New faces in the dorms

14 years ago Samantha Bryant 0

by Samantha Bryant, Assistant Editor

The Resident Life staff chose 14 new Resident Assistants to join the RA team in the fall of 2009.

Thirty-four students applied for the available positions, but only eight women and six men were needed for next semester. Myra Goza, resident director for Arnold Dorm, said about half of the current RAs are graduating, and one is transferring out next semester.

“Everybody who can come back is returning,” Goza said. “That’s always a good sign.”

The RAs of Fall 2009

In Arnold Dorm, the new RAs will be sophomore Nicole Walker, junior Kirsten Amling and senior Heather Laskin, with returning RAs juniors Bailey Payne and Ashley Maye. Juniors Emily McKeehan and Elise Bacon will join junior Rachel Carr and senior Lauren Simpson in Huston Dorm. New additions to Robinson Dorm include sophomores Anna Rustebakke and Audrey Vordenbaum and junior Shelby Robinson. They will join senior Kim McKinnett and juniors Danielle Wilson, Laura Pearce and Rachel Hewitt.

The Resident Life staff has not yet made dorm assignments for the men, but the new RAs include freshmen Matt Wiggins and Nick Pacurari, sophomores J.T. Nelson, J.D. Davis and Derek Rankin and junior Drew Abercrombie. Male RAs returning in the fall are sophomore Seth Flores, juniors Matt Noel, Matt Dee and Paul “Tacky” Middlekauf, seniors Ryan Smith and Ben Young.

RA Application Process

Resident Director Matt Shetter talks with current RA Rachel Carr before an RA group interview.
Resident Director Tim Shetter talks with current RA junior Rachel Carr before an RA group interview. Triangle photo by Samantha Bryant.

Potential RAs submitted an application packet and four reference forms in addition to participating in both group and individual interviews. Goza said the RDs look to see how the candidates interact with others as well as their communication styles during the group interviews. In the individual interviews, Goza said they seek to learn more about the person.

Senior Allison Jones, who is an RA on the second floor of Robinson Dorm, said the individual interview was difficult for her but at the same time good.

“I was told to take tissues to the individual interview,” Jones said. “And I needed them.”

Goza said they look for certain qualities in the candidates such as a teachable spirit, leadership skills, servanthood, a growing relationship with Christ and good time management. That said, Goza said those traits will look different in every person.

“We don’t want cookie cutter RAs,” Goza said.

Amanda Allquist, resident director for Huston, said sometimes the people who apply are already involved in another ministry and adding the RA responsibilities would weaken their effectiveness in that ministry.

“Sometimes we have to turn away great people,” she said.

RAs must commit to spending a significant portion of time on their hall, attend meetings once or twice a week and perform other duties such as taking role in chapel.

Tim Shetter, resident director in Woodlee-Ewing, said it is important that the RAs are willing to truly love other people. He was an RA for three years when he was a student at Bryan, and he is going on his ninth year as an RD.

“I look for people who love spending time with other people and hanging out, who want to see them mature and grow up,” he said.

New RAs

Pacurari said he applied to be an RA because he wanted an opportunity to minister to other students. He said seeing how current RAs such as Smith and senior Evan Wiley did this encouraged him to apply for the position.

“I want to be an RA so I can impact people in a day-to-day setting,” Pacurari said.

Rustebakke said going through the application process made her examine herself more closely to see how she could be an asset to the RA team.

“It made me think about myself, my strengths and weaknesses and how they could be used as an RA,” Anna said.

Jones said she has enjoyed the experience of being an RA for the past two years. She said she originally wanted to be an RA because of the opportunity it afforded to minister to other students, but she said she has been blessed by the interaction with the girls on her halls.

“They give so much more to me than I could ever give to them,” she said.