Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna’s Resident Assistant Tips
By Trill or Not Trill Team
Last week the internet was all a buzz when Rob Kardashian revealed nude images and other unsavory information of his former fiance Black Chyna. Blac Chyna was a victim of revenge porn, misogyny, breaches of privacy and more. We recognize the severity of this case and do not take this situation lightly. As educators, we do want students to understand that situations such as these do happen on campus. Every case is different, so as a disclaimer let us say that this is not necessarily inspired by this Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian but may have some similarities in language. Be cognizant that these are learning tools and here for more of an open dialogue than anything. We asked some of our colleagues from the fields of Residence Life to assist in assessing some of the scenarios presented. Again, remember this is about open dialogue, so please encourage more questions and conversations on how we all can continue to learn and grow.
Resident A comes to you and says that he just found out his girlfriend is cheating on him with another resident. He found out via an Instagram DM that his girlfriend and the other guy were having sex on his own (Resident A) bed. Resident A is distraught and has told you he is planning to post the video on Instagram as revenge.
Step 1: Validate the resident’s feelings. (ex. “I’m so sorry to hear this has happened to you.” “I can understand how upsetting this is for you.” Etc.)
Step 2: Refer to College Policy/Resident Handbook or contract to discourage resident from posting revenge video. (ex. “Page 54 of the resident handbook states cyber bullying/harassment may lead to immediate dismissal from college or residence hall.”)
Step 3: Refer to state or federal laws on harassment to educate the student on the seriousness of their plan. (ex. “outside of our institution, this form of harassment is actually against the law and could result in fines or jail time.”)
Step 4: Highlight policy violations of girlfriend and provide options for the student to address the issue the right way. (ex. “Your girlfriend’s actions are actually against our policy of being unattended in a room that you do not reside in, I would like you to file a report so we can properly address this violation.”)
Step 5: Acknowledge the resident’s feelings again and offer services like the Counseling Center and maybe even the Health Center if they are concerned about their sexual health after hearing about their girlfriend cheating. (Ex. “I know this is a tough situation to deal with, and I encourage you to schedule an appointment with our Counseling Center for support and maybe even our Health Center if you are concerned about your sexual health.”)
Step 6: Make sure you submit an information report to document this conversation with this resident and inform your supervisor of this incident.
A good program would identify and discuss the serious implications of Cyberbullying and harassment which were involved in the Rob and Chyna Case. For example, sharing factual details about the case that people thought was funny and entertaining, but then putting them in the context of real world punishments that are associated with the action.
RA’s should note that this is a very serious situation. They should even refer to past cases of cyber bullying which have led to people needing long-term counseling for depression or even cases, which resulted in suicide. Taking actions immediately and educating residents on the severity of this topic is important since this may be seen more this year due to the recent publicity of this in the news.
You hear a commotion in the hallway. After walking out you notice Resident B is yelling to one friend. He yells ” I bought that girl some new Jordan’s, that bracelet she loves to wear and even those fucking shorts she always rocks. And now she’s in the cafeteria sitting on that dude’s lap. Isn’t that disrespectful? I’m going to fuck him up then going to rip all that shit right off her.” A second friend responds, “You know you don’t own her, right?”
Try to De-escalate the Situation: Clearly, Resident B is about to throw hands. In my experience working with agitated students, what works best is asking them if they would like to take a “walk.” Taking Resident B to a quieter location can help you calm him down. Leaving that stuffy office, crowded hallway or loud cafeteria can do wonders. A quiet lounge area or a bench outside the library will do. If he is around his friends or peers, he may feel the need to act up so you want to make sure you are away from other students.
While talking to the student, you want to make sure he is not on his phone. It is important to be aware of this and address it at the beginning of the conversation. Nowadays, a situation can escalate rather quickly with social media and texting. Remind him that whatever he posts at the heat of the moment will live forever (because, you know, screenshots) and cannot be taken back.
Call for Back-Up: If you do not feel comfortable handling the situation, there is no shame in phoning the RA on duty or even your supervisor. I tell this to my staff all the time. Working in Residence Life has taught me that it is important that we look out for each other, and having an extra RA at the scene can help you handle the situation effectively.
Document Everything!: I have learned as a young professional that documentation is crucial. Keeping good notes on meetings and any incidents can protect you in the long run. In worse case scenarios, it can even save your job! You never know what can happen, especially when Resident B is threatening other students.
