The training program combined team-building activities, lectures and hands-on experience to help new and returning RAs make the most of their position.

Student employees of the university’s housing office participate in the training alongside those from the privately owned affiliate ULH, which operates halls including Kurtz and Bettie Johnson.

Trainees rise at 8:30 a.m. every day and attend seminars on topics ranging from healthy living to suicide prevention.

After these sessions, the trainees spend a few hours a day cleaning and prepping their residence halls for welcome week.

Ronnie Rentz, one of the senior RAs and program leaders, said the training can be very strenuous.

“It’s like a boot camp; we only have two weeks to go over so many subjects,” explained Rentz. “It can get a little crazy.”

There’s some fun mixed in, too: On Wacky Wednesdays, trainees dress up as superheroes.

The high energy levels maintained throughout the program help the apprentice RAs stay excited about their responsibilities for the coming school year.

“I had a great experience with my RA my first year. She really made me want to be involved,” said Maddie Clabough, a first-time ULH RA. “Being an RA is an important job, and a great way to be a leader and care for people.”

Their responsibilities will begin Aug. 20, when students move in for the fall semester.