Anamaria Soler/Staff Writer
At FIU, the resident assistants within Housing and Residential Life lead a community of approximately 30 to 75 students on a floor assigned to them. Since this job is such a key part of on-campus living, it is an extensive process for a student to become one.
Resident assistants are normally in charge of about 40 students, according to Christina Montville, associate director of Residential Life. While some residence halls have 2 RAs per floor, each building has two to three on duty at all times.
There are key components that the position of RA involves, according to Montville. An RA must dedicate about 20 hours per week to work, and they are on duty when the university is closed, including nights, weekends and holidays. They must also attend weekly staff meetings and one-on-ones with supervisors.. Their main responsibility is organizing community traditions, which are recurring programs held in the residence halls. These events vary based on the community, or floor, that the RA is assigned to and are also conducted to build community, according to Montville.
The qualifications for becoming an RA are straightforward, said Montville. First, you have to have lived on campus for a full semester, either fall or spring. That doesn’t mean that you have to be living on campus at the time of application. Also, you must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at FIU; in other words, you must be currently taking 12 to 15 credit hours. Lastly, you must have at least a 2.5 GPA and good judicial standing with the university, according to Montville.
If you are thinking about applying for the position of RA, there are many steps involved in the interview process, according to Montville. Attending an information session allows the prospective candidate to decide whether or not they want to apply by learning about the position.
The candidate must then fill out the online application completely, which is only available to those who attend an information session. If the candidate meets the aforementioned requirements, they will be called for an individual interview with two staff members.
What follows is something called group process, according to Montville, in which a group of students participate in “experimental activities” designed to access their abilities to think critically, be a good team player, respond to crisis and have effective communication.
Once the candidate is informed if they were awarded the position, the prospective RAs will be assigned their communities based on their preference what the supervisors feel the community needs.
Photo by FIU Housing on Flickr.