Resident Assistants Training for Big Day

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EAST STROUDSBURG -- Friday is move-in day for new students at East Stroudsburg University.

All this week, a group of their peers learned how to make the transition a bit easier.

More than 50 East Stroudsburg University students are training to become resident assistants.

Their role is to supervise their peers living on-campus.

For one training exercise, the group uses a spool of ribbon to learn about diversity.

"Most of it's building community. As you saw in there, we're talking about diversity and why it's important because we want everyone to feel accepted," said Rachel DiStefano, the head resident assistant at East Stroudsburg University.

But learning about diversity is only one of several topics the RA's focus on.

The Director of Residence Life and Housing, the person in charge of the RA's, said the role of a resident assistant is much greater.

"They're living with the students, they provide guidance and direction to help develop a sense of community on the floor. They make sure our policies are being enforced," said Robert Moses.

Another purpose of an RA is to be the eyes and ears for not only the administration, but also the campus police.  The Chief of Police for East Stroudsburg University said sometimes the RA's help them solve crimes.

"RA's are usually like the primary witnesses in a lot of our cases. They are either the first one to respond to a lot of incidents in the halls and they're the one who will call us and notify us if an incident that may have occurred," said Chief Robin Olson.

"Being able to work with the students, they're going to trust you more than an authoritative figure, so you're going to have a lot more of an effect on the students, they're going to trust you," said Tyler Dillon, a resident assistant.