Loving your Resident Assistants

Photo courtesy of Wendy Walsh

Photo courtesy of Wendy Walsh

By Wendy Walsh
Guest Writer

February 21, 2013

Lock Haven Students take on leadership positions for many different reasons.  The very special students known as “RAs”, (Resident Assistant), step up to a very important role and the job of a lifetime.

The job of an RA is multi-faceted. They are expected to help maintain a clean and safe living environment for students. They are also expected to enforce the rules of the residence halls, as well as be there to act as role models and mentors to new students, and plan fun and educational programs, activities, and opportunities for their floor and halls.

National RA Appreciation Day is on Wednesday, Feb. 20 this year.  Please take the time to thank your RA, present or past. The Residence Life Office and Housing will be recognizing the RA’s in a special way.

Several past RA students spoke about their experience.

Katelyn Hibbard, 2nd semester RA, High Hall: “I was a loner my freshman year of school, and I wanted to help others feel less isolated and get them to really enjoy residence Life.”

Chris Sites, 7th semester RA, Campus Village: “I had a great experience with my RA helping to acclimate me into residence life and also to make living in the residence halls so much fun, so I wanted to be able to pass that on to the next groups of students who came in.”

Peter Westerbaan 4th semester RA, Woolridge Hall: “what I learn from the position. It teaches leadership skills, how to deal with people, how to step outside my comfort zone, and to consider others before myself.”

Alicia Govens, 5th semester RA, McEntire Hall: “when I help other residents realize how important a support system is, and how much of a profound effect it has on a person’s academic, social, emotional, and spiritual well being.”

Hailey Broome, 4th semester RA, McEntire Hall: “is helping my residence, being there when they need you and having them thank you for all you have done. Also the friendships that I have made that will last a lifetime .”

Loren Appolonia, 4th semester RA, Smith Hall: “is knowing I make a difference. Even the smallest gesture can change someone’s outlook or attitude.”

Favorite  part of being an RA

Catherine Northup, 2nd semester RA, North Hall: “being able to get to know each of your residents and form a bond with people you may have never met if it wasn’t for the job!”

Kathryn Shebeck, 6th semester RA, McEntire Hall: “Making sure people are safe and making smart decisions.”

Lauran Nearhood, 6th semester RA, Fairview Suites: “Being able to connect with residents and help them when they need it.”

The selection process for the RA begins each semester with an application, a group interview and then individual interviews.  This year the applications will be available in Sullivan 311 beginning February 18  – March 15.  It is a very competitive process as many of our staff members stay in the position.  The minimum requirements include 2.5 GPA and at least a second semester freshman.  In the past we have had up to 10 applicants for each opening.

“We need to be the role models our residents can see. We are community builders, mentors, tutors and friends to our residents,”

RAs also participate in creating programs, activities and educational workshops for students living in residence halls.

RAs have found their jobs to be rewarding, especially when students personally thank them for helping them in a rough situation and it is a great resume builder with many transferable skills.

If you have any questions on how to become an RA, contact the Housing Office in 308 Sullivan, your Resident Assistant, or Residence Director.

Wendy Walsh is the student life coordinator of campus village and can be contacted at wwalsh@lhup.edu


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