Residential Life desires positive, professional RAs

By Matthew Hunt

February 27, 2012

Leadership, commitment and an open mind  are just a few of the qualities that Residential Life is looking for in those applying to become a residential assistant.

Crystal Carlson, Scanlon residence hall director, said that if students are interested in becoming a resident assistant, applications are out now. She said that applications can be picked up in the commons building or at any of the residence hall front desks.

“The last day to turn in applications for becoming an RA is March 8 at 5 p.m,” Carlson said.

Becky Lovitt, Scanlon RA and RA selection committee member, said that becoming an RA is a great experience not only for leadership skills but for making new friends. She also said that those who are hired will receive great benefits.

“Each RA has around 35 to 40 residents, and you build your own community,” Lovitt said. “Also you get free room and board, and $150 a month, which adds up to $600 a semester.”

However the process of becoming an RA is time consuming. Carlson said that there is an application process and interviews that students must go through before they are chosen as a likely candidate for an RA position for next school year.

“Students don’t have to be a current on-campus student, however we require that you have had on-campus living experience,” Carlson said. “Students must also answer four essay questions, and have two letters of recommendation, preferably by a professional staff member, or current employer.”

The RA selection committee consists of six resident assistants that were given an assignment along with their daily tasks within the halls, Lovitt said. She said that they work with professional staff and attend at least two of the night sessions for students to come and ask questions.

“We go to information meetings mainly to answer questions that students might have,” Lovitt said. “The committee will also do group interviews starting March 22 and 23 that will consist of activities to show the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.”

Carlson said that she looks for someone who can interview well and have good responses to their short essay questions.

“Some people are very nervous during the interview, but will shine in their essay questions,” Carlson said.“Or they will have great writing skills, and shine in the interview. But they should come to the interview and dress professional, not in blue jeans.”

Jessica Cato, Scanlon RA, said the position requires time commitment along with a positive attitude because the position is 24/7.

“I absolutely love my job, and have always wanted to do this,” Cato said. “It’s hard work, and once you step into the building you must change your entire attitude, because it’s a lifestyle.”

Carlson said that students will be notified via-email on April 2 if they were hired for the position.

“They will have a few days after being accepted to get to the contract office,” Carlson said. “At that time they can accept or deny the position.”