New RA’s Selected for 2021-2022 Academic Year

Garrett Haskins, Staff Writer

With the semester coming to an end many departments at Averett are starting to wind down, but for Housing and Residence Life next year’s work has already begun. The department not only has to accommodate students in the dorms for next year but also select the Residence Assistants, or RAs, for the upcoming school year as well.

The selection process for RAs has undergone several changes due to COVID, but the modified process is essentially a socially distant version of past selection processes. All interviews were conducted over Zoom, with breakout groups being used for the group discussions and group events that took place.

Surprisingly, there were no changes to the application process for becoming a RA. The application was completed online in previous years and this format met many criteria that were set due to COVID.

The interview process for the applicants were conducted the same way that they were in years past, with the only difference being that they were conducted over Zoom. The interview process consists of either four or five interviewers who ask the interviewee questions pertaining to the duties of being an RA and make applicants think critically.

“Our intent is to always prepare our students for the best professional development possible,” Johnathan Collins, Assistant Director of Housing and Residence Life, said.

Collins hopes to hold next year’s selection interviews in person, with some changes to accommodate the COVID rules and restrictions. Interviews will hopefully be held in a socially distanced area that will be thoroughly disinfected before and after every interview.

“The rooms we use to interview will be cleaned after each interview and will have larger surface areas to prevent close contact, giving some sense of normalcy and returning interviews in person and getting to see the presentation of one’s self in a professional setting,” Collins said.

Once interviews were completed, applicants would receive a letter stating whether they had been selected as a RA for the 2021-2022 school year. There were more than 40 applicants this year with 20 open positions that needed to be filled for the Fall. Eleven male RA’s and nine female RAs were selected to fill these positions.

“As a small private institution this number does please me even in a pandemic school year,” Collins said.

Four of the newly selected RAs were underclassmen, with the majority of those selected being Juniors. Several Seniors applied for the positions as well to stay on campus for one more year.

Ashley Navarro, a sophomore majoring in nursing, is one of the newly hired RAs for the Fall semester. She is excited about the opportunities that being a RA provides.

“I was happy I got the letter stating I had been accepted and offered a spot,” Navarro said. “I wanted to become an RA on campus because I looked up to my own RAs my Freshman and Sophomore year. I also wanted to make friendships with the other RAs on campus.”

Being a RA comes with its fair share of challenges, but for some students, like Navarro, the benefits outweigh the costs. She thinks that the position isn’t for everyone, but if it is a good fit the position would be beneficial.

“For those that want to be a RA, think about why and what it will be like,” Navarro said. “It won’t be easy as you have many responsibilities. It will be a life changing experience as you get to make new friendships and have a newfound role as a leader on campus.”