With 2019 coming to a close, the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct is gearing up to welcome a new freshman class and provide housing options for everyone in August 2020. To do so, the Assistant Directors and Hall Directors for Residence Life need a group of talented candidates eager to be Resident Assistants next year. These assistants, or as they are more commonly known, RAs, work to create hospitable and fun living environments for the residents in their areas. This involves ensuring student safety, forming connections with neighbors and planning programs for bonding and education purposes. The opportunity to become an RA is currently available to all students.
“We’re hoping to get a solid group of candidates who are looking to expand their leadership skills,” Chris Lewand, Assistant Director of Residence Life & Student Conduct for the Freshman Area, said. The process includes an application with essay questions and references, a group processing activity and an individual interview. All undergraduate students, with the exception of graduating seniors, are encouraged to apply if they are passionate about the job and want to show creativity, enthusiasm and character.
The application form is currently live on Handshake and is open Jan 31. RA for the West Upperclassmen area, senior Alley Edmonds felt there are a host of reasons as to why she encourages students to apply.
“If you want to be a part of campus life and make a difference in the lives of others, being an RA is exactly what you should do. Being an RA gives you the opportunity to meet people on a level you never have before, and allows you to become a part of a community that genuinely cares for one another,” Edmonds said.
Liz Reese, sophomore Intelligence Studies and World Languages and Cultures dual major, is an RA for the East Upperclassmen area. Reese shared similar sentiments. “One of the reasons I like being an RA is because the Residence Life staff is like a family. I’m involved in many clubs on campus and this one seems to be the most tightknit,” Reese said.
Being an employee for Residence Life can boost a resume and gives students a chance to hone their communication, crisis management and conflict resolution skills. As well as this, RAs receive a free single room and a meal plan or meal stipend in return for their patience and dedication. “Being an RA is an amazing experience for so many reasons,” Michael Grasso, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Conduct said.
“You’ll gain experience building community, working on a team, planning events, resolving conflicts and approaching difficult situations. This job touches on the creative, the analytical and the methodical. The skills you build and the experiences you gain are transferable to any job once you graduate. You can prepare for your future while simultaneously making the most of your time here as a Laker,” Grasso said.