling them and putting decorations on their floor.”

Sid however, believed the training wasn’t long enough.
“We didn’t get the chance to get to know each other well enough as a team.”
He added “unfortunately no amount of training is going to prepare you for some of the stuff you face as an RA”.


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