What it’s Like to be a Community Assistant on Campus?

The Westover Hall HRL office, displaying the residence hall’s CA’s. Photo taken 

By Jordan Abbott ~ Guest Writer

Over the summer, Housing and Residence Life (HRL) at the University of Lynchburg, made changes to policies, practices, and job descriptions of the position formerly known as “resident assistant.” 

“ In the change of name from resident assistant to community assistant, HRL believes that we are a community. The programming and the stuff we do together forms a community, it makes us a community. So instead of just calling me a resident assistant, just call me a community assistant,” says junior community assistant Mary Otu Okley, who has been a CA since the second semester of her freshman year. 

Housing and Residence Life also welcomed several new community assistants, including sophomore Chanel Smith. 

Smith admits she was skeptical about applying for the position at first, but she is grateful she did. 

“I think my favorite part is just getting to see different people’s perspectives on campus life. Especially just getting to talk every single day with a different person, seeing what their schedule is, and just being there for people,” says Smith.  

Though being a CA has many benefits, there are also challenging aspects of the position. 

“I think the hardest part is trying to communicate with everybody, because I understand that I want to be a person that’s helpful and not so overbearing, but it’s like, sometimes the requirements make me have to be overbearing, and I have to step from the boundary of me being uncomfortable, or all that. I hate getting people in trouble,” Smith says. 

Okley expressed concern that many students do not consider how difficult and overwhelming it can be for CA’s to balance their job responsibilities with their academic responsibilities.

However, both CA’s agree that the job is worth the challenges. 

According to Okley, “Sometimes it’s challenging. I mean, no matter what you do you can meet challenges along the way, so why don’t you take this challenge and be paid for it?” 

The Housing and Residence Life page on the university website says, “Community Assistants fill vital roles in the housing experience for students at the University of Lynchburg. It is one of the most influential jobs a student can have on campus, and a position of great responsibility and great fulfillment.”

If you are interested in becoming a community assistant, contact residencelife@lynchburg.edu

Source List 

Chanel Smith – smithc597@lynchburg.edu 

Mary Otu Okley – otuoklm634@lynchburg.edu 

University of Lynchburg Housing and Residence Life page – https://www.lynchburg.edu/student-life/housing-and-residence-life/join-our-team/ 

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