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Resident assistants chosen for next year

John-Paul Witt | Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Job offers typically come to second-semester seniors, but Notre Dame juniors are joining the game, anxiously awaiting employment offers from their rectors for positions on hall Residence Life staffs as resident assistants (RA).

Almost every dorm has completed the selection of their RAs for the upcoming year, but the process is more complicated than it seems.

There were “more than twice as many” applicants for the approximately 150 RA positions at Notre Dame, Bill Kirk, associate vice president of Residence Life said.

“All [27] dorms have at least a half-dozen applicants, and some have many more than that,” Kirk said. “Often, halls will have a class of students that, three years later, results in a lot of candidates.”

Many dorms will also have at least one RA who spent the past three years in another dorm – this is decided in the application process, Kirk said.

“A lot of applicants indicate that they wish to be considered for other halls,” he said. “Even if there are enough applicants from a particular hall, RAs are chosen from outside dorms to create a team that best fits the hall,” Kirk said.

Notre Dame is unique among peer institutions in that only seniors are allowed to be RAs. At Saint Mary’s sophomores or higher can apply to be an RA.

This is because of the “tradition of respect for and responsibilities of RAs” at Notre Dame, Kirk said. RAs are in charge of enforcing the rules contained in du Lac, the manual of student life policies and procedures, Kirk said.

According to information provided by the Office of Student Affairs, which hires RAs, assistant rectors and rectors, there are three steps to the application process for becoming an RA.

Interested juniors first submit an application and letters of recommendation to Student Affairs. They then meet with their rectors and rectors of other dorms in which they are interested and are then informed in March by Student Affairs whether they were selected.

The job comes with a scholarship of nearly $10,000, as RAs receive free room, board and laundry service from the University.

According to the Office of Student Affairs, attached to the scholarship are significant responsibilities, such as mandatory training in spring of junior year and in the two weeks before fall semester – and regular availability to residents during the year.

Also, “resident assistants are typically precluded from other outside employment, participation in varsity athletics or elected student government positions,” according to the Student Affairs Web site.