RA Applications Open for 2024-2025 School Year

Last week RA applications for the 2024-2025 school year went live. Though the role of an RA is to support the students they are in charge of in making good connections and having a positive experience at NDSU, an RA position also has many benefits for the RA themselves and is a great way to get involved on campus.

RAs receive free housing and their choice between a 5- or 7-day meal plan, or a block plan if they are assigned to Niskanen or Matthew Living Learning Center. They also receive a $50 scholarship that increases by $25 for every two semesters that they work as an RA.

There are more than just financial benefits to being an RA. “Folks build a lot of strong connections with people across campus…and you learn a lot more about the university and its resources,” said Brooks Hetle, the Associate Director of Resident Life at NDSU.

The RA application process is fairly simple. Applicants answer a couple of questions on the form posted on the Residence Life webpage and then select a slot to interview in January. Interviews typically take about 45 minutes and are conducted in a round-robin format, where candidates start at a center table and rotate around the room to tables with a couple of hall directors at each, where they’ll answer a series of questions. “That gives an opportunity for the candidate to meet all of our hall directors, as well as all of our hall directors to meet every single candidate,” said Hetle.

Hetle and his staff are looking for candidates who have good relationship-building skills and who want to form strong connections with their residents. Candidates should also be good at administrative work since an RA has a lot of paperwork and planning to do. Hetle says hall directors look for “people that want to help students, whether that’s first years or returning students, with the needs that they might have while living on campus.”

RAs will move in during early August and go through two weeks of training to prepare them for whatever they might encounter throughout the year. The position can be demanding, but “they’re a person first, a student second, and an RA third,” said Hetle. There are many people supporting those in RA positions, so they aren’t alone if they have a difficult situation in their hall; they have their fellow RAs, the Dean of Students office, hall directors, and the Title Nine office.

Being an RA is a position that brings a lot of responsibilities with it, but 40-60% of RAs return each year. “Last year we had about 275 applicants total,” said Hetle. “Since we have about 100 positions available there’s a pretty good split between our returners and new RAs.”

An information session on what an RA position entails is coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 6-7 p.m. and will be held in classroom 124 in MLLC West. Students who are sure they want to apply to be an RA can access the application on the Residence Life webpage until Jan. 15, 2024.

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