The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - 91

Socially Responsible Leadership in RAs

SCM value that positively predicted RA over
OSL as the student leader type. Citizenship, as
defined in the SCM, aligns with the educator
role of the RA position. Having formal or informal sociocultural conversations with peers
is one of the strongest influences on growth
in SCM values (Dugan & Komives, 2010), and
RAs have the benefit of living among those
they serve, allowing them to develop as they
educate their peers in the societal and communal values associated with citizenship.
One surprising result from this investigation was that the value of common purpose
could predict the OSL role rather than the RA
role. Common purpose is a group value in the
SCM that entails the leader helping peers focus
on a shared goal (Cilente, 2009). Through
their work in educating peer residents on societal values, it was anticipated that the RAs
would inherently be demonstrating common
purpose. However, the RA role is multifaceted (Blimling, 1999), and it is possible that
students serving in this position emphasize
one role over others. Thus, instead of working
towards a common purpose, RAs are in fact
working towards diverse purposes.
The effect scores were trivial for each
model; however, it is worth exploring the differences or lack thereof between RAs and
OSLs. Interestingly, OSLs had statistically
significant scores that were higher for the six
SCM values of controversy with civility, consciousness of self, collaboration, congruence,
common purpose, and commitment. These
findings are surprising due to the skills and
leadership qualities needed to fulfill the multifaceted RA role.
To start, the model for citizenship indicated
that there was little difference between RAs and

OSLs for this SCM value. As noted earlier, citizenship was the sole SCM value in the logistic
regression equation that could predict a student
leader serving as an RA over an OSL. RAs
have a variety of opportunities to demonstrate
citizenship through their role as an educator/
teacher. OSLs also demonstrate citizenship, in
their roles as tutors, mentors, and health educators (Ender & Newton, 2000), by encouraging their peers to serve their college and wider
community and to positively influence society,
which could explain why OSLs exhibit citizenship at levels similar to those of RAs.
Another finding of note is that OSLs had
higher scores than RAs for the SCM value of
controversy with civility. Having diverse viewpoints and openly sharing these differing opinions are important tenets of this SCM value.
It would be expected that RAs would demonstrate controversy with civility due to their
counselor role since they are called upon to
mediate disagreements among residents while
recognizing different perspectives (Blimling,
1999). Perhaps if this study had focused on
female RAs-who are shown to perform better
than males (Sadouskas, 2011)-or RAs from
liberal arts colleges-who are more adept at
addressing diversity and multicultural issues
than are RAs from other institutions (Martin
& Blechschmidt, 2014)-the findings would be
more favorable to RAs over OSLs.
The next SCM value of interest is congruence, which refers to consistently acting within
one's own value system (Cilente, 2009).
Posner and Brodsky (1993) found that RAs
who performed well (as judged by formal evaluations) exhibited leadership abilities that included modeling behavior for others, which is
similar to congruence. However, peer helpers
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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Cover1
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