By Carl Legg
Canisius College is looking for potential leaders on campus. The Resident Assistant applications for the 2017-18 year is underway. All those who are qualified are encouraged to fill out the online application.
While becoming an RA is a serious year-long commitment, it is also a rewarding one. Delavan and Village Hall Director Samantha Bobbe described it as an opportunity to join the RA family in one of the best leadership roles on campus. “The RAs might not always like each other, but they are always here for each other,” she said. “They support each other through some of the most difficult situations and become extremely close.” Their community is one that looks out for each other.
Delavan RA Katie Simon could not say enough about her coalition of RAs. She described them as a whole new group of friends that are willing to help her out with anything, mainly because they understand what she has on her plate. Village RA Ben Swanson agreed, describing themselves as a very friendly and supportive group. “You form close relationships, especially with the other RAs on your staff,” he said.
There are plenty of responsibilities as an RA as well, though. Bobbe noted that it is a 24/7 job because an RA is the first point of response for their residents. “We’re responsible for creating safe and inclusive environments within the residence halls. It’s our job to keep an eye out for our residents to give them a go-to person,” Swanson explained. Another part of being an RA that Bobbe highlighted was educating their residents outside of the classroom, especially with freshmen. They may need to learn something as simple as doing laundry or as vital as how to cohesively live with other people.
Simon does enjoy some of her duties. One of her favorite parts of being an RA is planning events. “It is fun to create something in your mind and then have it come to life,” she said. For her it is also an opportunity to get to learn more about the people in her hall, which can be hard in Delavan. The hall has 66 residents and a long hallway, so it can be difficult to interact with her neighbors on a daily basis. They still always have a good time once they get together.
Some other responsibilities of an RA include hanging up posters, keeping people informed of events on campus, making bulletin boards and door decorations, being on duty every few weeks and doing rounds. All an RAs duties come back to helping their residents.
Bobbe does not think students on the fence should be discouraged by all these responsibilities. “I think a lot of students are concerned that it is too challenging, but the more you challenge yourself, the more you will rise to that challenge,” she said. The hall director also emphasized that more students who are involved on campus have higher GPAs. It is normal for Canisius RAs to go on to have serious jobs. Bobbe believes what they learn here can prepare them for any job interview.
Swanson believed that his work as an RA has better prepared him for the future. “Being an RA has taught me about managing my time, thinking on my feet, and most of all how to communicate with a broad and diverse group of people,” he said. The non-stop job has them gaining experience every day.
If you think you have what it takes to become an RA, then make sure to fill out the online application by December 9. The requirements include a 2.75 GPA, counted with fall semester’s grades and three Personal / Professional references. The position will be for the 2017-18 year and includes payment for housing and a meal plan.