By Bendik Sorensen
In the middle of the spring semester, right before the rehiring pro- cess began, the Residence Assistants working in each of the dormitories were notified that they will no longer receive stipends for their work as
RAs. Jamie Boswell, a senior Musical Theatre major and RA in Post Hall, explains, “The work requirements have gone down.” RAs previous- ly worked from 5 – 12 p.m., but will now be required to work from 7 – 11 p.m. “While on duty I sit in the RA/CLC Office in my residence hall and make rounds every other hour to check and make sure the building is safe and secure for the residents. I’m also there to handle any situations or incidents that may occur from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. the next morning. The paperwork we fill out whenever we’re on duty includes fire and safety logs and duty logs. Both document the building’s security. We also make door-tags, bulletin boards, post flyers, and other notifications in the hall to keep our residents aware of what’s happening on campus,” Boswell added.
Despite the elimination of the stipends, RAs will still receive room and board for their efforts. Boswell also believes that since the RAs have become a closer-knit group, residents will have an easier time adjusting to dorm life.
The Office of Residence Life underwent other changes over the summer, as well. The staff moved from the basement of Post Hall to the 2nd floor of Hillwood Commons. The office merged with the Office of Student Activities, and the combined entity is now known as the Office of Campus Life.
According to the new Director of Campus Life, Michael Berthel, there are now 30 RAs, with a ratio of one RA per 40 residents. The ratio has stayed the same from last year, but there are fewer RAs in total after some rearranging in the usage of residence halls. Among the 30 RAs, there are only three to four new ones, and the rest are returning staff. In addition, there are five Campus Life Coordinators (CLC) that took over for the Residence Hall Director (RHD); one CLC is assigned to each of the residence halls.
The CLCs are university employees who work in the office of Campus life, and their tasks are broader than that of the old RHDs, who were previously located in offices in the residence halls. Among the CLCs, there is one former RHD, and the rest are newly employed.
Matt Blanar, CLC for Brookville Hall, said that he feels the new model makes it easier for students to connect with both the CLCs, and form better communities on campus. Along with their hall duties, CLCs are also tasked to attend programs and activities around campus, such as orientation and homecoming. Blanar added that the move of the offices to Hillwood Commons will allow students easier access to the services of the CLCs.
Berthel said the changes so far have been good, “but we’re only on week one.” Boswell agrees: “I can confidently say that I’m super excited for this year; it’s all been changed for the better.”