By Seth Morin
Residents in the dorms will be seeing new faces in the fall semester, and not just from incoming students.
Jacob Knight, director of residence life on campus, announced the chosen Resident Assistants (RAs) after a long selection process.
The process began in the fall semester at the organization fair where students could sign up if they were interested in becoming an RA.
Nominations for interested students from faculty and staff were also taken, Knight said.
Notifications were also sent to students via email. From there, students had until October 31 to apply.
Those that were accepted then took part in “A Night in the Life,” an event where they shadowed an RA while they were on-duty and get to know what it is like to be an RA.
Upon completion, the applicant had to write a reflection paper on the event.
Due to RAs having to interact with other students in larger settings, the next step was to gauge how the applicants perform in a group with difficult tasks at hand. This step in the process was a three-night event.
Around winter break annually, the RA selection process for returning RAs takes place, Knight said. Once the number of returning RAs is confirmed, the amount of positions that will need to be filled is determined.
The last stage for those aspiring to become RAs is the interview process, where a professional staff member and a current RA conducts interviews.
The applicant pool this year saw 57 applications, but only 15 were selected. Out of the 17 current RA positions, only two are not graduating at the end of this year.
Freshman Zach Daily went through the process this year and will be an RA in Dietz during the 2015-2016 school year.
“I was so excited when I found out I was chosen to be an RA,” Daily said. “Not only will it allow me to meet more people, but it will also give me experience in a leadership role that will greatly assist me beyond school.”
Junior Ashley Myers, an RA in her second year, said the selection process was a great experience.
“I really enjoyed the RA selection process because it allowed me to work with new people,” Myers said. “It also allowed me to grow as an individual and find skills that I didn’t know I had.”
She said the best thing about being an RA is that you get to have an impact on the campus and serve as a role model to others.
“I like being a person or a resource that people know they can trust and come to when they need help or advice,” she added.
Once chosen to be an RA, it is up to Knight and other residence hall coordinators to determine where the RAs will be placed.
Knight and his staff believe applicants that exemplify strong leadership skills need to be separated. He said he believes that each group of staff members should have one or two leaders and the rest be followers.
Knight said that balancing the introverts with the extroverts is one of the toughest parts of his job.
“We try to hire the best people for our department because we want them to succeed,” Knight said.