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Resident Assistants

Being a Resident Assistant can be one of the most meaningful parts of your college experience. You have the opportunity to create relationships with residents from around the world and help form their Drexel experience. RAs create community on campus, get to know people, develop critical thinking skills and learn about themselves.

Selection

The RA Selection Process is a multi-step process.
The descriptions below are meant to help you understand each phase and your role in the process.

Application: The first stage of the selection process is filling out the RA Application on-line. The application contains basic information about you, your experience at Drexel, how to contact you and when you are available for the Resident Assistant Application Process (RAAP) classes.

Resident Assistant Application Process (RAAP) Class: The RAAP class is a two-session course designed to teach you what we value in the RA position and also an opportunity for us to get to know you better. The class is designed to be interactive and educational. The RA job is primarily relational – the RAAP class is designed for you to show us how you function in relationship to others. Attendance at both RAAP classes is mandatory. If you miss a class you are no longer eligible for application.

Contact Meeting: The contact meeting is a time for you to meet with one of your RAAP instructors. Your contact meeting will occur in the week between your two RAAP classes.

Interviews: After the RAAP classes and contact meetings, a group of candidates will be passed on to the interview phase of the selection process. During the interview you will meet with Residential Living staff members to discuss your interest in the position.

Selection: Letters will be sent to all applicants indicating if they are being offered a position.

Position Offer: This letter states that you are being offered a RA position.
Alternate Offer: This letter states that you are being offered a spot in the alternate pool. The alternate pool is a group of candidates that will be considered for RA positions that come open throughout the summer and the academic year.
No Position Offer: This letter states that we are unable to offer you a RA position.

Training

We train Resident Assistant's in the following core competencies:

INTRAPERSONAL COMPETENCIES

Self-Awareness - What are your thoughts on your limitations, strengths, weaknesses?
Resources: AD/RD, HRA, RA's, Career Development Center, Peer-Counseling, Academic Advisor, Counseling Center

Responsibility - What are your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly responsibilities?
Resources: calendar, peers, priorities, mentor, values, ethics

Teach-ability - What are your values/biases regarding Drexel, RLO, peers, desk staff?
Resources: training, in-services, staff meeting, programs, mentors

Action - Believing the department, staff, supervisor, and peers have best intentions in mind
Considering the context/background of you and those around you
Receiving constructive criticism and encouragement; mindful of motive/intent

Result - With maturity, you consider all of those who'll be impacted by your actions/decisions 

You're confident in the your abilities and of the peers/staff around you who'll aide you

Example: One RA came onto staff stating that she had firm boundaries that she needed to be respected and that it was infringing on her rights for residents or staff members to ask for compromise in those boundaries. As she spent time with her staff and supervisor, it became clear to her that her boundaries actually infringed on the rights of others. As she became aware that her rights and the rights of others at time are at odds and require compromise of self for the good of the whole.

COGNITIVE COMPLEXITY COMPETENCIES

Ethics - What are your ethics regarding alcohol, drugs, personal time, policy, guests, balancing school/job, sex/dating, religion/spirituality/philosophy?

Resources: RA Manual, Student Handbook, AD/RD, peers, education, religion/spirituality?

Advocacy - Who do you advocate for? Who advocates for you?

Resources: personal examples from peers/staff, RLO, mentors (personal or impersonal), family/friends, experience?

Decision Making - What are the first things you do in making decisions? Who do you consider? What sources do you seek for advice/insight? Do you consider consequences?

Resources: peers, teachers/mentors, family/friends, education?

Action - Thinking about students in a larger context that benefits the overall department (RLO). 

Seeing residents as people not policies; people behind the policies
Advocating for residents/peers in need by contemplating the 'big-picture'

Result - With reflection, you consider effective communication, personal and electronic, before acting
Make informed decisions as one who's been advocated for and also as one who considers those for whom you advocate

Example: In a relationship you have with a resident, you're faced with a dilemma regarding some troubling information that involves safety for the resident. The implications could possibly jeopardize your employment should something happen and you didn't inform anyone. You consider your resources: RLO, AD/RD, staff/peers, and what is best for overall safety of the resident with respect to the responsibilities that you have, then make a decision, having sought advice and reflected on the matter first.

INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCIES

Communication Skills - How do you effectively convey your message? Utilize listening & understanding?
Resources: face-book, e-mail, phone, IM, programs/activities, media/culture, food, personal experiences, conflict

Mentoring - How do you mentor residents, guests, peers? Who mentors you personally/professionally? What type of mentor do you want to be?
Resources: weekly interaction, programs, socials, conflicts, family, professors/academic advisors, peers

Diversity - Who are your residents, i.e. international, co-op, first year, upper-class, suite, traditional, male, female, extrovert, introvert? Who are they beyond that?

Resources: programs, in-services, personal study, culture/media

Action - Understanding cultures/interests that both you and your residents embody
Initiating interaction progressively and consistently with 'reclusive' residents
Working through areas of friction/conflict; mindful of context; being resourceful and available

Result - You consider appropriate communication; being aware and active of resident variances
You listen actively; considering diversity beyond race to affinities and interests

Example: As an RA you have no interest in video games but you have a floor that is primarily and solely interested in video games. So, you take up a new hobby and begin learning the ropes and play night after night, even though you get hammered and lose most of your games, you've developed enough rapport to enhance your relationships.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Community Development - What does it really look like/mean to have a community?
Resources: Intra and Inter-hall programming, spontaneity, open doors, consistency, clean/functional physical environment

Community Standards - How do our policies enhance overall safety and community?
Resources: AD for Judicial Affairs, AD/RD, Student Handbook, experience, returning staff, Public Safety

Staff Community - How does the vision/mission of RLO benefit your overall community?
Resources: returning staff, experience, training, in-services, RA Manual

Action - Initiating and maintaining personal relationships in order to advance communal interests
Enforcing policies that protect a meaningful, safe, and relaxed environment with appropriate follow-up
Encouraging residents to be proactive and involved with other residents involving conflict/connection

Result - You think 'big picture' by balancing policy enforcement with natural interaction
You create an overall clean and attractive environment that is functional and resourceful
You pursue residents with both full and part time interests in the floor/hall

Example: Aside from hall programs, as an RA on co-op, you have limited time in the evening and many of your residents seem reclusive. But, you consistently make time for your residents and patiently pursue those with only minimal interests in the floor/hall. You're well aware of their interests and you customize your programs and spontaneity with their affinities, by pursuing them via e-mail, face-book, IM, and in person consistently throughout the week. Soon you realize that the residents are naturally doing what required much recruitment at first.

Please visit our Selection Website