Clayton McCort, Associate Director, Residence Life.
While Residence Life Area Coordinators (RLACs) are responsible for the day-to-day operational supervision of their assigned residence buildings and enhancing the living and learning environment for students living in residence, they also play a central role in maintaining the safety and security of the residence community. Increasingly, this involves responding to students in need of mental health support. While RLACs are not mental health professionals, their suicide awareness and prevention training has become increasingly important—particularly after most of the Laurier community has gone home for the day, on weekends, during Reading Weeks, during campus closures due to weather, etc., and on holidays.
Throughout the Fall and Winter terms, Laurier’s RLACs work after-hours shift rotations seven days a week to ensure round-the-clock support for student-staff working in residence buildings. They respond to and triage higher level residence situations and, where appropriate, will refer situations to the Residence Life Manager on-call. While the Department of Residence will address faculty or staff concerns regarding students during regular working hours, concerns arising after hours can be called into Special Constable Services (SCS) who will inform the RLAC on duty. Recognizing that a familiar face can be comforting for a student who may be struggling, the RLACs ensure that any time SCS, Waterloo Regional Police or Waterloo Fire is called to a Laurier residence, they are always there.
More numbers: Laurier’s Waterloo campus employs 5 RLACs for its residence population of roughly 3,000 first-year students while Brantford campus has 2 coordinators who serve between 300 and 500 residence students.