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September 21, 2023

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RAs gain job, leadership skills; apply until December

Students who want to apply to be a Resident Adviser will be going through the selection process for the next several months.

In order to be considered for a position, students must attend one of the 12 information sessions being offered this semester, and fill out an application online by Dec. 6, said Abby Priehs, assistant director in the Office of Residence Life.

To be considered for a Resident Adviser position, students must have lived on campus for two semesters when employment begins, though first-year students are still eligible to apply, and they must have a 2.5 GPA.

Priehs said when applications come in they generally will have 500 students attend the information sessions, 375-400 applicants and there are currently 170 RA positions.

Each year the number of RAs fluctuates depending on the amount of halls open.

“Some years we have more, this is our smallest staff we’ve had right now,” Priehs said. “Last year we had 192 [Resident Advisers].”

Preihs said generally they have a 50/50 split for the gender of those chosen because they do have gender-based housing.

The skills gained by those who become RAs are very valuable when it comes to looking for jobs, she said.

“When you’re looking to think on your feet, if an employer asks, you can definitely talk about what it’s like to think on your feet,” she said.

Priehs said some people get ideas about what it is like to be an RA, but she said many of them assume wrong.

“It’s more about getting great leadership experience,” she said.

Sophomore Jared Lucas, a first-year RA in Centennial Hall, said he chose to become an RA because he wanted to make an impact.

“I want to be someone to help get [first-year students] acclimated to the college experience,” he said.

Lucas said the people who often apply to become an RA are generally outgoing, and can deal with conflict and awkward situations.

Senior Derek Gingerich is a returning RA this year in Falcon Heights.

Gingerich said he had a good experience with his RA during his first year, and wants to continue helping first-year students.

“My RA my first year was good at getting me acclimated to the college experience,” he said.

The group of people chosen by the University to become RAs is a very diverse group, Gingerich said.

“There is not a specific person they look for, it’s more of what you’re able to bring to the residence hall, and what you are able to bring to the residents,” he said.

One of the biggest misconceptions Gingerich said he has encountered about being an RA is students assume they are just there to make sure policies are being enforced.

“We are really there as a resource to help others,” he said.

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