Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 4
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

‘Lady RA RA’ brings excitement to RA applications

“RA RA Res-Life!” ┬áThis year’s posters advertising resident assistant applications for 2011, which are due Friday, Oct. 15, are particularly eye-catching.

“It was one of those ‘aha!’ moments,” said Anjuli Martin ’09, Resident Director of Prentiss Hall, who was involved in the RA advertising campaign this year.

Martin, Phil Lundquist ’08, RD of North Hall, Kendra Vandree ’10, RD of Anderson Hall, and Nancy Tavelli, associate dean of students, comprised the team behind the campaign.

It has been several years since Whitman’s RA posters have directly referenced pop culture. When the team found the folder of old ads, they knew they wanted to take a similar approach.

“I’m really happy with how they turned out,” Martin said. “We have a lot of Lady Gaga lovers in the office. I think people may apply to be an RA purely because they love Lady Gaga.”

In recent years, an increasing number of students nationwide are applying to be RAs, according to the New York Times. This increase is attributed to the poor economy, the rising cost of tuition and living expenses and the allure of a job that covers students’ room and board. At Whitman, the cost of room and board has risen 10 percent in the last two years.

When asked if this trend has occurred at Whitman, Tavelli responded in an e-mail, “We did have more applicants last year than the year before so I would expect that trend to continue, but our increase has not been as much as some schools.”

There was also a larger number of students at Whitman last year, which also could have caused the increase.

“The nature of the job is such that people wouldn’t want to apply just for the money, but because they want to do it,” said Vandree.

Being an RA is a very demanding job and requires much time, effort and commitment.

“It’s not at all a problem to be a student and an RA, but when you add extracurriculars it becomes more and more difficult,” said Tavelli.

The amount of involvement that the application and interview process takes may also serve to deter applicants. It is meant to be a two-way dialogue and consists of an average of three or four separate interviews, depending on where the applicant wants to be an RA.

“The application process was very introspective, and a good growing experience,” said junior Alethea Buchal, an RA in Lyman.

The process is always being reduced and streamlined and is quicker than it was a couple of years ago. Some of the interview questions have changed as well. According to Lundquist, the change this year is that applicants are being asked to come with some questions about the position.

“We are looking for a diverse group for our Res-Life staff,” said Tavelli. “We want people with good leadership skills, or who are willing to learn them. There is no one perfect RA.”

Being an RA appeals to people for a variety of reasons.

“I had a great Res-Life experience,” said Buchal. “I wanted to share the love.”

Sophomore Cate Sturtevant, who is planning to apply, thinks that being an RA would be “a fun responsibility and a cool challenge.”

According to Tavelli, personal recommendations by Res-Life staff are always high up on the list of reasons why people apply.

“It’s always nice to hear someone thinks you do well at something,” said Vandree. “We’re not just giving compliments out left and right. It’s genuine.”

“However,” said Lundquist, “just because someone didn’t get a personal recommendation to apply doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.”

Applications for the 36 RA positions are due this Friday, Oct. 15.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *