RA wants to break stereotype

Kaelia Neal, Editor-in-chief

The stereotype for a resident adviser at Linfield College is someone who is looking to bust her charges at an illicit party.

But Brooke Lindley, known as the “mom friend” in high school, sees it in a very different light.

“I definitely think my job is to make sure students have what they need to be successful and enjoy their time here,” she said.

Lindley’s older sister has Asperger’s syndrome, a disorder in the autism family, so taking care of others is something that comes naturally to her. Watching her sister work so hard to overcome her limitations has inspired Lindley to redouble her own efforts.

In addition to taking 19 credits, well past what’s normally considered a full load, she is involved with Young Life, a Christian youth organization; Alpha Phi, a campus sorority, and Young Lives, a childcare program freeing teen parents to pursue character-building activities.

An education major and math minor, Lindley is aiming to become a middle school math teacher.

“I just like math, and I know a lot of people don’t like math,” she said. “I think they could use someone who is enthusiastic and cares about them. I love that moment when you see someone get it, where it clicks for them.”

Because she’s involved in so many other extracurricular activities, Lindley doesn’t see being an RA as something that defines her at Linfield.

“It’s definitely not my main identity,” she said. “If anything, it contributes to my identity.”

For her, serving as an RA represents just one more way to put her leadership skills to work.

While Lindley views herself as more of a supportive resource for students facing a lot of new challenges and temptations than an enforcer out to get them into trouble, she’s had to let her friends know that the job does come with rules she can’t afford to flout.

She would lose her job if she overlooked underage drinking, for example, so has to keep that in mind when friends ask her for rides home from parties. “Having friends respect my job was something I had to establish,” she said.

Although serving as an RA can carry a negative stigma, Lindley views it as another opportunity to grow into the kind of person she wants to be. “I like the idea of people coming to you and trusting you,” she said.