by Josh Booth – Horizon News and Features Editor & Kendra Burkey – Horizon Advisor
For sophomore Mallory Eicher, being a Resident Assistant is much more than cleaning bathrooms and planning Pick-a-Dates, it’s a lesson in leadership.
“I have definitely learned that expecting the best of people means that they will be the best for you,” said Eicher. “When I give people the chance to be the best they can be, I am not disappointed, and I am always surprised at people’s kindness.”
A desire to build healthy relationships like Eicher describes is exactly what the student life department is looking for as they continue interviewing candidates to fill R.A. roles for 2013-2014. Sixty students – 31 women and 29 men – applied for the 32 positions. Interviews end on Friday, but applicants will have to wait until March 8 to hear whether they made the cut.
Trevor Godshall, a sophomore R.A. who will be returning to complete the aviation program, is one of those interviewing.
“I want to be an RA because of my experience with it this year,” said Godshall. “I think my experience as an RA this past year really gave me an insight for it, and I have the tools necessary to be one again.”
If chosen, student leaders like Godshall have a lot on their plates.
“The major responsibilities of an RA include being the iron-fisted dictator of a group of adolescent males,” joked Neal Brubaker, a current R.A. Then he revised his comment: “The main role of an RA is to build community.”
To do this, Eicher plans a lot of educational activities and service days for her mod. But it’s not all work. R.A.s get their own rooms, they get paid, and, according to Brubaker, you get to be a part of a team “who have your back.”
Eicher and Brubaker both have some words of wisdom for next year’s new team of R.As.
“Do not go into this with expectations,” Eicher said. “Just take it as it comes and it will be as good as you want it to be!”
“Just have fun, it is okay to go out of your comfort zone in the beginning to meet new people,” said Brubaker. “Be a good listener, and do not let your bathroom become too messy.”