New element added to resident advisor selection
January 15, 2014
Resident advisors at Virginia Tech oversee more than 9,300 students who live on campus. They serve as guides, mentors, and role models. They are on call 24 hours a day. They work to create and maintain a sense of community. And, the job is one that can be as challenging as it is rewarding.
“Resident advisors have the opportunity to live [the university's motto] Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). There is no other position on Virginia Tech’s campus where you can live Ut Prosim 24 hours a day and seven days a week for an entire year with students,” said Carl Krieger, assistant director of residence life.
The rigorous selection process for new resident advisors RAs begins with formal information sessions. Unlike previous years, Housing and Residence Life introduced an informal interview into the application process for the first time last fall.
“We wanted to see a candidate demonstrating the primary task of an RA,” said Krieger, “proactively reaching out to people in the community to build relationships by not only seeking to learn about the whole person but strengthening that relationship through sharing their own story.”
This process also provides candidates with more opportunities to meet with the professional staff members they will work with throughout their careers as RAs.
“We tell all candidates that we are looking for four attributes,” said Krieger. “First, we want a candidate who wants to know and be known. What I mean by that is we want people who will proactively seek out others. We also want people who will work well with others. Communication is key to being a good RA. Finally, we are looking for people who are willing and able to teach their passion.”
Housing and Residence Life believes these qualities will help new RAs be seen as more than a middle-man to residence hall maintenance and a person who doles out drinking tickets.
“Our staff members are educators,” said Krieger. “They are teaching their residents outside of the classroom. The best, and most enjoyable, way to do this is by finding out what you are passionate about and then using that passion to engage with the topic you are teaching.” Krieger said this helps RAs build a relationship with people in their residence hall by listening to others’ stories and by sharing their own story. “We not only want candidates who have a desire to teach their peers, we want candidates who are curious about the world and seek to explore it passionately.”
Information sessions for students interested in becoming an RA will be held Jan. 20-23. The application deadline for the spring 2014 RA selection process is Jan. 26, 2014.
After applying, the candidates will go through a screening process. If successful, they will be contacted by a staff member for an informal interview. This interview is meant to be a conversation about who the candidate is and what they will contribute toward the education of their peers. Select candidates from informal interviews will move forward to the formal interview weekend, Feb. 14-16.
Students must also meet certain academic criteria to be considered for the position. They must have completed two semesters on campus by the time they would serve as an RA. They must also hold a minimum 2.25 cumulative grade point average and have good standing with student conduct, meaning they are not on current active sanction.
Students interested in applying to become a resident advisor at Virginia Tech should check the Housing and Residence Life website for more information. More information about the Division of Student Affairs can be found on its Facebook and Twitter pages.