Rebekah Stewart, assistant director of Residence Life, and Nicole Rabalais, residence director of Maple Hall, presented at the regional Southeastern Association of Housing Officers conference in Williamsburg, Virginia on Feb. 25 to a group of 60 colleagues. Focusing on a part of Resident Assistant training called Behind Closed Doors, the women shared with colleagues some changes that the Office of Residence Life has made to this training for the August 2009 RA training. Behind Closed Doors (BCD) is a common tool used by many Residence Life programs to train new resident assistants in how to address a combination of serious and common issues they will face during their first month on the job. BCD can often be very dramatic and far-fetched, emphasizing only serious resident issues. The 2009 version created by Residence Life instead focuses on keeping RAs alert to smaller, less serious issues that make up the majority of the RA job and not just the serious issues. Stewart and Rabalais were very well received by fellow Housing professionals and were encouraged that Belmont’s innovative way of revamping this commonly used training tool for Resident Assistants will prompt other Residence Life programs to do the same.
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