Confessions of an RSA

Resident Security Advisers tell some of their more harrowing stories as guards to Syracuse University's residence halls.

Editor's note: These stories are written in an as-told-by style. Resident Security Advisers talked to three writers for The NewsHouse. Here are their stories:


Shaw Hall

Told by Martha

Written by Xiang Wang

Shaw Hall is located between fraternities, and Euclid Avenue, where a lot of parties happen. It’s common that some people who don’t live here want to get in to use the bathroom, drink some water, etc. As a RSA, it is my responsibility to check students’ IDs. For safety purposes, people who don’t have a matching sticker color can’t get into the building after 8 p.m.

Last year, two girls who did not live at Shaw tried to get in to the building at 4 a.m. to use the bathroom. They knocked on the door, but I told them they couldn’t get in unless they lived here. They yelled at me like, “What do you mean I can’t get in? I pay $50,000 a year and I can’t use the bathroom?”

Then they went on and on to argue with me. They said, “What if I am dying, and you are not allowing me to use the bathroom, and have some water?” Due to the rules and security reasons, I still insisted that they couldn’t come in. Then they both pulled their pants down and peed between the two doors.

Other students in the lobby was so astonished about what they just did, and people came in later saw the water all over the floor, and had to walk around it. Later, they followed other people who lived in here, and finally get into the building. They said they need to go to the bathroom and get some toilet paper to wipe the floor. I had to call the Department of Public Safety. They knew they were in huge trouble, and left immediately before DPS came.

There were other stories like that from two years ago. A girl just wore a pink bra with wings, and pink panties with 8-inch heels to go out during Halloween imagining herself as a Victoria’s Secret model. Then three guys jumped from the first-floor balcony to the lobby, and one of them broke his leg. Even though all this has happened, I enjoy working here. There are wonderful students who just came down to talk to me, and I would bring them brownies.


Brewster Hall

Told by Molly

Written by Fiona O’Connor

You do get to see a lot of interesting people, especially at night. One time I looked out the door and saw a kid staring at me. He was wearing a Jason mask and holding a chainsaw. The chainsaw didn’t have the chain on it, but he was revving the engine so the blade was spinning. I recognized him as a guest because I had signed him into the building a few times earlier that day. Seeing people in costume isn’t unusual, but it wasn’t even Halloween.

Sometimes students can get upset with me if they forget their IDs or their guest doesn’t have an ID. They will get impatient, especially if they have been drinking. So many students say, “But I live here, can’t you just let me in?” They forget that I don’t know they live here. BBB is a really big dorm so I don’t remember every student’s face.

Halloween is definitely the craziest weekend to work, because more students go to parties and they party harder than other weekends. After being an RSA for four years, I’ve seen a lot of different costumes. There are always the typical risque costumes, but students can be pretty creative as well. Four girls dressed up as iPod Nanos with dresses made of duck tape.

One Halloween I had a student run past me because he didn’t have his ID. Whenever this happens I have to call DPS and they will come to the building and track down the student. When DPS asked me for a description of the student I said, “He’s dressed like Peter Pan.” He had the green tights and the little hat with a feather in it. I’m not sure if DPS actually ever found him, but it was probably one of the better descriptions they had to go by.


Lawrinson Hall

Told by Josh

Written by Leslie Walters

I’ve seen quite a few crazy things. I remember last year, maybe the second or third weekend after school had started, a group of kids came in and one girl was signing in her friend. Then, just as they finished signing in, her friend puked! Like, she literally started at the door and puked the entire length of the rug! It was pretty gross. So afterwards they when upstairs and I called DPS and they eventually came and took her away.  
Also I get to know some of the students pretty well, and especially the ones that always try to give me a hard time. Usually they play around and think that they do not have to show me their IDs, and I end up having to get stern with them.
I had one girl last week that refused to show me her ID and got in my face, saying, “This doesn’t have to happen.” After I had to get strict with her she was like, “Oh, I forgot you worked here.” Luckily, that particular incident did not escalade out of hand. If there is ever a case where it does (which is usually once a week), I simply call my supervisor or DPS to take care of the issue.
I must say though that I do enjoy my job. However, because I work five nights a week, my sleeping schedule is all messed up.

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