After a very in depth application and interview process, 36 students have been chosen to become Resident Assistants (RAs) next school year.
“What we are doing now that we hired the staff for next year is just getting to know them better,” said Resident Director of Martin Hall Anthony Jarrell. “We are currently having them shadow with current RAs to get them a better understanding of what they do and to give them advice and mostly to just get them prepared. I like to take time to personally connect with everybody that will be on my staff and to give them things, whether it is to read or to think of things to reflect on over the summer so they have some things to look forward to so we can all be on the same page when we get to August.”
In August, the RAs will come back from break early for training, which lasts usually 10 to 11 days. There are a lot of interactive role playing situations and discussion based seminar days, as well as service projects and fun ice breakers so they can understand what it is like to be an RA.
“Being an RA was a life changing experience, my experience in my first two years of college was really selfish and very limited, I had made a good amount of friends, but my life was pretty much only consisting of class,” said Jarrell. Then I became a RA my junior year and it impacted everything I was involved in. I built friendships with people I did not really think I was going to ever build friendships with here, it gave me a bigger perspective on everything I was studying, why it mattered and not just things in my major, but in my faith too…It really pushed me out of my comfort zone, it was great.”
For Martin Hall next year, there will be four new RAs: Matt Haux, Bill Mullins, Zach Fredrickson and Josh Sneeringer. Joe Pavlic will also be returning as the third floor RA.
“It is awesome I love it, it is a great experience to learn how to be vulnerable with people you would not be normally and to get out of your shell,” said Brian Drake, sophomore criminal justice major and current fifth floor RA of Martin Hall. “I chose to be an RA to help others and ensure their safety as well as get out of my shell because I was really shy last year. I love helping people and getting to know people. I try to be personable with them too.”
This was Drake’s first year as an RA and he is looking forward to being an RA in Willison next year, but he still needs time to prepare for how different it will be.
“There is not going to be a tight of a knit community, you are going to have your own personal space. In Martin, we have our doors open all the time and always say ‘Hello’ or ‘Hey’ to each other,” said Drake. “I am just hoping that I get people I know on my floor [in Willison] and that I will be able to transfer that community from the underclassmen dorm to the upperclassmen dorm.”
Haux, a freshman criminal justice major, will be the RA for the fifth floor in Martin Hall next year.
“I want to help people, I love talking to people and helping them with their problems and also doing events and other things like hanging out with the students,” said Haux. “It is a great opportunity to branch out and lead in a way that a lot of people cannot.”
Haux currently lives on the fifth floor of Martin Hall, and he is looking forward to remaining there next school year and getting to be with the upcoming freshman.
“I am excited, it sounds like a pretty sweet opportunity to lead people and have a nice little community with them,” said Haux.
Sneeringer, a sophomore business management major minoring in marketing, will be the RA on the second floor in Martin Hall next year. He currently is the roommate of the second floor RA in Martin Hall this year, Brett Thumm.
“He usually lets everyone do their thing and as long as they are following the rules he is not going to get involved,” said Sneeringer. “He checks up on kids if he sees them struggling which is what I want to do. The job is not to be a babysitter, it is to make sure everyone is following the rules and is safe.”
Last year, he decided not to be a RA due to his scheduling conflict with wrestling, but now he has decided to take on the challenge.
“I am very excited, I think it is a huge stepping point for me, kind of just going more into like what I would like to do in my future, not just being an RA, but I am also going into management, so I will be in charge of people, making sure they follow the rules,” said Sneeringer “It puts me in a better position to really work with students in their faith. It will be an eye opener for what I want to work on with myself because…I am not perfect and I know there are some things I need to work on and I know that there are some things I excel in.”
Drake is glad that there will be new RAs in Martin Hall next year because he believes that being an RA is fun and that more people should try it out. He also wanted to make sure the RAs for next year had some advice.
“Just do not be shy and make sure that residents respect you, because if they do not you are going to have a hard time to control them, especially on a freshmen floor,” Drake said. “It is a great experience for new RAs to come in, I did not expect it to be this great, but I have really enjoyed it. Enjoy yourself.”