A look into being a resident assistant

Mar. 28, 2016

Joe Hollmann
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With the resident assistant application deadline passed and the selection process beginning, it is important to understand the experiences RAs come across in their day-to-day responsibilities.

RAs live on campus and are responsible for supervising students who live in the dorms. This semester, 26 students serve as RAs in Summit Village, while 16 are in Alpine Village.

The selection process for these positions includes an application, panel interviews, group activities and final selection interviews.

The panel looks for a variety of candidates, according to assistant director of Residence Life Molly Kinne. Students who have experience in a student club or organization are preferred, but that criteria are not rigid.

“We don’t necessarily have a checklist we are looking for in one particular person, and that’s why we are so diverse,” said Kinne.

Once hired, Kinne said students who are RAs develop a variety of skills that will be beneficial in future careers, including
the opportunity to be a mentor and resource for younger students.

“The position itself offers a wide variety of leadership roles,” she said.

Being a RA also offers students free room and board.

Junior communication major Jonathan Snyder recognized the financial benefits of becoming an RA, but didn’t think that was the best reason to apply.

“If you are there just for the free housing, then you won’t like it,” said Snyder. “I like the community and family aspect. This is (also) helping me grow as a leader.”

Felicia Crispin, another RA, had her own reasons for becoming an RA.

“I want to influence people throughout their first year because I struggled my freshman year getting involved,” said Crispin.

RAs also have to keep residents in line with university policies on alcohol and marijuana use. The job requires RAs to document issues with drugs and alcohol, as well as follow state laws regarding drug usage, according to Kinne.

“We aren’t out to get them, but we are here to keep them safe,” said Snyder.

Both Snyder and Crispin said the position offers valuable experiences and is fulfilling for reasons outside of the free room and board.

“I don’t feel like I’m going to work,” said Snyder.

“It’s a lot of work, but at the end of the day it’s about imprinting on people’s lives,” said Crispin.