Sunday, November 16, 2008

RA Opening: Earlier than Normal

I noticed last week that there were postings for an open RA (Resident Assistant) position in the Res. Halls. The above pictures are of the posting in my hallway on Power 2. I've also seen a similar-themed one to the right of the door leading to Coughlin, Power and Mazzuchelli in the Coughlin Commons. It is not common to see a posting to fill an RA position for the spring - usually it is for the upcoming year in the fall.

I talked to senior Resident Assistant Anna Johnson about this posting. She said that the RA who stepped down "told us [Residence Life] enough in advance that we could go through the selection process" rather than going through alternate routes.

At the bottom of the posting, it is listed that there's a preference for male applicants based on the gender make-up of the floor in need of an RA. Johnson said that because of this note, there have been more male applicants than female. But considering Dominican's demographic (more women than men), this is not typical.

According to Johnson, with the RA selection process for the upcoming school year, a good number of freshman girls apply to be an RA for their sophomore year.

For people who apply but don't get selected as an RA due to all positions being filled, they may be assigned as an alternate RA and be called on to fill any open positions.

The theme for the postings are associated with Barack Obama and echoes his campaign message of hope and change - suggesting if you go for the position, you'll be a leader and inspiration to others. His campaign logo can be seen on his suit and "YOUR FACE HERE" is on the circle covering his face. I thought it was a clever way to get passersby to stop and take a second look. Riding on the heels of a historic presidential election, not too many should be surprised that the theme for RA selection is associated with the president-elect. Being an RA is about leadership after all.

Johnson says that the theme will probably change when they look for RAs for the 2009-2010 school year. One year, they did a Napoleon Dynamite theme. Residence Life always tries to come up with a fun theme to apply to their fliers for the RA selection process according to Johnson.

There is no specific reason why the theme for the current posting is the way it is. "The person who made it thought it would be fun," she says. A person from the Leadership Team, the professional staff for Residence Life, was the one who designed the fliers. One can not deny the timeliness of it.

Applications for the open RA position were due this past Friday, November 14th. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to say a male applicant will be chosen considering on the special situation. During my time at DU, I've heard that male applicants are preferred to be chosen as RAs. This puts a new light to the trend of freshman girls going for the position. It makes it seem that so many females apply to be an RA - that any males who apply are dwarfed by the number of females who go out for it.

Gender demographics at a previously all-girls takes a while for things to balance out.


  1. Quick update: there are now TWO RA positions to be filled so the selection process has been extended till next Friday.

    Good luck to all those who apply!

  2. Freshman girls going for an RA position?? Although I've never been a resident, I think that should be out of the question. A sophomore RA, OK. At least a sophomore has had a year experiencing life in the res halls. Freshmen RA candidates should, in my opinion, not be qualified to be an RA after only one semester of res hall living. However, if only freshmen apply, then maybe they would be placed as an RA due to need of immediate occupancy for the positions. Any one else agree? Disagree?

  3. I think that Diana is saying they apply as freshmen and then are RA's as sophomore's, so they have a year of living in the dorms as experience.

  4. That is correct, Megan. Freshman are not allowed to apply for this special mid-year position. Res Life had the same feelings as Natalie: freshman just don't have the same level of experience as upperclassmen.

    But, commuters ARE allowed to apply, even though they may have never lived in the halls. Explain that.

  5. Yes, I meant in general (outside of this special circumstance) freshman girls apply in the spring of their freshman year to be RAs during their sophomore year.

    And as Suzy said, the deadline has been extended because two RA positions are open. I heard about it at my floor meeting this evening. Thanks for mentioning it here, Suzy.

  6. If commuters are not appropriate for the RA position they will be weeded out in the interview process.
    To say someone is unqualified to lead people and create a community because they have never lived in the resident halls ignores any experience a commuter might have had elsewhere in doing both of these.
    A successful training should dispel any doubts in a commuter's potential success as RA.