|Resident assistants work hard, but enjoy what they do
RELEASED: April 24, 2003
DANVILLE, KYWhen it comes to seeing what student life is all about, Centre College resident assistants have a bird's-eye view.
From handling midnight bathroom floods, tears over lost loves, and noisy neighbors, the team of 21 students is on call at nearly all hours. And most wouldn't have it any other way.
"Being an RA is the best job on campus," junior Dave Hewitt said. "It puts me in a position to implement programs and ideas I think will improve residence life on my hall."
Hewitt is currently the resident director for Nevin, the men's freshman dorm, and he will return to Nevin next year.
"The biggest perk from being an RA on a freshman hall is that every year I get to re-live, to some extent, the excitement of moving in, the first party, rush, etc.," he said.
Becoming an RA at Centre is a thorough and competitive process called "RA Roulette."
During Roulette, current RAs and RDs (resident directors oversee a building, whereas resident assistants oversee a hall) evaluate candidates in a number of situations. Some are group exercises, and others are individual. Candidates are also required to send in two recommendations and are subject to anonymous peer evaluations and interviews.
According to Sarah Scott, director of residence life and counseling at Centre, nearly 70 students applied for the 20 jobs available next year.
"The selection process is the most objective, comprehensive one I've ever seen," Scott said. "Other schools are constantly calling to get more information. I even helped Georgetown College implement their own 'RA Roulette' this year."
Scott said the residence life staff makes a team effort to find the students who display some key characteristics: being open and accepting of others, responsible and ethical, good time managers, and positive. They also want students who have the courage to confront tough situations.
The process is especially difficult because almost every applicant is "well-qualified," Hewitt said.
Hewitt is from Lexington and is majoring in biology. Though he's involved in Greek life, is a member of the men's soccer team, and serves as Pre-Medical Society president, Hewitt has found that the students on his hall have a wide range of other experiences.
"Being an RA enables me to interact with students I don't have much in common with," Hewitt said. "I've learned there's a much wider range of personalities and interests at Centre than I ever expected to find."
The life of a resident assistant may not always be easy, but Hewitt finds the rewards of the job invaluable.
The new RAs for the 2003-2004 school year are: Ben Angel, Mark Ball, Chris Bennett, Joanna Henke, Katie Kelley, Megean Kincaid, Meg Ivey, Heidi Lampela, Becky Mayton, Frances McClasky, Bana Mehrbakhsh, Mark Noll, Whitney Owen, Adam Patterson, Kate Pieratt, Lisa Purdy, Cheresa Reynolds, Kyle Roby, Kent Starkweather, Matt Steinfeld and Michael Swartzentruber.
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