West Virginia University students Carrie James, David Slusarick, Janet Anderson and Kacie Kidd all decided to become resident assistants for the same reason – because they connected with their own RAs as freshmen and wanted to reciprocate that connection to future students.
The job of an RA is multi-faceted. Not only are they expected to help maintain a clean and safe living environment for students, but they are expected to enforce the rules of the residence hall, as well as be there to act as role models and mentors to new students.
In order to recognize the hard work of WVU’s 200 dedicated RAs, the University has decided to celebrate National RA Appreciation Day on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Each residence hall will be engaging in special activities to honor their RAs.
“It’s not so much of a job as it is a lifestyle. No two days are really the same,” said Slusarick, a graduate student from Uniontown, Pa. currently serving his fourth year as an RA for Dadisman Hall.
RAs are expected to work the front desk of their respective residence halls, and are expected to follow curfews on week days and weekends so they can maximize time spent with residents.
“It’s a part-time job that’s really full-time,” said Anderson of Glenville. She is currently a graduate student pursuing a degree in mathematics, serving her fourth year as an RA at Boreman Hall South.
The selection process WVU uses to choose RAs is competitive, requiring applicants to write a series of essays and go through numerous interviews about their lifestyle and academic outlook before the final selections are made.
“We need to be the role models our residents can see. We are community builders, mentors, tutors and friends to our residents,” said Kidd of Wellsburg. She is double majoring in biology and women’s studies, and is currently serving her third year as an RA for Honors Hall.
RAs also participate in creating new programs for students living in residence halls. Slusarick was involved in creating a fitness club for Dadisman Hall residents and Kidd has been active in participating in the audience-interactive Murder Mystery Theater Troupe for Honors Hall residents.
All four RAs have found their jobs to be rewarding, especially when students personally thank them for helping them in a rough situation.
James told a story of how she talked to a student about a problem and the next day they thanked her for listening.
“It just really makes you feel appreciated,” said James of New Manchester. She is a graduate student pursuing her doctorate degree in physical therapy, and is currently serving her third year as an RA for Bennett Tower.
CONTACT: Alicia Moore, Office of Residential Life