A. Two Wrongs Don’t Make It Right (Possible Conflict-Management Workshop)
This would require residents to role-play (to the best of their ability) what they think happened after Rob Kardashian went on a social media posting frenzy. After each scene, the RA or staff member would engage the crowd in a discussion and moderate discussion. Do you think it was justified? Why or why not? Would you have handled it similarly or differently? Having a healthy and controlled discussion about the issue can help challenge your residents on their conflict management skills.
B. The Dangers of Social Media (Possible Branding Workshop)
This is a perfect opportunity to talk to your residents about their social media accounts. You can have a discussion on how social media can hurt your career, can get you SUED, and even how it can make you look crazy. However you want to present it, this situation is a perfect opportunity to teach residents the power of social media and how to wield it responsibly.
A resident comes to you and says that he believes his friend Resident C is being verbally and physically abused. He states that during a party is when first she confided in him about the abuse. The resident then shows you a video of Resident C from Snapchat in which she says her boyfriend has put his hands on her and the truth will come out.
As a Resident Assistant, you are a mandated reporter. When information as such is presented to you, it is your obligation to report this to your supervisor. Initially, it may be difficult to explain to a resident what that means. Nevertheless, a resident will come to you because they want your help knowing that you can effect change in their current situation. It is important to ask the Resident presenting you with this information about their emotional state. They may also be affected by this situation.
After seeing that Snapchat video, you cannot unsee what you saw. It is your obligation to call your Residence Hall Director and inform them of the situation. While your RHD arrives to the scene, look for Resident C to discuss the matter and explain to them of your position as a Resident Assistant. When someone has been assaulted, many feelings result: anger, frustration, and helplessness are common responses. These are natural reactions, but sometimes their expression can do more harm than good (i.e. Snapchat threats). It is best to recognize your own feelings and express them appropriately before you address the resident. As an RA you must demonstrate sensitivity and concern for the rights and welfare of others. This is key to if a climate of respect and mutual consideration is to exist in your discussion with Resident C.
If Resident C’s partner is another student than outreach to the accused must be done immediately. The same respect and sensitivity are needed when approaching the accused. In addition, check your own feelings before approaching the accused. You are to remain objective in this matter. If you do not feel comfortable, your RHD is there for support.
Lastly, confidentiality is key! This is not information to gossip amongst your peers or fellow RAs. As a Resident Assistant, you represent your institution and therefore must respect the rights of the accused in all incidents, as well as the rights of the victim. Never make promises of ABSOLUTE confidentiality to residents because you ultimately report it.
Passive Program Idea – Potty Break
You can work with your counseling center and your Title IX Coordinator to create signs to be put up in bathrooms’ stalls educating residents on statistics and outreach services that are available to them on or off campus.
Bulletin Board Idea – Love Does Not Hurt
RAs can use their Bulletin Boards as a PSA. You can create a bulletin board centered around healthy relationship tips.
Large-Scale Program Idea
Partner up with the department and other Student Life offices on campus to bring Equalogy to your institution. Equalogy, Inc. is a nonprofit organization expanding awareness and promoting social change around issues of equality such as dating violence through theater. The one-hour play on dating violence features four professional actors. They are presented in a lively format that draws the audience into the story and asks for crowd participation. It is both engaging and informational.
Keep in mind the Rights of the Victim:
1. The right to know relevant information about the judicial proceedings.
2. The right to treatment in a dignified manner.
3. The right to professionalism and confidentiality as allowed by the law and the institution.
4. The right to a sensitive environment.
Keep in mind the Rights of the Accused:
1. The right to timely notification of the charges against him/her.
2. The right to confidentiality from all those involved.
3. The right to a timely meeting with a judiciary officer.
4. The right to appeal disciplinary sanctions.
Your institution has a legal obligation under Title IX to ensure that Resident C can safely continue her education. Information like the one presented in this scenario must be handled with care and reported IMMEDIATELY. Your supervisor and the Title XI investigator will work together to ensure that both parties are heard and this issue is handled to best of its ability.
Lastly, how are you feeling? This whole situation may have an impact on you. As an RA you will deal with various situations that are emotionally taxing. Talk to your supervisor or reach out to your institution’s Counseling Center. Self-care is the BEST care!
We’d like to thank our team of Residence Life Pro’s who added their insight to this piece