By Peter Edgar
During the months of November and December, administrative representatives are holding Resident Advisor (RA) information meetings for prospective hires. So far, students seem interested; there have been between 20 and 30 attendants at the meetings. Students wanting to apply must attend at least one of these meetings to be granted access to the application on Mocsync.
There are currently 76 Resident Advisors on campus and in the apartments, but many of those spots will be vacant after this year’s seniors graduate. RAs are described as reliable, informative, approachable, involved and as role models. The job, according to current Resident Advisors and students, was noted as intensive yet multi-faceted.
Different Community Directors host the meetings depending on what location one attends, but they each outline the benefits and responsibilities of being an RA, as well as the application process towards becoming a member of the resident staff “family” through a powerpoint presentation.
First of all, there are baseline requirements concerning academic standing: students must maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher. Then, they must be “in good social and community standing,” and be accountable in those regards. Next, the application process starts, first with the form on Mocsync as well as an e-portfolio. After the basics are submitted, there are references to be filled out and interviews to attend. A unique part of the hiring process is a presentation/project the applicant must put together describing themselves and their vision as an RA.
After addressing the requirements to be considered as an RA, the presenter moved towards the allure of taking the position. Resident Advisors receive free housing and, depending on how many years they have been on the team, a stipend ranging from $0-$500. While they may not be stationed in their first choice of housing, a benefit to the post is that they get their own room—or, if singles aren’t available, the RA gets their choice of roommates.
The RA position obviously has its responsibilities as well. Resident Advisors are required to attend pre-semester training sessions and weekly meetings as well as on-call hours where they must be on-campus/in their dorm. According to RAs who attended the meeting, the paperwork is the most difficult thing about the position.
The Resident Advisor position was described as a learning experience, as well. RAs can expected to develop time-management skills, event planning and crisis-management situation response. Much of this is given to you in training, but RAs must also develop this on their own. One is also introduced to a new family, though—one that can relate better than any other—a new Resident Advisor’s fellow RAs.