Students encouraged to apply for RA positions in the future

The deadline to apply to be a  resident assistant (RA) for the fall 2020 semester closed Monday, Feb. 3. Although there are a lot of students moving on, Tyler Webb, the resident director of Martin Hall, doesn’t expect there to be a shortage of resident assistants. 

“We do have a lot of students moving on,” Webb said. “But we do seem to do fairly well at recruiting underclassmen to fill those positions.”

Webb expects there to be between 50 and 70 new applicants this year. The number fluctuates from year to year. 

“It depends on the year: some years the number is a little lower and some years it is a little higher,” Webb said. 

The application process consists of several steps. New applicants must first attach a resume and a cover letter, along with answers to several essay questions about other activities on campus and preferences for residence halls. According to Webb, it is important for resident assistants to be involved in other campus activities.

 “We think it’s important for our RAs to not just be involved as an RA but to also be involved in other areas on campus,” Webb said.  

They are required to answer several additional questions, such as what integrity means to them and what qualities that they think an RA must have. They have to have a reference from a staff or faculty member as well.

From there, the applicants move on to the interview process. First, the new applicants have a group interview. 

“We do different activities to assess how they work as individuals but also in a group setting,” said Webb. “It gives us an idea of how students will work as a team, as it is important as an RA to be able to be a team player.”

After the group interview, most applicants will be invited back for an individual interview, where they sit down with a resident director for a more conventional interview.

In lieu of interviews, returning resident assistants give a presentation to the resident directors about their experience as a resident assistant. The presentation gives them a chance to self evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, along with an opportunity to talk about what they want the position to look like moving forward. 

Webb thinks that there is a lot to gain from being an RA at Waynesburg. 

“There are a lot of different benefits to being an RA,” Webb said. “I think the biggest one is being a leader. I think that any time that you can distinguish yourself as a leader amongst your peers is a good thing.”

Webb also emphasized other skills that RAs gain. In addition to interpersonal and conflict management skills, RAs learn how to plan events and create programs for their buildings. 

“There are a lot of different things that being an RA prepares you for in whatever job you are going to do down the road,” Webb said.

Webb encourages people to apply to be an RA in the future. 

“I think being an RA is a really beneficial job. It’s a lot and can be something that can take a lot of time commitment, but we need students who are willing to help out their peers,” Webb said. “If you have a heart for other people and helping them have the best time that they can on campus, I think that being an RA is a great way to do that.”