7 Traits of a Potential College Resident Assistant

Most college dorms have resident assistants. These are typically upper-class persons who apply for the position. They must have the ability to deal with any type of situation that arises, be it as simple as helping a student who is locked our of their room get back in, or as complicated as talking to a student who is failing a class and helping them deal with that.

The selection process for becoming a resident assistant is a highly competitive one. When dorm administrators are looking for people to choose for the positions, they look for candidates who have a total package. These are people who can deal with all sorts of situations and who can handle all of the stress that is oven heaved upon them.

Students will often go to their resident assistant to talk about a problem they don’t feel comfortable discussing with anyone else. Sometimes the R.A. can help them by being an objective outsider, and sometimes they help simply by referring the student to the appropriate resource to get them help.

1. The ability to be an authority figure

Resident assistants have to be able to maintain authority as is necessitated by their position while simultaneously being a friend and mentor to every student who is living on their floor or wing of the floor. Straddling the line between these two roles can be very difficult, and it requires a lot of skill.

A student who majors in a social service related field will often find that this type of position is helpful both academically and practically.

2. Familiarity with the dorm from having lived there

Most college dorm resident assistants have lived in the dorms up until the time they apply for the position. Their familiarity with every aspect of dorm life is an asset that the housing supervisor or dorm supervisor will see.

Many dorm resident assistants are majoring in fields for which they will be obliged to deal with people on a regular basis, often in the capacity of some sort of helper.

3. Academic training and grades

Because their academic training revolves around working with people, this is yet another qualification that will give them a leg up when applying for a resident assistant position.

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A resident assistant will have to have an exemplary grade point average because they also serve as mentors to the students for whom they are responsible.

4. Involvement at the college or university

Most resident assistants or assistants are actively involved in the college or university life.

  • They may be involved in student government, some social organizations or other aspects of college life.
  • They are able to maintain a high-grade point average despite their social involvement and job as a resident assistant, so that speaks to the fact that these students are extraordinarily adept at managing their time.

5. Faculty and other recommendations

Resident assistants always have a wide array of recommendations from people who know them in varying capacities. These recommendations can come from professors, their own faculty assistant, from former employers, and from people who can vouch for their responsibility.

6. Abstain from illegal substances

Resident assistants have to be alert and are of everything that goes on in the area for which they are responsible.

Some colleges and universities may require their resident assistants or prospective resident assistants to undergo drug and alcohol testing. They may even insist on doing this often.

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A resident assistant cannot counsel a student who is using illegal drugs if they are using something themselves. A resident assistant cannot help a student who has a problem with alcohol if they are abusing alcohol.

7. A potential resident assistant must have a pristine record

They must be able to manage their time effectively enough to be able to attend all of their classes, maintain a high GPA, fulfill all of their obligations including those of the position of a resident assistant.

Anyone who wishes to be a resident assistant should concentrate on doing a great job in all of their classes and maintain a high GPA. Attending all classes is vital so that the professor will feel that they can honestly give you a good recommendation. Other extracurricular activities at school will also show that you are a well-rounded student.