Learning Leadership and Service: Resident Assistant 101

Many students see Resident Assistants on campus every day but may not realize all that the position entails. Resident Assistants deal with community development, team development and administrative responsibilities.

Some benefits of being an RA include a monthly stipend, housing waiver, double room as a single for the double rate,  free parking pass, and a reserved parking space. To become an RA, interested students attend an RA info session in November. During these sessions, students learn about the role of an RA and share why they are interested in the position. Students also receive a paper covering everything discussed during the session.

Students turn in application and attend the Group Process where applicants participate in team building activities. After Group Process, applicants have their individual interviews and attend RAMP class which is taught by the Director of Residence Life, Sherri Sadowski. During RAMP, applicants learn the concepts, roles and responsibilities of being an RA such as developing relationships with their residents, participating in staff meetings, and reporting facility concerns. Some topics covered during RAMP are Programming, Inclusion and Diversity, Mental Health Issues and Time management. Applicants receive reading assignments which are packets of information that they read and share what they thought was interesting and what they liked or disliked about them. Applicants also have writing assignments called Reflection Journals where they answer a question relating to the topic they discussed during that class.

When all classes are completed, applicants turn in a portfolio which consists of the applicant’s community theme ideas, hall design and welcoming plan, bulletin board, program plans and RA interview assignments. In the beginning of April, the first RA offers are sent out. The applicants will then decide if they want to take the position. Once the new RAs are chosen, spring training begins in late April followed by fall training in August.

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