by Rikkilynn Shields
The process for selecting new Resident Assistants is underway, and this year 115 students were eligible to be considered for the position.
Resident Assistants are undergraduate students who live on campus, and are responsible for assisting students and ensuring that students are following the Student Code of Conduct. The RA position allows students who are accepted to put their leadership skills to the test, and develop even more skills along the way.
RAs plan activities, events, and are responsible for the duties that are assigned to them in the residence hall in which they reside in. Committing to becoming an RA lasts for one year, and after that is up, the position is renewable by the Director of Residence Life. The RA position is available for rising juniors and seniors, and along with all of the responsibilities it includes, free room and board is what makes this one of the most competitive jobs on campus.
To apply to be an RA, along with meeting the GPA, credit, and other important requirements, students must go through the basic application process; submitting an application, resume, and essay, plus two letters of recommendation. AJ Goodman, the Associate Director of Residence Life for 3 of our 5 residence halls told the Quadrangle all about this years candidates and how the overall interview process has been going.
“The group interviews were this past Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so they are complete. Group interviews are one of my favorite times of the year as its a great chance to get to know students who are interested in taking on leadership and helping their peers have a better experience living in the residence halls. I always appreciate meeting students who are interested in taking on such an important role,” Goodman said.
“Next, the selected applicants were invited to participate in the individual interviews. The sign-up for those took place this past Friday, Feb. 24. Individual interviews are scheduled from Monday, February 27 to Wednesday, Mar. 8. This is where candidates meet with a member of the Residence Life senior staff and a current Resident Assistant,” Goodman said.
With the diverse group of students applying, Residence Life has their eye out for certain students this year, as they do every year. After all, the RAs represent the Manhattan College residents and community. “We have eight core competencies that serve to guide the selection process and training events– communication, community building, conflict resolution, counseling, diversity, leadership and team building, problem solving and critical thinking and most importantly professionalism. Beyond those categories, I am really looking for students who present themselves honestly and are trainable. The RA position requires a lot of different skills so we need to have students who will be able to learn those skills through training.” Goodman said.
Every year, the RA position attracts a variety of different students– students from different schools, commuters and on-campus residents, and of course students with different interests and different backgrounds. Every year, residence life notices some of these differences.
“We have had a growing focus on attracting commuters to apply for the RA position over the past few years. I believe we have record numbers in that category this year. The creation of the Leadership Development Program has also made an impact on our candidate pool. About one third of our candidates have participated in at least one session of LDP this year. Its been helpful as three of us in Residence Life are presenters, so we get to meet candidates long before the application process.” Goodman said.
Junior Tim Hamling is one of the 115 students applying to be an RA this year, and who recently received the email that he is one of the students who will be moving on to an individual interview within the next few weeks.
“The interview process has been good so far, I applied last year so going into it with some prior experience has definitely made me more confident and less nervous.”
Since this is Tim’s second time applying for the RA position, his outlook on the process is a little bit different than most.
“I wanted to apply to be an RA because I like to help people and make sure that everyone is having fun, and I believe that by being an RA, I can help residents accomplish this. I also applied because I know that it will improve my abilities as a leader, and the things I will learn from it can help me in the future.” Hamling said
Sophomore Victoria Cruz is applying to be an RA for the first time this year, and is another one of the students who will be moving on to a solo interview.
“The interview process has been going well. Although it is nerve-wracking, it is exciting to say the least. Becoming an RA is something that I am really hoping to achieve. My RAs have showed me that although it is a lot of responsibility and dedication, in the end it is very worthwhile. I am excited to see what happens next!”
AJ Goodman and the rest of the Residence Life staff are overall excited about the application pool this year, and all of the applicants they have met.
“I am encouraged by what I have seen through the Group Process thus far. My colleagues in Residence Life and I are looking forward to getting to know the candidates more through the individual interviews over the next two weeks.”