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Public invited to comment on role of resident assistants in UW System (Jan 11, 2006)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 11, 2006

Contact: Doug Bradley
dbradley@uwsa.edu
(608) 262-5061

Public invited to comment on role of resident assistants in UW System

NOTE: Feedback was accepted until Feb. 10, 2006.

MADISON—The University of Wisconsin System encourages members of the public and campus communities to comment on the role of resident assistants (RAs), who serve students living in residence halls on UW campuses.

A working group of residence-life professionals, student affairs officers, and students has recommended a set of principles to UW System President Kevin P. Reilly, who sought the group’s expertise about the role of RAs, the relationship of RAs to the wider campus community, and the expectations of RAs as university employees. These principles will inform the university’s efforts to develop a systemwide policy on RA activities, Reilly said.

"My thanks to these working group members, who thoughtfully, and swiftly, contributed their time and sound judgment about the role of resident assistants," Reilly said. "Their good thinking will help us strike an appropriate balance between the rights and responsibilities of these student employees, and the rights of student residents."

A forum for public feedback on the recommended principles is available through http://www.wisconsin.edu/news/2006/r060111RAfeedback.htm. Reilly said public input will be among the factors considered as he works with campus chancellors, provosts, members of the Board of Regents and other experts to develop a systemwide policy on certain RA activities.

Concerns have been raised about the role of RAs in leading, organizing or recruiting students for certain activities in residence halls where they live and work, as well as restrictions on such activities. During the course of the current review, UW campuses are enforcing policies and practices in this area only if complaints about specific conduct by RAs are received and found to be valid.

"I encourage anyone who is interested in the role and responsibilities of RAs on UW campuses to give us their comments," Reilly said. "We will look to the advisory group's principles and a wide range of public opinion as we review how RAs can best serve our students and campuses."

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