The transition from our local name “RC” to the more well-known title for our resident leaders, “RA,” is finally happening. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is there even a difference between the title “Residence Chaplain” and “Residence Assistant?” Why did some people want the name change so badly?
I spoke with Naomi Brown, the Director of Residence Life and Housing about this situation to get background information on the name change that will be taking place next fall semester of this year. She discusses the main points as to why the transition is happening, “These changes are out of a desire to come more in line with other CCCU institutions, eliminate unnecessary confusion for prospective and incoming students and their parents, aid our student leaders in their future careers, and initiate first steps in our longer-term goals for our office.”
CCCU stands for “Council for Christian Colleges and Universities” and Greenville University is a part of this chain of colleges/universities. All the colleges involved in this organization are Christian and oversee similar values. Out of the four schools involved in the CCCU, GU is the only school to have the name RC for dorm hall floor leaders instead of RA, so we see that having the name RA is much more prominent. On a resume, the title “Residence Chaplain” may be a bit more confusing than the direct and more well-known title “Residence Assistant.” According to Google, the term “chaplain” is pointed more towards religious titles, so it makes sense why one would think of this word for Christian universities.
As for the responsibilities of the current Residence Chaplains and upcoming Residence Assistants, nothing will change. Spiritual development will still need to be the number one priority of the people selected for these positions, so just because the name will change doesn’t mean the expectations will. RA’s will still use these spiritual guidelines to mentor, challenge, encourage, guide, and instruct their residents. They will still be expected to be a good example of what a true leader should be and to be a friend to all.
In addition to the name “Residence Chaplain” changing, our current CRE name for dorm hall directors will change to RD’s, or Residence Directors. This transition is more simplified and will clear up any confusion for everyone.
I honestly think this switch is a great idea. I think the name “chaplain” had good intentions and it’s always good to be different every now and then, but for professional purposes, it’s best to stick to a more known title. When people hear the title “Residence Chaplain,” they will most likely not immediately know what role this entails. It’ll probably take a little bit for current students to adjust to the change, but it’ll be for the greater good.
The best part about all this is that nothing in the role will change — we will still be encouraged spiritually by Residence Assistants.
Media by Antwon Knight.