There are quite a few events in university housing. Floor socials, hall events and bigger all hall events. The people who organize, advertise and work the events to ensure everything runs smoothly are your Residence Life Staff.
As an undergrad, you can participate in all of the events for fun, or you can become one of the people who run the events. Resident Assistants wear many hats, including event organizer, resource, student leader, crafter and friend.
This year I became a RA. I applied as a freshman and proceeded through the application process. Training was a full two weeks with our staff before the semester started. Each day was informative and helpful, coming to good use once move-in day started.
Being a RA is such a rewarding position. Although it is hard work, there are many instances where you help someone learn how to better yourself. One of my fellow RAs loves seeing the residents’ growth throughout the semester.
She loves seeing them become their own individual with their own beliefs. It is also particularly rewarding when residents decide to give back and become Orientation Leaders or Resident Assistants themselves. It really shows how much each RA means to each resident. To change from resident to Resident Assistant, there is an online application; the link can be found on the Residents Life and Housing page on wcupa.edu.
There are three parts: the online application, three recommendation forms and a current resume. Other requirements include having 30 WCU credits and a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
If you are a second or third year student, you can apply for a spring vacancy. That means you’d start in January and therefore all of your application materials are due by Friday, Nov. 11. Otherwise, all of the materials are due by Monday, Nov. 21 for the 2017-2018 academic year. During the application process, there are four group interviews so each applicant can meet all of the Resident Directors, Graduate Hall Directors and Graduate Assistants. It’s normal to be nervous, but each applicant brings a paper with a collage or drawing to introduce themselves to the RDs, GHDs or GAs.
Although interviews can be a specific cause of anxiety, the Career Center gives mock interviews with questions specific to the RA position. I took two mock RA interviews last year and they definitely helped me prepare for the interviews with the RDs, GHDs and GAs. It is a wonderful resource to take advantage of, especially if you’re nervous.
To learn more about the position or the application process, you can talk to any of the RAs in your dorm, your GA or RD. Each of them have office hours posted on their door where they are available to answer any questions you have. They are always happy to talk about the different aspects of the position and talk with you to see if it is right for you.
Because different residence halls and apartments have different aspects of ResLife they focus on, on the application you have the ability to request which residence hall you’d like to work in. This shows which community you personally think would fit best with your skill set.
Overall, becoming an RA is a wonderful experience full of growth. I love being there for my residents and becoming friends with the other RAs in my building. Talk to your RA about becoming one yourself.
Olivia Kimber is a second-year student majoring in chemistry education with a minor in dance. She can be reached at OK851646@wcupa.edu.