Residence Life: Resident Advisors
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Who are they?
There are three important roles that Resident Advisors (RAs) serve on our campus: educator, administrator, and role-model. RAs help residents develop diverse and inclusive communities, and learn about themselves, others, relationships, and community. Ras also help maintain a healthy and safe living environment for our residential students. Finally, Residential Advisors serve as academic and social role models while helping to build communities in the Residence Halls that support academic and personal success.
To apply a student must be enrolled at WWU and have a minimum of 2.5 GPA, and have no continuing record of serious misconduct. The combined GPA for newly hired RAs was 3.20 last year. Successful RA applicants have a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skill sets. They must demonstrate a willingness and ability to lead their peers, be a good role models, and commit to helping to develop other students in a variety of ways. We don't just look for the applicant that can step in and do the RA job masterfully as we have plenty of training to prepare students for the role – instead we look for characteristics such as good communication skills, good peer counseling skills, and an ability to make decisions, to name a few.
Experience working with students who are different from themselves is important. Since our RAs come from such a variety of backgrounds and experiences, we cannot recommend anything in particular. The important part for ResLife when looking for strong RA candidates is that whatever the experience, the applicant has learned something from and reflected on that experience as well as having the ability to articulate why and how it's transferable to being a strong RA candidate.
RAs are required to take our RA class, SAA 340, which is taught by our Resident Directors. This class provides the theoretical and philosophical foundation and some interpersonal skill building. RAs are also brought back to campus two weeks early to participate in our Fall Training.
How many students are hired annually?
We have 75 Resident Advisor positions throughout our Housing system. Each year we bring back approximately 25 returning RAs, with approximately 50 new RA positions.
Is the position paid?
The position is paid. RAs receive payment equal to the cost of their room and a 125 meal plan, plus a small cash stipend every two weeks. They also receive the added benefit of all the training and experiences they receive as a result of this leadership position.
Where can people learn more?
There will be an online application and description available online at housing.wwu.edu once the application process gets started in late October/early November. For now a description can be viewed here.
We begin the RA selection process in November for the following fall. Interested students need to begin the application process and attend an information session at that time. This process includes an on-line application, screening for GPA and conduct status, interview, and culminates in offers extended in early March. This process is completed in winter term so that successful applicants can enroll in the spring RA class.