The Journey to Becoming an RA


Pace Residential Life

Pace's resident assistants (RA's) for the 2018-2019 school year.

Katherine Walsh, Contributing Writer

Approximately 75 students apply to become a resident assistant (RA) each year. There are currently 40 RA’s employed and Pace’s Office of Residential Life and Housing expects to hire 15 to 20 students this year.

The application for the 2019-2020 school year is currently available on OrgSync and is due on Dec. 2. In addition, there are two more informational sessions on Nov. 26 and Nov. 29.

In order to be in consideration, applicants must have a 2.5 QPA/GPA and maintain that while they are in position. Students also must not be on probation for violating academic policies. In addition, applicants have to be full-time students and be able to hold the position for a year.

The road to becoming an RA is a long one, with the process beginning mid-fall and the final decision being made in March. Once the applications are reviewed and graded according to their rubric, students will be invited to have an individual interview in early February 2019. Afterwards, students may be invited for a group interview session on either Feb. 23 or 24 that will take about four to five hours long.

Students will learn whether they have the position or were named an alternate for the position by Feb. 29. Once this occurs, students will either accept or decline the position in early March.

The RA’s will then go through intense training for preparation of their job. According to Vincent Birkenmeyer, the Assistant Director for training and development for Residential Life, there are three main training sessions that they will attend: Summer RA Training, which is around 15 days, Winter RA Training, which is about 5 days, and all new RAs will have to take the RA class which is a 10 week on-going training that meets every Friday evening to provide ongoing training throughout the 1st semester.

RA’s receive the benefit of having their room and board fees waived, as well as receiving priority registration for classes. An RA is on duty from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m during the week and all day during the weekends. In addition, during Thanksgiving break and Spring break, some RA’s need to remain at Pace, since the resident halls are not closed.  While on duty, RA’s are responsible to answer the phone and deal with any issues that come up. In addition to ensuring safety and security in the building.

Birkenmeyer had important pieces of advice for applicants.

Be yourself throughout the process,” he said. “Take the application process as a learning opportunity whether you are hired or not. Think of how you will best serve your residents and be able to articulate that to us throughout the process.”