RAs tested to handle stress


Resident Assistant Meghan Blaha updates one of the bulletin boards in Olson Hall on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014.

Martin Harp

The search for next year’s residence assistants is underway with the start of RA group processing.

RA group processing ran from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24 for the 151 students who are looking to become RAs next academic year. Group processing is a group stress test that helps determine if students can lead under the stress the job of being an RA may demand.

Director of Residence Services Jill Church said the stress test measures the applicant’s communication skills, leadership ability and ability to work in groups.

Some of the objectives they are given can be very taxing.

“It’s like if we told you to build a castle out of noodles,” said Dan Flick, assistant residence hall director for Centennial Courts A and B. “We’ve had people react to this stress test by throwing chairs.”

If the students handle group processing well, they are then required to take the Leadership in Student Affairs workshop during spring semester. The LISA workshop is seven weeks long and trains students on how to be effective RAs. Flick said this training, which begins in February, includes ethical decision-making and honoring human differences, among other things.

Church said the LISA workshop is no longer worth any credit hours when taken because they “didn’t want to make our students have to pay to be a RA.”

After the workshop, students will find out if they have been chosen to be an RA in April. There are 142 available RA positions with around 70 being hired each year depending on how many current RAs decide to return, Church said.

Current RAs are given an intent form the week after spring break to see if they are coming back as RAs the next academic year. Flick said RAs who are entering their fifth semester as a RA must be go through an interview to make sure they have not checked out and are still up to the job.

Freshman philosophy major Amanda Fralick, an applicant for an RA position next year, said she applied because she “likes the community setting and helping people out with their problems.”

Freshman sociology major Devin Walters, another applicant, said he applied “mainly to meet people and help each person with their individual problems.”

If students are not chosen after the whole process, everything they did was not all a waste. Those who are not selected are put in a pool and can be given a position if an active RA leaves their position, Flick said.

For more information on RAs at Kent State, visit http://www.kent.edu/housing/leadershipandemployment/residentassistant/index.cfm.

Martin Harp is the residence halls reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].