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Resident advisors to see changes in 2011

Alicia Smith | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Resident Advisors (RAs) at Saint Mary’s College will notice a change in their job description for the 2011-12 academic year.

Changes to the RA policy mainly affect RAs’ academic breaks and their eligibility to hold other jobs, Karen Johnson, vice president of Student Affairs, said.

Johnson said RA’s may not hold off-campus employment, and they will need to work as a team with their hall director to cover break periods when there are still students in the residence halls.

“It’s a matter of safety,” she said.

Johnson said some RAs will have to remain on campus during breaks for which students can choose to stay on campus. The rule doesn’t apply to winter break because students cannot stay in the dorms during that break.

“As for covering break periods, staff must be available whenever the halls are open,” Johnson said. “Each RA will need to take a day or a few days of a break to be on campus and on duty in the halls.”

The College made the changes to provide the best quality of service to the students living within the residence halls, Johnson said.

“Holding off-campus employment often puts RAs in the position of having to juggle their schedules in a way that is compromising,” she said. “They have to ask other RAs to cover for them and may not be able to adjust their work schedules to meet the demands of an RA.”

Johnson said she is confident that the changes to the RA policy will not affect the number of applicants for the positions this spring.

“Being an RA is an important job and many students are interested each year,” she said.

The changes will go into effect for the 2011-12 academic year.

According to the College’s website, applications for the RA positions for the 2011-12 academic year were due Thursday.

Applicants will undergo an individual interviewing process this week. Applicants undergo individual and group interviews.

According to the website, the group interviews allow the current RAs and Residence Life staff to evaluate candidates through their participation in various group activities.

“This process also gives candidates an opportunity to show how they work with others in a group or team setting,” the website said.

Students receive letters on Feb. 25 announcing whether or not they were selected as an RA for the 2011-12 academic year.