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They live in resident halls and on South Campus. They are friends, role models and peers to many; they are West Chester University resident assistants.The application for 2008-2009 resident assistant positions is now available. The application form and important documents regarding the position can be found on the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services Web site at www.wcupa.edu/_services/stu.lif/Employment/RAINFO/RA.htm. Students interested in an RA position for fall of 2008 need to fill out and submit documents to the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services by Dec 7, 2007, by 4:30 p.m.

Each resident hall is responsible for hosting an interest session to meet with students who are interested in a position. There will be several interest sessions on campus this week.

“The interest sessions give a broad overview of the RA position,” third-year student and second-year RA Gail Rupert said. “The responsibilities, challenges and aspects of the position will be discussed. Current RAs will also inform students what the paraprofessional job entails. This is an opportunity for students to ask questions regarding the position,” Rupert said.

According to Rupert, the RA position takes up a lot of spare time. Students should be prepared to do a lot of paperwork, be on rounds, on desk duty and be awakened in the middle of the night. It also helps to be a people person; if one is shy and does not like meeting new people, this job may not be for him /her.

According to the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services, RAs are paraprofessionals who are responsible for numerous tasks, projects and programs that are intended to be responsive to the needs and interests of students.

RAs serve as role models for all students living within university housing. It is important for RAs to become familiar with the Student Code of Conduct and the Guide to Residential Living. RAs must be conscious of being a student and their behavior and attitude should be reflective in their position, according to the Office of Residence Life and Housing services.

“Everyone wants to have fun in college,” second-year student and first-year RA Kendra Gruber said. “We as RAs must know the limits set in the Student Code of Conduct and must be aware of our actions at all times. We set examples for residents to follow. RAs just want residents and everyone living in the residence halls to be safe.”

According to the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services, “Attitude is everything” is the approach, philosophy and perspective that Residence Life and Housing expects to portray to all who encounter the staff. It is essential that RAs adopt a welcoming and inviting customer service orientation. This should include respect and courtesy.

RAs are also required to attend meetings, plan educational and social events and complete paperwork for necessary documentation, according to the Office of Residence Life.

“The most difficult aspect of my position is having to attend mandatory meetings and being on rounds,” Rupert said. “School is tiring in itself, and having to walk rounds through the building at 2 a.m. is rough at times.”

The Office of Residence Life and Housing also stresses the importance of being an active member of the residence hall community. RAs are responsible for greeting students on the first day and continuing to strengthen the bond throughout the year. All RAs should plan social and educational activities around the needs of the students with community development in mind.

“It’s more difficult to get the residents to come out to certain programs, but as long as we advertise and take the residents’ suggestions for programs they can be very successful and well attended,” Stephen Santa, third-year student and RA said. “Being an RA on South Campus is a little more difficult. Most of the residents are upper classmen and keep to themselves.”

Students applying for the position must also attend a mandatory group process day on Feb. 1, 2008.

“There are many benefits of being an RA, such as being a respected role model, free housing, a knowledgeable resource to many, planning and hosting different programs and it is also great for networking,” Santa said.

For this week there will be residential assistant meetings on Monday at 10 p.m. in Kilinger Hall basement and Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Sanderson. On Wednesday, the meetings are 7 p.m. University Hall lounge, 8 p.m. Wayne Hall back lobby, 8 p.m. The Village and South Campus in the club house and 9 p.m. in Schmidt Hall first floor lounge.

Hannah Severtson is a third-year student majoring in political science with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at HS597440@wcupa.edu.

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