Residential Assistants are students who serve as leaders, guides, resources and role models for their housing community, according to Assistant Director of Residential Life, Amanda Robbins. RAs have some of the more unique and rewarding student positions on campus and are an important cog in the machine of SLU’s campus.
Becoming an RA is a process. There is an application and interview along with at least a 2.5 minimum grade point average and attendance in all training activities. In addition to that, they are required to pass the Education 204: Resident Leadership Seminar class before they are actually hired. On a more specific level Robbins said, “Personally, I look for students who are able to demonstrate care for others. . . I feel it is important that our RA staff be able to be empathetic and have a strong ethic of care for others.”
There are three different levels of residential assistants. The basic RA fulfills all regular duties and is rewarded in the form of a scholarship for their room and meal plan. After a year of being on staff, one is eligible to apply to be a Resident Assistant One. They do the same job, but with more office hours and commitment to a housing committee. As payment for their extra work, they receive a $1000 stipend in addition to the housing and meal plan compensation. The next and coveted step is RA2, which receives a larger stipend and has even more responsibilities in leadership and task force positions.
Sophomore Calyn Landaiche is a residential assistant in St. Tammany Hall. She decided to become an RA after being inspired by her RA last year. She hopes to have an effect on people through their college experience as well as continuing her studies and active presence on campus. “We are residents and students just like everyone else. We have workloads, homework and rules to follow just like them,” she said.
RAs are not the only way to get involved as a resident. Hall Council consists of students that take the input of residential students and turn them into activities to involve everyone on campus. Every resident is automatically a member.
Landaiche is thankful for her position as an RA because it has taught her unique communication skills and how to work with all kinds of people. She wants everyone to understand that their RA is always there to help and said, “I would not be who I am today without the help and guidance that the resident staff has provided for me.”
To become involved as a residential assistant, find the application here.