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Housing and Residence Life extends RA application deadline

Applications are now due Friday to encourage students to learn more about the position

Originally due Oct. 12, Housing and Residence Life has extended the deadline to apply to be a resident advisor through Friday in hopes of encouraging even more candidates to contribute to on-Grounds housing communities. 

RAs have numerous responsibilities focused on providing support to residents on Grounds and in dorm rooms. The HRL website states their main goal is to work together to create inviting communities.

Hamza Aziz, vice chair for selections and third-year College student, said the extension is not a reaction to a lack of applicants, but rather serves to encourage a diversity of candidates.

“It was not really driven by low numbers or anything like that, it was more an intentional way to get the word out,” Aziz said. “For any people who maybe were hesitant, seeing an application extension might encourage them to apply.”

The RA application cycle formerly occurred in the spring semester. Last year, HRL shifted the process forward to the fall in order to open up housing options for students who are ultimately not selected for the position. After adjusting to the changes in schedule last year, Aziz said that HRL has further improved the timeline to offer more educational opportunities and informational events.

“Last year, we weren't able to host any workshops, which is something I really wanted to bring back this year,” Aziz said. “We partnered with the Writing Center to host application workshops, we've partnered with the Career Center and we're going to be hosting group interview workshops.”

Following applications, applicants participate in a group interview Oct. 22 or 23. After the group interviews, a number of students will be called back to participate in one-on-one interviews Nov. 6 or Nov. 13 — depending on whether the applicant is applying to residential colleges or dorms — with decisions released early December. 

After applying last year and not being selected for the position, second-year College student Dana Jou Alban plans to submit an application again this semester.

“I like the idea of what an RA is supposed to be … ‘making housing a home,” Jou Alban said.

In comparison to last year, Jou Alban said she hopes to gain earlier interview slots to avoid burnout on both her end and the interviewers’. Based on her prior attempt, she hopes to approach the new application process with more experience, particularly in the unique group interview. 

“It was interesting because your interview was very dependent on what kind of group dynamic you were given based on random assignments,” Jou Alban said.

Graduate student Kate Schneider served as a RA twice during her undergraduate career and said that having a group activity as the first filter during the selection process highlights candidates who communicate effectively. Reflecting on her time as an RA, Schneider recommends the role to compassionate students who want to form bonds with both residents and fellow staff members.

“I've just really loved roles in which I've been able to serve as a mentor and resource and support system to those kind of younger than me,” Schneider said. “I think that there's a special bond that gets created as a staff in the building and kind of being in it together to support each other and each other's residents in the building as a whole.”

Schnider emphasized that even if candidates receive a waitlist status, there is often movement among applicants.

“I know that it can sometimes be competitive, depending on how many people apply,” Schneider said. “I know a lot of RAs who were waitlisted at the start, but then were able to get pulled off that waitlist and have done amazing things in the role and out with that opportunity.”

Looking forward to this year’s applicants, Aziz said he has high hopes for the next group of RAs. 

“Our system accommodates diverse kinds of viewpoints and perspectives,” Aziz said. “There's so many different types of people that can be RAs.”