The position of resident assistant offers both financial and experiential incentives to Elon students, but it is still challenging to attract a large pool of applicants.
The Office of Residence Life must fill more than 80 R.A. positions annually, and is aiming to increase the number of applications received within the next few years.
Limited advertising could be partly responsible for the challenge Residence Life has faced recruiting new applicants, according to Laura Arroyo, associate director of residence life for residential education.
Increasing the range of the R.A. recruitment campaign is a goal that will ideally be met within the next three years, she said.
“You need to be able to find somebody that can distinguish between their social life and their job,” said sophomore Brad Jordan, R.A. for Smith Hall. “They need to be able to create a sense of community while still understanding that they have a job to do.”
Though being involved in disciplinary action can be uncomfortable at times, Jordan said being an R.A. is one of the highlights of his Elon career.
Jordan said he feels one of the ways residence life can increase the number of R.A. applications received is by increasing the publicity of available positions.
He said current R.A.s are a valuable resource for information, and should be encouraged to host hall meetings where they can promote the job opportunity to their residents.
“As a current R.A. I have not been encouraged to tell residents about this great opportunity for money, housing and experience,” he said.
Arroyo plans to implement the use of flyers, emails, videos, social media and postings on the career services website to spread awareness of available positions throughout campus. She also plans to use in-residence interest meetings to make information more easily accessible to students.
“We’re going to do a multi-angular recruitment campaign,” Arroyo said. “We want to build relationships wherever we can.”
Using these techniques, Arroyo said she hopes to see the pool of applicants expand in both numbers and diversity.
“We want someone who brings something new and different to our team,” she said. “We have a diverse student body and need a diverse group of R.A.’s to support that student body.”
Arroyo said she plans to evaluate the possibility for increased financial incentive for R.A.’s, to help residence life stand out among other leadership opportunities at Elon, she said.
“I don’t know that there are any other leadership positions that provide all the opportunities that being an R.A. does,” she said. “It gives you a chance to be a leader, an advocates and a resource to students. It can also be a great professional resource and resume builder.”
Additionally, Arroyo wants to make the application process more accessible by offering more flexibility for scheduling interviews, and hosting information sessions at different times so that more students can attend.
“It can be a tough position,” Arroyo said. “It’s important that we find students who want to give back to Elon in a unique way. I want to see our group of applicants continue to grow so we can keep improving and make our group of R.A.’s more diverse than it already is.”