New semester, new RAs
By Deyshawn Clarke-Wells
He was sitting around anxious for days, constantly checking his email inboxes even though he knew there was nothing new. Then University at Albany sophomore Rafeuris Grullon finally got a notification for a new email, which said that new resident assistants had been selected for the spring and whoever is reading the email got a position. Excitement immediately replaced Grullon’s anxiety.
Grullon was one of 30 candidates who received this position after a “highly selective” interview process.
“This interview was indeed hard for me. It covered a lot of questions related to the job as expected, but I was very nervous. I didn’t think I was the ideal candidate,” he said. Grullon considers himself “very lucky” since he beat the odds to get this job – there’s a 10 percent success rate for applicants. The interview is an important factor in an applicant’s success. Resident directors, current RAs, and graduate assistants conduct the interviews.
Brian Gomez, a sophomore, had mixed emotions after his interview. “Overall it was a good experience. I felt nervous at first but the three staff members made me feel comfortable with the kindness and clarity they provided,” he said. Gomez is on the waitlist, so a position could be offered to him at anytime.
Besides hiring new students, current student staff received promotions. Alexis Richardson from Colonial Quad, currently a wellness assistant, will be an RA in the spring. Janel Starchan, a current RA on Colonia Quad, went through the same promotion process as Richardson. She described the process as one that creates “a greater sense of community.”
Community is a vital part of the job since RAs supervise over 40 students in the residence halls they live in. They are responsible for being on duty on assigned nights and roaming assigned residence halls. They are also responsible for hosting social programs for their residents and volunteering for community service. During breaks, they must stay on campus later to make sure all dorms were left in an appropriate manner.
All Residential Life employees must return for spring semester training one day before the residence halls open back up on Jan. 17. At this training, student staff partake in lectures and hands-on activities to prepare for real-life situations that might happen.