ResLife sees decline in number of R.A. applicants

Resident Life and Housing saw a high number of Resident Assistant applications in the spring of 2009, which has dropped this year as economic troubles decline.

This year a lot of positions have gone down in numbers across the board because people either currently have positions or have found some other means of getting money, said Renee Landers, associate director of ResLife.

In spring 2009 Residence Life and Housing received 150 applications from students, which dropped down to 109 applications in February, which is typical, Landers said.

"Spring semester of 2009 it was a high number, astronomically high," Landers said.

It was the first time Landers had seen such high numbers since her start here in 2001. It was also the first time that transfer students were not recruited during the summer; instead 70 students were turned down. With such a high number of students applying it was harder for Res.Life and Housing to choose because of the limited amount of positions.

"I just didn’t have the positions to hire all of those folks," Landers said.

There was a rush to submit applications due to the economic times, which led students to apply for various reasons. Some applied because they really wanted the R.A. position, while others saw the room and half board plans as a means to get through college.

"After looking into the position a little bit more, I realized the outstanding financial advantages of being an R.A., which also encouraged me to apply," Amy Lalonde, a sophomore applied mathematics major said.

The R.A. job requires students to be responsible, to be leaders and to be organized, LaLonde said.

"Since this position requires these skills, I knew that it would be great not only as a learning opportunity, but also as a resume builder," LaLonde said.

Students who applied to be an R.A. just because they wanted a job did not realize the amount of work that goes into being an R.A. Some students really got into the position once they were accepted, while others found it to be a lot harder than they previously thought. Their academic work and R.A responsibilities were too much to handle, Landers said.

"Although the compensation definitely helps the wallet, students should know the commitment that being an RA entails," Kimberly Clements, a junior child education major said.

Clements decided to become an R.A. because she wanted to help other students feel at home at Oswego State just as her previous R.A.s had helped her transition into college.

"I support them in their decision if they think the R.A. position isn’t for them," Landers said. "They are here to be a student and succeed as a student. The R.A. job is supposed to be here to help them and not take away from their ability to succeed."