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Information sessions on becoming an RA to be held Jan. 9-12

Ohio University students interested in an employment opportunity that allows them to serve their fellow Bobcats while also gaining professional development and leadership skills might want to consider becoming an OHIO resident assistant.

OHIO’s Department of Housing and Residence Life is in the process of hiring resident assistants (RAs) for the 2017-18 academic year and has four information sessions planned for the beginning of spring semester. Students interested in applying to be an RA must attend an information session, during which they will hear about what the job of an RA entails, what the department’s expectations are and what sort of time commitment is expected of an RA. Those sessions are scheduled for Jan. 9-12 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Living Learning Center 102/104

Housing and Residence Life plans on hiring approximately 150 RAs for next academic year, according to Sarah Oleksy, OHIO’s director of Residence Life. Those new RAs will be a part of the approximately 300 student staff members who serve as assistant resident directors and RAs each year.

Pictured is the OHIO Housing and Residence Life staff, including RAs, showcasing this year’s department theme, “Tradition.”

Pictured is the OHIO Housing and Residence Life staff, including RAs, showcasing this year’s department theme, “Tradition.” Photo by Nathan Chesser/Department Housing and Residence Life

From assisting students and helping to build a community to coordinating educational programs and upholding University policies, RAs serve the 30 to 50 residents in a floor section in a number of ways. Primary responsibilities include community development, fostering a diverse and inclusive community, leadership development, professional and administrative tasks, and conflict and crisis management.

“RAs are known for policy enforcement,” Oleksy said, “but they do so much more than that. They help students academically and socially and serve as referral agents, directing students to resources designed to ensure their success.”

In order to apply to be an RA, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed at least two semesters of on-campus living – either at OHIO or another institution – or other approved similar experiences prior to their start date
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student
  • Be in good standing with the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility, as well as the Department of Housing and Residence Life
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above

When asked who should consider applying to become an OHIO RA, Oleksy responded, “Someone who is committed to helping others, someone who is hard working, and someone who wants to help residents have a better experience. RAs have to be open, thoughtful and inclusive because they will work with residents from all different backgrounds.”

Oleksy noted that students often mistakenly believe they need to be extremely outgoing or an extrovert in order to be an RA. 

“Some of our best RAs are introverts who really take the time to build relationships and get to know people,” she said. “We don’t want to lose out on some great candidates for these positions because students think they have to be a certain type of person to be an RA. If you really care about people, if you really want to help people, if you want to learn new leadership skills, this could be the right position for you.”

RAs are compensated for their service to the University and receive training. In addition to having 100 percent of their room costs waived, RAs receive a stipend of $3,158 per academic year. 

But the benefits go far beyond monetary compensation.

“RAs get to be part of a group of 300 student staff who get direct access to professional staff members who support them as students,” Oleksy explained. “Those supervisors are here to help these students develop as leaders and as individuals. We invest in our RAs as students. For example, RAs are eligible for two hours of tutoring every week at our cost, and we offer professional and leadership development opportunities throughout the year. And, serving as an RA is great on a resume, regardless of a student’s field of study.”

OHIO students interested in applying to become an RA will be provided application information at the information sessions. Applications are due by Jan. 20 with interviews slated for Feb. 8-11.

For more information about the RA hiring process, click here or email rarecruitment@ohio.edu.