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Monday, August 3, 2020

Campus

More than 900 interested in becoming resident advisers for upcoming year


Cougar Village I is one of the residence halls where students can work as an RA | Lino Sandil/The Cougar

Cougar Village I is one of the residence halls where students can work as a resident adviser. | Lino Sandil/The Cougar

With a free room and meal plan, monthly stipend, chances to mentor and form friendships with new UH students, becoming a resident adviser has several benefits. 

A total of 966 potential resident adviser candidates showed up to the four interest meetings spanning from October 2019 to January 2020, according to Student Housing and Residential Life on Twitter. Attending at least one was required to receive an application. 

“My mom was an RA in college, and so I kind of grew up with her telling me about her experience,” communication sciences and disorders senior Emily Black said. “I think it’s a very interesting experience of helping residents, making friends with my residents, (and) becoming friends with my fellow RA’s.”

Black is currently an RA on the fifth floor of Cougar Village.

To become an RA, interested students must have lived on campus in a previous semester or have some other approved similar experience, according to the 2019 RA position description. Background checks are also required, along with a minimum GPA and credit hour count.

“There is a pretty intense selection process that evaluates candidates in several areas,” said Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for housing Alexsaundra Preston. “The process includes an interest meeting, application, individual interview, group interview, decision letters and human resources paperwork days.”

UH further warns students against committing to over 10 hours of outside work per week, as it can interfere with the time required to attend meetings, complete training and volunteer at special events — all on top of a busy course load.

Black said that it is not a lot of time commitment at once, but more so throughout the week.

RA hopeful psychology freshman Justin O’Collier currently lives in Cougar Village I and said he would like to give back by serving as an RA anywhere on campus.

“I decided to apply to be a residential adviser because I’ve enjoyed helping people as an aquatics manager and I want to continue to offer my services to my own living community,” O’Collier said.

Housing plans to wrap up its selection process with decision letters by March 13 and paperwork in April. They did not say how many of the applicants would be selected.

Despite deadlines, interviews and planning out the next academic year, O’Collier said he still decided to apply.

“I have met a lot of people (while) applying to be a residential adviser, both students and housing staff,” O’Collier said. “Everyone I’ve met has been extremely nice and has shared my passion in helping others.”

Black said it is worth it as she will be attending graduate school at UH next year and plans to continue being an RA.

“I think it’s one of the best jobs you can have on campus,” Black said. “I think it helps you stay involved and really become part of the community that makes UH so special.”

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