RAs will work fewer hours and apply sooner for next year’s position, opening up opportunities for students

Sophomore+entrepreneurship+major+Charles+Marin+%28right%29+listens+to+students+ask+questions+about+his+experience+as+an+RA+at+the+Information+Session+in+Tri+Towers+on+Tuesday%2C+Oct.+23%2C+2018.

Sophomore entrepreneurship major Charles Marin (right) listens to students ask questions about his experience as an RA at the Information Session in Tri Towers on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.

Vanessa Gresley

Residence Services is making changes to the Resident Assistant program for the 2019-20 school year. Next year, RAs will be required to work 20 hours a week, compared to 28 in prior years, and the application to become an RA is due Wednesday, Oct. 31, instead of in January.

RAs are currently required to work 28 hours a week. The hours limit the amount of outside activities and paid work an RA can do. The time requirement prevents international students from being able to apply to be an RA.

The federal government does not allow international students to work more than 20 hours a week on campus, and university policy allows domestic students to work up to 28, said Bradley Halverson, a residence hall director and the leader of the RA recruitment process.

“We as Residence Services hated that. We wanted international students to be able to be RAs,” Halverson said. “We also wanted to have that opportunity afforded to them as we would our domestic students and anyone living here.”

The decrease from 28 hours to 20 hours will allow domestic students to perform other work oncampus and allow international students to have a chance to be an RA.

“I think the most beneficial part is the fact that we can allow international students to become RAs, because obviously we would like different communities represented and we want to remain diverse so we can build the best community possible,” said Emily Glatt, a junior public relations major and RA for Allyn and Clark Hall.

The change in hours will only change the position slightly, Halverson said. He is unsure whether the pay will change.

“We know for sure we are moving 28 to 20; we know that room and board and meal plan will be provided with the position and compensation, but the details to that are still being looked at and discussed,” Halverson said.

The RA application went live on Oct. 1 and will close on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. This is another change to the process. Historically, the process took place in the spring, leaving students to wonder about their living situations until February, three months before school is out.

“We really wanted our candidates to be able to know the status sooner rather than later,” Halverson said. “We know by the time it’s late February and we’re letting students know, ‘Yep, you’re an RA.’ For those that maybe don’t get the position, all of a sudden (you) have to scramble to figure out, ‘Do I have to live oncampus? Do I need to find an off-campus apartment?’” 

Once the application closes, interviews will take place Nov. 15 and 16. Students will know by January if they got the position. Halverson said the whole point was to have candidates know sooner and be able to make arrangements if they don’t want to live on campus.

Residence Services wants to give students leadership experience and help them grow through the RA position.

“I think an RA role, for anyone that chooses to go into it, we want them to know that they are going to be gaining skills that can apply later in life to help find that perfect job for them and it gives them a chance to connect with peers, other residents and students and build relationships,” Halverson said.

Glatt said she wanted to become an RA to make a difference is someone’s life, whether it be being there for someone at 3 a.m. when they’re crying or telling a joke to brighten someone’s day.

To apply, a student needs to have lived on campus for one semester, have 30 credit hours and enroll in the Peer Leadership Training Course for Spring 2019. The application is open until Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. Apply online at https://www.kent.edu/housing/ra-application.

Vanessa Gresley is the Housing reporter. Contact her at [email protected]