Residential Living to hire new RAs

Residential Living staff prepares to interview applicants. Photo by

Residential Living staff prepares to interview applicants.
Photo by Zack Williams

As the end of the year draws near and Resident Assistants graduate or plan other jobs for next semester, the time comes for Western Carolina University Residential Living to begin looking for new RAs.

Last month, 160 students applied for the 46 open Resident Assistant position for the 2015-2016 academic year. The interview process was extensive, containing back-to-back interviews with potential employers and coworkers, as well as being closely observed while completing a group activity.

“I’m super excited about my interview. I know I’m going up against a lot of people who want the same position, but I just have to keep reminding myself all of what I can bring to the table. All I have to say to myself and any other applicants is to stay strong and never doubt yourself; if you can’t answer why you would be the best RA, then how do you expect anyone else to know?” said applicant Carolyn Habib, a first year student at WCU. Although first year students cannot be resident assistants, they can apply to be RAs as early as their sophomore year.

There are 142 total RA positions at WCU. Once granted an RA position, the position is guaranteed indefinitely unless the student wishes to leave, or is fired.

“The Department of Residential Living feels that our Resident Assistant position is one of the premier leadership opportunities on campus, and we look forward to engaging with each student interested in this position. We are excited to work with many of the best and brightest students on campus,” said Miles Basehart, head of the RA recruitment and selection process.

The Resident Assistant position is funded directly by the Department of Residential Living, which is considered to be an auxiliary service to the university. This means that funding for Residential Living comes from its own budget allotted by the university. Resident assistants make about $560 monthly, as well as a reduction on housing cost.

RA’s are expected to live on the same floor as their residents, act as positive role models and leaders of their communities, deal with disciplinary issues as well as roommate conflicts, monitor and document room changes, distribute room keys, help foster a positive living community and pride of the university, put together regular programs for residents, and uphold and enforce the student code of conduct, just to name a few of the job expectations.

RA interviews ended in January and the hiring letters will go out Feb. 27.