RA hiring process at Kent State undergoes changes


Marquis Lao, senior fashion design major (left), lives with Resident Assistant Delinda Starks (right), who is also a senior fashion design major.

Charleah Trombitas

The hiring process for residence assistants in 2016-17 will undergo major changes, including an updated Internet application and a revamped interviewing process.

Meghan Miller,the residence hall director of Kent State’s Residence Services, helped make the changes in the hiring process.

“Last year, the candidates applied and instead of going through an interview process, they went through a workshop process,” Miller said. “That was over five weeks and then moved into our RA draft.”

Students expressed a need for changes in the process via surveys given out at the end of last year’s hiring process. 

“We wanted to get away from that (the workshop process),” Miller said. “We listened to the student feedback from the students that had gone through the process and learned it was a large commitment for not knowing if you would get the job.”

With the five-week-long workshop gone, the hiring process has evolved into a series of interviews.

“This year we did a full application process, then individual interviews with the RA candidate and two professional staff members, either (a) residence hall director, assistant hall director or clerical coordinator,” Miller said. “If they make it through individual interviews process they advance to the group interview process, which is a three-hour activity and interview where three different activities are completed.”

After the interview process is complete, Residence Services staff members review information collected through the interviews to make a final decision on which students will serve as RAs for the upcoming school year.

“We go into our file review, (which is) where all of the hall directors and assistant hall directors review all of the candidates that are deemed successful through the series of interviews,” Miller said. “That leads us to March 17, which is our RA draft day.”

Katie Studnicha, a freshman visual communication design major and RA candidate, is happy with the hiring process so far, but believes there is still room for improvement.

“I was aware that the process changed for this year and I think it’s good,” Studnicha said. “I wish I wouldn’t have interviewed with my own residence hall director because I feel she knows me on too personal of a level. But besides that, it’s going really well.”

Miller is eager to see the student feedback to all of the changes made.

“I think it’s going well and I am interested in seeing, once we do the assessment, to hear the RA candidates’ perspective of how it went,” Miller said. “We have already received some student feedback that our online (application) process worked a lot better this year.”

Mariel Zambelli, a sophomore journalism major and second-year resident of Olson Hall, thinks a change in the RA hiring process will have positive outcomes.

“Being an RA is such an important role in the residence halls,” Zambelli said. “It’s good that Residence Services makes sure the RA hiring process is always updated with what is best for the students applying.”

For more information on the RA hiring process and the RA job description, visit: https://www.kent.edu/housing/resident-assistant-position-overview.

Charleah Trombitas is an activities reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].