How to become a Student Residential Advisor at uni
Hi – I’m Luis and I’m in my third year studying English Literature and Creative Writing BA (Hons). Here I’m going to tell you about how I became a Student Residential Advisor and what the role involves.
Applying to be a Student Residential Advisor (SRA)
When I was about to finish my second year of university, I received an email in which the role of the Student Residential Advisor (SRA) was discussed and encouraged to apply for the next course.
Bearing in mind that I wasn’t in Brighton for my first year and, consequently, had not lived in halls, I did not know very well what it was about. For those who don’t know, the SRAs are students who live in the different accommodations owned by the university (Varley Park, Falmer, Mithras, Moulescoomb, Mithras). We try to make life there as easy as possible by organising activities throughout the three semesters, visiting the different flats to make sure that everyone is well and trying to solve the small problems that living together and being away from home sometimes entail.
After filling out an online form about my professional background and recording a short video talking about myself, I had an interview via Zoom (it was at the height of COVID-19) with Martin, Amy and Noel. Eventually they would become my supervisors.
Training for the role of SRA
As SRA, you do not receive a salary per se, but a good discount on the price of your room. After that and choosing my accommodation, in September I had a week of training in Varley Park where we were given training on what to do in case of, let’s say, a fire, in case someone called us (all SRAs have a telephone provided by the accommodation that rotates weekly in case someone needs help in the middle of the night), in case the coexistence in a specific flat did not go well etc. It was really an intense but very enjoyable week, since I shared it with another 20 students in the same role as me and who have become friends since then.
Organising events for students
Once in Moulsecoomb, everything was quite simple. I chose Moulsecoomb because it is literally next to the train station five minutes from Brighton and 10 mins from Falmer, my campus, and because it is not monstrously large.
There was really a feeling of unity and familiarity, both with the other students and with the caretakers, the kind and helpful Stewart and James.
One of my favorite things as an SRA was organizing events throughout the course, which I did with the other two SRAs on site. For this, Amy normally facilitated the event itself and we made a poster that we put on the doors of the flats. We sent an email to the students, bought the necessary materials and refreshments (which the university pays for).
These events have included cooking and baking contests, quiz night (very popular), pumpkin carving for Halloween, an egg hunt for Easter, fish and chips on the beach and pot painting, among others. They were a good opportunity for the students living in Moulsecoomb to meet and hang out, and they always seemed to enjoy themselves.
Personally, I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to become an SRA. It’s fun, you will meet a bunch of nice people and it’s really rewarding when someone contacts you with a problem and you manage to help them.