by Luz Villarreal
All students applying tor next year’s resident assistant (RA) positions must attend a four-session RA class and are encouraged to go through an evaluation interview this year. This is designed to educate applicants about the job and also give Director of Residential Life Jeff Cripe and the three resident directors (RDs) an opportunity to get to know the potential RAs.
This is the second annual RA course offered and is conducted by Resident Directors Rebecca Keeton, Stu-Han; Derek Vergara, Brandt Hall; and Debra Kniesley-Watnik, Woods.
There are approximately 32 students currently attending the class. New RA positions may be added to next year’s staff because of the expected completion of the new dorms next year. Presently, there are 14 positions with five RAs in Stu-Han, four in Brandt Hall and five at the Woods.
Two of the four class sessions have already met on Feb. 15 and 22. The topics were “Beginnings” and “Expectations and Responsibilities.” The remaining two are on March 8 and 15. The topics will be “Practical Skills (Behind Closed Doors)” and “Endings.”
Keeton explained the purpose of offering these classroom sessions. She said the classes are “to let people know what the expectations are, responsibilities and of the job itself.” She also said these classes will help the RDs become familiar with the applicants.
Students are expected to attend all class sessions, keep a journal and complete their evaluation interview.
Current RAs who also want to reapply tor positions next year must also complete the application process. “They have to take it again so they can get to know each other,” Keeton said. ”There is no guarantee that they’ll be hired. Maybe they were good with this year’s team but maybe they won’t be for next year’s team.
“We want people who are willing to share, take risks, learn about each other and be open. They have to work on being a team and supporting each other,” she said.
Applicants will know before their evaluation interview whether or not they are hired, so the interview is not mandatory. But according to Cripe, students are encouraged to go through the interview anyway.
“We don’t hire perfect RAs. Everybody has something to work on. During the interviews we try to tell them their strengths and weaknesses,” said Keeton. ”The class is beneficial for everyone involved. In the past there’s always been good RAs, but now we know who we are hiring and they know what is expected of them.”
Students who have received citations in the past will not be disqualified nor will those citations be held against them.
There is still hope for students who missed the Feb. 10 deadline. “On an individual basis, we’ll consider late applicants,” Cripe said.