Resident Assistants call it quits and give advice to future positions

John Guetter, residence hall director, explains to students the pros and cons of being a Residence Assistant
Photo by Olivia Essig

Olivia Essig
Photo Editor

Despite chaotic dorm-life causing some overwhelmed Resident Assistants to quit their positions mid-year, students attended informational meetings on Tuesday to weigh the pros and cons themselves.

At the perspective RA meeting, Residence Hall Director John Guetter explained that being an RA can be a very rewarding experience but can also be difficult to manage. 

RAs on campus are given many responsibilities on top of class schedules and their personal lives. This overwhelming combination was something that junior Ethan Beard decided he could no longer handle after a year-and-a-half on the job.

“I quit because I did not want to deal with the stress,” said Beard, “and for the fact that my floor showed little to no respect for me. They did not listen to me half the time and they were rowdy.”

Sophomore and first-year RA, Tanner Schumacher, also decided to quit at the end of fall semester.

“I did not fully understand the time commitment needed to be a good RA,” said Schumacher. “Starting off, I was spending a majority of my time at football activities, so the relationships I was developing with my floor were poor.”

Frank Wallace, who took over Schumacher’s position, has few worries about his future as an RA.

“My only concern would be the residents. [I have] a tough floor to manage even with two RAs,” said Wallace. “I just want the residents to have the best experience that they can while on campus, but within the rules that we have set as RAs.”

Dave Arens, dean of student development, agrees that being an RA takes a lot of responsibility between having to write students up for infractions, time-commitments, and being in charge of floor issues. Sometimes, students in the position are not up for all the responsibilities. 

“It is not uncommon to not finish the year with all the RAs you began the year with for a variety of reasons,” said Arens.

RAs such as senior Alex Hoefling find their positions gratifying and end up with the job for more than one year. 

“The most important [part] is impacting lives on a daily basis in a positive way,” said Hoefling. “It becomes rather addictive.”

The job has appealed to many students this year and Arens, along with the residence hall directors, has a long process ahead of him in deciding who will take the positions in the coming school year.

“We look for people who are motivated to make Briar Cliff a great place to attend college,” said Arens. “We want people who want to do the job because it helps others and they are passionate about BCU.”

Beard also had advice to give to students applying.

“I would suggest to them that they have to be enforcers.  Be tough, but not strict. Bend, but don’t break under the pressure and stress.”  

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Submitted by braunschweigc on Mon, 02/04/2013 - 21:16

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