RA position can be difficult, rewarding

Weatherford Hall is just one of OSU’s 14 residence halls on campus. In an email statement on March 26, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Dan Larson announced the student services that would continue to provide support for critical learning activities during the COVID-19 pandemic: residence and dining halls, the Memorial Union and the Milne Computing Center.

Vada Shelby, News contributor

After the requirement of living on campus for one’s first year at Oregon State University is met, students have a variety of options to consider for their living situation. 

OSU offers students the opportunity to be resident assistants in exchange for free living and dining and a payment at the end of the term. Additionally, there are living communities specifically designed for second-year and above students at OSU. The university has select Living-Learning Communities, INTO OSU and international living quarters as well as a variety of sorority and fraternity residency options. 

Jennifer Boland, a third-year mechanical engineering and manufacturing engineering student at OSU, worked as an RA in Poling Hall during the 2018-19 academic year. Boland said her experience as an RA was one of the most stressful and fulfilling experiences of her life. 

Boland said living where she worked made it difficult to relax and step away at times, and she often knew to expect residents to knock on her door at any given time. She helped people living in Poling fix small issues like broken blinds, to more serious issues like sexual assault and medical emergencies. 

“To this day, it warms my heart to be waved to and called over by residents I pass on campus,” Boland said via email. “Though it proved difficult at times, the time spent in the dorm helping students network, attend events, feel included and enjoy their new home was always exciting. It might seem silly, but how I felt about the personal growth I saw from my residents and the floor community is what I imagine it feels like to be a proud mom.”

OSU also offers a diversity learning assistant position for each residence hall on campus. Each of the 14 residence halls has one DLA, who is responsible for monitoring and promoting social justice within their communities. The DLA position was previously known as the community relations facilitator position. DLAs are compensated with a furnished room in their assigned residence hall, a University Housing and Dining Services meal plan and a monetary stipend each term. According to the UHDS website, next year’s DLAs will be offered their positions on March 13 and the applications have already closed. 

Another position offered at OSU is the academic learning assistant position. Similar to RAs and DLAs, ALAs live in the residence hall they work at and help with academic mentorship and support. To apply to be an ALA, students need to be full-time at OSU and have at least a 3.0 GPA, according to the UHDS website. ALAs have the opportunity to connect with first-year students and help them adjust to the academic environment of the university setting.

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