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Time plays role in RA application decision


Drake life is pretty busy, but our resident assistants really have to juggle.

We might not know them well, but their common theme is, “I have so much to do.”

So what does it take to be an RA?

There are three parts: an application, a large group interview and an individual interview. If students pass all three, they can become an RA.

RA applicants must then complete a class — RA 101.

“That’s a lot of fun,” said senior Madison Dockter, a Stalnaker resident assistant. “You get to do unique projects while getting to know the people you may be on staff with in the future.”

Training doesn’t stop there. RAs come to Drake 10 days before the semester starts for development.

Each group gets drilled on scenarios, policies and techniques they’ll encounter during the semester.

“Training was very helpful,” said junior Xavier Quinn, another Stalnaker resident assistant. “It allows you not only to get to know the policies and resources available within residence life better, but also gives you time to get to know your staff, know what kind of programs you can and want to plan, and to get ready for the school year to start.”

After that, it’s up to the RAs. They memorize names, set up activities, and work the desk on top of academic and extracurricular activities.

Some think the combination is impossible, but Drake RAs enjoy it.

“If anything, I’ve added more things to my schedule since becoming an RA,” Dockter said.

Quinn didn’t sacrifice either.

“But I have had to learn to manage and balance them all more effectively because I, like many other RAs, am quite involved on campus and still have to put school as a priority,” Quinn said.

So is it worth it? Senior Hannah Powers admitted she didn’t think so.

“I mean, the free room and board is really nice and all, but I’ve got enough going on already. I really don’t think dealing with a ton of other people’s problems would be that worth it,” Powers said.

Drake RAs respectfully disagree.

“I saw being an RA as an opportunity to create positive experiences with residence life for first-years and sophomores, and, essentially, give back to the campus,” Dockter said.

Her favorite part is working with students and Quinn agrees.

“Getting to know residents, seeing all of the things they do and achieve and putting on and attending creative programs is great,” Quinn said.

RA interviews don’t start up for a while, but Dockter recommends giving it serious thought.

“Go for it. The experience is so rewarding, and I honestly can’t imagine myself doing anything better during my last year here at Drake. Make sure you have the time and energy commitment for it, though, because it’s a trip,” Dockter said.

Quinn recommended talking to RAs if, like Powers, you have doubts.

“That’s what your current RAs are there for, and that’s what will give you better insight into what the role entails,” Quinn said. “Also, every RA may have different perspectives on the position too, so talk to them.”

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