Orlando Anaya is a second-year political science major here at UC Merced. What makes him unique from other students, however, is that Orlando is a Resident Assistant (RA), in addition to being a full-time student. Resident Assistants are a crucial part of the Residence Life Staff, and play an important role in serving all on-campus residents.

When asked about his inspiration for becoming an RA, Anaya responded, “I wanted to help others in their transition to UC Merced. Personally, my transition was a bit rough, due to some issues back at home, which made it more difficult to settle in. I understand that moving into a new setting can be challenging, although one should not have to go through it alone. I love being able to socialize with others on my floor, and overall within the building in which I am stationed at. Due to being an RA, I have been able to meet new people and work to better the well-being of the ‘commonwealth’ we have established here as a community.”

Anaya states that this leadership opportunity “is demanding of one’s time and requires quick and critical thinking. The job in itself holds some characteristics that are bound to be needed and required in other careers. Having this position acts as experience needed for any future profession.”

Orlando explains that daily duties as an RA include “being in charge of my residents, my floor, my building, my community, and the overall student body. I am here to mediate and maintain an inclusive environment that promotes growth and education.”

“One of the opportunities I have as an RA is to give back to the community after all that it has provided me with, and that is a responsibility that I am honored to have.”


Photo Credit: Rae Anne Tamayo.

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