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Hall staffs select RAs for 2011-12

Adam Llorens | Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The anticipation among 317 rising seniors applying for Resident Assistants culminated the week before Spring Break when final selections for the positions were determined.

The position is one of the most competitive to obtain on campus because of the tradition associated with the Notre Dame residence life system.

According to the Office of Residence Life & Housing, 172 male candidates and 145 female candidates applied for the RA position for the 2011-12 school year. Of these, 96 men and 84 women were hired to fill the position in Notre Dame’s 29 residence halls.

Siegfried Hall resident David Mahin, a junior, said he is excited for the opportunity the position presents.

“Being abroad this fall in Rwanda and Uganda really cemented my decision to apply for RA,” Mahin said. “I realized it can be difficult to give back to the community in a lot of jobs and positions, but by being an RA, I will be able to wholeheartedly give back to the phenomenal community that is Siegfried Hall.”

Junior Analise Althoff said being a RA runs in her blood.

“I have had three older siblings serve as Resident Assistants here in the past, so I have always had the idea in the back of my head,” Althoff said. “After living in Farley for three years with great RA’s, I thought more about it and decided it was something I would really like to do.”

The idea of creating and sustaining relationships within the hall is an attractive aspect of being an RA, Althoff said.

“I am looking forward to bonding more with the Farley staff and making my dorm an even finer place to live,” she said. “I plan on creating some stellar section events with other RAs around campus.”

Though the Office of Residence Life & Housing receives the applications for the RA position, it is the various hall staffs that ultimately make the final decisions.

Siegfried Hall Rector Fr. John Conley said the process involves multiple steps.

“In late January, I receive a list of candidates from O.R.L.H. seeking an RA position in Siegfried Hall,” Conley said. “The candidates then go through a series of interviews with the current RAs, ARs [Assistant Rectors] and myself, and it is from these interviews that we as a staff make a consensus decision on a RA.”

Current staff members play such an integral role in determining future RAs because of the close relationships they develop with the candidates, Conley said.

“It is very important to carefully consider what the current RA’s assessment is of each candidate,” he said. “Most rectors would say you need to work closely with your hall staff while choosing your next hall staff.”

Senior Bobby Schafer was rejected last spring to be an RA this year, but said he has enjoyed his senior year.

“I had mixed emotions because on one hand, I was totally bummed out, but on the other hand, I already had a backup plan of living off-campus with a good friend of mine, so it all worked out in the end,” Schafer said. “While I enjoyed my time on campus, living off campus has given me opportunities to grow in a way that I would not have been able to had I been accepted as a Resident Assistant.”

Current Siegfried Hall RA Anmol Malhotra, a senior, said he has enjoyed his duties this year.

“The everlasting friendships I have established this year with residents within the dorm, especially the freshmen in my section, have truly been the best aspect of being an RA,” Malhotra said. “I will be forever thankful to the Notre Dame and Siegfried Hall community for this opportunity.”