The Need for a Structured In-Service Training Program for Resident Advisors at Marquette University

Mary C. Kane, Marquette University


The presence of "counselors," "advisors" or resident assistants in residence halls is far from a modern innovation. In fact, the concept of staff personnel living in the halls and on the floor with students dates back to the developmental years of the "house system" at Oxford and Cambridge in the early 14th Century. Originally students selected their own "principal" or "pedagogue" to act as their house leader. Each house was autonomous, democratic and self-governing, setting up their own financial. and disciplinary regulations. The university exercised no authority over the principals or the students. As time went on however, special hostels were endowed by generous founders for poorer students, and the university gradually began to assert its authority by selecting the principals or "pedagogues" who were to supervise the students.1