What’s the BUZZ about Residential Assistants?

How can you join the hive?

Rachel Clingman, Staff Reporter

Time to get busy worker bees! It is now time for you to see what’s the buzz about being a Residential Assistant (RA). If you are someone who enjoys making connections and helping others then becoming a part of the Housing and Residence Life family just might be the next step for you. Within the next few weeks, Housing and Residence Life is hosting multiple information sessions that will allow students to listen to the buzz about being an RA, but can also ask questions to students who are working as an RA currently. The Housing and Residence Life is looking for students who want to become a part of the 2022-2023 RA staff. Before you can join the hive, you need to know a little bit more about what being an RA is like! 

What is an RA?

The dictionary definition of an RA says that an RA is a student who is responsible for supervising and assisting other, typically younger, students who live in the same residence hall. Another common definition describes an RA as a trained peer leader who coordinates activities in residence halls in colleges and universities. But, after talking with many RAs on Shawnee States campus, it appears that the main goal of an RA at SSU is to be someone who creates a comfortable, fun and safe environment for the students who live on campus, as well as being a for those students in their residence halls. Becoming an RA is more than becoming someone who is in charge of a housing unit, you also become a confidant and a role model. All of the following questions have been answered by Senior Resident Assistant Cassidy Collins, who on top of being an RA, is also in charge of the selection committee for Housing and Residence Life. 

What information will students get from attending an RA information session?

Collins states that “the info sessions will be a place for students to learn specifics of the Resident Assistant job from current RAs.” Students will get to hear from other students who are currently on the 2021-2022 RA staff and listen to the aspects of the job that they enjoy and why they like being an RA. Collins also states that interested students will “learn about the RA Selection timeline as well as everything needed to apply.” 

What are the benefits of being an RA? 

The benefits of being an RA are plentiful, but Collins shares some valuable benefits stating that “Resident Assistants receive free on-campus housing, as well as a free meal plan in the Bear’s Den.” On top of free housing and meal plan, students receive a $1,550 stipend that is paid biweekly throughout the course of the school year. Collins states that “RAs also get to move in early before school begins and sometimes have opportunities to make extra money by working certain breaks.” While financially being an RA is a great opportunity, RAs can also make lifelong connections. Collins supports that stating when being an RA, “there is also the benefit of learning new skills, meeting new people and being a part of an amazing team.” 

What are some requirements to become an RA? 

The requirements for becoming an RA are that, “applying students must be considered full-time (12+ credit hours), have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, and be at least a sophomore (30+ credit hours) as of the beginning of next school year. Students must also be in good financial standing with the university and be able to serve for one full academic year (fall to spring).” 

What can students do to become good RA candidates?

Collins shares that the Housing and Residence Life, alongside the Selection committee are “looking for candidates that are passionate and work well with others, but we love people who are unique and bring something new to the team.” 

Cassidy Collins

The RA info sessions will be held in the Morris University Center 230 Ballroom. The first session was Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m., the second is Nov. 17 at 3:30 p.m., and the final session for this semester will be Nov. 18 7:30 p.m. Students, this is your time to ask your questions and learn about the opportunities being a RA can bring you. Will you join the 2022-2023 RA hive? Go out and find out what’s the buzz about Resident Assistants!