RA applications available through Jan. 25

Students can apply to become a resident assistant for the next two weeks, but the process they will go through afterwards has changed.

After years of focusing on individual applications and interviews, the Office of Residence Life plans to have applicants participate in a group process day once the first applications are weeded through.

Jamie Shaffer, the assistant director of residence life, said the office made the switch after comparing other universities’ selection processes and discovering nearly every comparable school structured their resident assistant selections with a group process following an initial round of cuts.

“We felt that the switch suited the purpose of what we want to accomplish,” she said. “The final round is where we find out where candidates fit staff wise. We felt that the individual interview is the best platform for people to show us their personality and creativity.”

While the process may have changed, the type of students residence directors are looking to fill positions haven’t.

“Our top priority is to get the best candidates that benefit our residents,” Shaffer said.

In order to find top candidates, Residence Life has developed a system of personal invitations for students they think have potential.

“We want our residence directors to recruit students they think will fit,” Shaffer said. “And a way that we’ve done this is through the idea of a ‘golden ticket.’

The “golden ticket” acts as a personal invitation from that residence director encouraging students to apply based on traits they showed within the community, she said.

But for those who are interested and were not personally invited, Shaffer encourages the hopefuls to do “whatever you can to go above and beyond.”

Even though 90 positions are listed, more than half of the residence assistant positions will be filled by returning students. Because of the limited spaces, Shaffer said qualified applicants may not make the final cut.

“Don’t be discouraged from re-applying if you don’t make it this year,” Shaffer said. “Your skill set might be just what a residential community needs next year.”

Applications are open until Jan. 25 at midnight. The selection process will run through early March when job offers to selected candidates are made.

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