Q&A with Keith “Fletch” Fletcher RC for Hecht Residential College

Q: What exactly does the position as Resident Coordinator entail?

The primary job of a RC is to administrate the building, handling everything from loan key inventories, to room switches, to keeping an eye on the facilities in the building. All RCs essentially function as satellite offices for the dean … noise violations, drugs, alcohol, missing persons, fights, fires etc. They supervise the resident assistants in the building, ranging from 13-22, and the administrative assistant for the building. They serve in a duty rotation providing crisis response for on-campus residents.
Collaboratively with the faculty, they help plan and implement programming in the building to facilitate the intellectual and psychosocial development of students. Facilitate opportunities for our students to get to know the faculty in the building and build relationships. Essentially, RC functions as a part of a team for the building that includes professional staff, faculty and of course, student staff, that functions to provide the best overall environment for student success.

Q: What is the best part of your job? The worst?

Best: Supervising the staff and any opportunity I have to interact with the students. I have been blessed with an incredible staff of committed servant-leaders. Further, part of our job is the expectation that our apartments will be open for students to have places to program, to congregate, to meet. My apartment was used a lot and it’s great.
Also, the opportunity to help people start to figure out what they’re capable of and then give people the tools to recognize their own unique potential. I also appreciate the opportunity to work with Maryann & Frank Barber, Faculty Masters in Hecht Residential College. They epitomize faculty commitment to students with unparalleled energy and passion.
Worst: Any time I don’t have the opportunity to interact with the students.

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever heard as RC?

To protect identities, I will relay to you incidents that have happened at a variety of schools where I have worked. Once a live chicken got loose in my building. I have had some students running some rather scandalous businesses from their rooms. Students that smoke marijuana in their room and then get caught because they go to smoke a cigarette outside because they didn’t want the cigarette smell in their room.
Some roommate conflicts are crazy – some that can’t have a speck of light in their room and they duct taped the door shut at night so that no light can get in.

Q: What’s the dumbest question you’ve ever been asked by an incoming freshman?

People will come to our front desk and ask what the number for 8-CARE is. We’ve had students that got caught drinking alcohol in their rooms say “Can I finish this first?”.
We had some folks throwing stuff out of a window and asking “What does it matter if it didn’t hit anybody”. “Where can I get a good ID?” comes up a lot the first year students. If not, we have even had some residents ask their RA if they could borrow their ID to go out for that night.

Q. What do you think is the greatest misconception new students have when coming to UM?

One of the biggest ones from my perspective is that they have to fit in to this Miami image – whatever they define that image to be, because they feel it is a pretty place with pretty people. The transition contributes to the extreme examples of substance abuse, high-risk behaviors like sexual assaults, eating disorders, etc. I think that one of the misconceptions is that everyone that goes here is very well-off financially. And I think that one of the biggest sources of conflict we find in the residence halls is the issue of socio-economics.