The Resident Assistant (RA) application went live for Michigan State’s 2021-2022 academic year Jan. 11, though it is not the same as previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its influence on in-person learning. A noticeable change is that students have the option to apply without having previously lived on campus.
“We anticipate it will only be this year that we will waive the live-on requirement as part of the RA application process,” Bethany Balks, assistant director of communications at Residential and Hospitality Services, said. “Certainly, those who have lived on campus I would say that is still a desired qualification, but it is also important that we look at some other skills in the application process beyond if you have live-on experience."
While this option is only expected to be offered this year due to COVID-19 limiting the number of people able to move into the dorms, former RA and neuroscience senior Heather Asuncion said having some on-campus experience is helpful.
“Personally, I do think it is necessary to have live-on experience to be an RA," Asuncion said. "It helped me a lot in my RA role because I knew how dorm life worked, how the campus ran, I knew what problems could arise in terms of roommate and hall issues."
Asuncion worked as an RA throughout the 2019-2020 academic school year.
With that being said, a majority of the training will most likely be held virtually up until Resident Assistants are able to move onto campus in the summer. Furthermore, RA fall training is scheduled to occur Aug. 15-27 in person.
“The paperwork is easy to do virtually ... but the best of the in-person training I went through is to know your team that you're working with,” advertising management junior Xavier Thomas said. “... Once the pandemic initially hit we were mostly tasked with finding out which students were staying or not ... but then once a lot of people left, we were given the option to leave."
Thomas served as a Resident Assistant for the spring 2020 semester.
Students interested in learning more about the position can attend information sessions 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 or 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4.
The application will remain open until Feb. 5 at 11:59 pm. Applicants will be informed by Feb. 22 if they have advanced to the next step.
This article is part of the 'We Can't Forget' print issue. Read the entire issue here.
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