Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Applications for resident assistants begin at end of fall semester

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The fall semester is coming to an end, but the beginning process of applying to be a resident assistant for the 2018-2019 school year is just beginning. Applications will be available on Dec. 4 until Jan. 24 for students to apply.

There are a lot of expectations and responsibilities that come with the job. To be an RA a student must have an accumulative 2.8 GPA and need to be in good judicial standing with the university. Alexandria Wisker, area coordinator of resident life, runs the process, but the hall directors make the decision on who is hired for their buildings.

“Other than the two overall requirements, we want people who are going to help others, who are hardworking, dedicated and are willing to put themselves out there to get to know other students,” Wisker said.

There is a process for applying for the position, the first part is the application and the interview process. Each candidate who comes to the interviews has two 25 minute interviews back to back. In those interviews there will be a hall director and either an RA or another hall director. After the interviews the hall directors and area coordinator meet to make a determination on who they want to bring forward to a presentation piece. Once the presentation is complete the final decisions on who to hire is made. Applicants usually don't find out there hired until the end of March.

“Becoming an RA can be a huge resume booster that can hit any field people are looking to go into,” Wisker said.

RAs learn how to work with people, how to manage time and conflict, manage administrative responsibilities and do paperwork, which are responsibilities people experience in the workplace.

They are on call at least once a week or every other week, depending upon the on building. That's roughly periods from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next morning and weekends as well. The schedule is determined by their staff, staff size and needs for their building.

“I think our most successful RAs are the ones that make this job a priority, “Wisker said. “The ones who are willing to make a connection and get to know people, especially the ones that have fun with the job.” Wisker said.

Francessa Bucci, RA at river campus, went through the interview process with a positive attitude.

“I think because I was myself and I didn’t let my nerves take over. They liked me as a person and knew that I would be there for my residents,” Bucci said.

To stay organized she keeps a color-coded calendar in her room and keeps a planner at all times. Bucci always goes the extra step for her residents. Over the summer she studied improv in Chicago, so she taught what she learned to her residents. They played games for a couple hours.

“It taught them positive-reinforcement skills for when you have to think on your feet,” Bucci said.

All the hard work of an RA does not go without being rewarded. RAs receive a scholarship that covers room expenses and a meal plan.

There is three information meetings. The first was Sunday Nov. 26; the second is December 4; and the last one is held the on Jan 18. The meetings go over the requirments, some tips and skills that they are looking for. This year, career services will be there to talk about making a strong resume and things that make them stand out. The meeting gives an in-depth look at the application process. Lastly, there is a questionnaire session at the end where students can ask hall directors and current RAs about their experiences.