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Waldorf tests skills of future RAs

While some swallowed their laughter, others like Aaron Ward were unable to stay in character. Photoby Shannon Clark.

While some swallowed their laughter, others like Aaron Ward were unable to stay in character. Photo  by Shannon Clark.

By Shannon Clark

The Waldorf RAs are excited to be starting the process of inducting new Residential Assistants. Teamwork, communication, integrity and leadership were proven to be imperative skills for the position.

On Feb. 25, the renewing RAs had a group session that put the students to the test. The event began with a large group activity. The returning residential assistants and those interested in joining the team gathered in a circle to play “Pterodactyl.” The game consisted of not showing any teeth to say the word and laughing and squawking to reverse the rotation of the circle. Some students played to win and finally the game had to be cut short – apparently Waldorf’s student base has some very competitive individuals.

Following the activity, they were split into small groups where they were evaluated on different skills that would prove useful to an RA. Each student was given a piece of paper with restrictions. Then, the group was instructed to make a standing tower with no other tools than tape and balloons. While the task was not small, some towers were just the opposite; one group was able to make their tower taller than a team member. All in all, the students all seemed to display skills necessary for the job. Clearly, the students made the decision process very difficult this year.

Of course there was a competitive aspect to the process. Not every individual that applied will get the position, but those with leadership skills have an advantage. Victoria Carra gave some good explanations as to why she wants to be a residential assistant.

“I’m a good leader,” Carra said. “Throughout high school I was in charge of many clubs, which shows my ability to both look out for others and manage people and situations when necessary. And, overall I really just like taking care of people, so the position seems perfect for me.”

Another main concern for those in charge of hiring RAs is whether or not they will do their job and incorporate integrity. Because violence and alcohol are some of the main concerns on campus, Carra was asked what her reaction would be if either situation occurred while she was on duty.

“If anyone breaks the rules I will be sure to handle the situation calmly, yet firmly, and of course contact an Area Coordinator if the situation demands it,” said Carra.

Since opinions from those who have already been an RA are important, Michael Templin, a former RA, was happy to relay what he believes are the benefits and downfalls of the job.

“As far as the benefits go, it’s nice that you get to have a single room,” said Templin. “Of course you do get paid monthly, but my favorite part is probably just that people begin to recognize me. They might not really know me super well, but at the end of the day it helps new students just to see familiar faces and makes them more comfortable in approaching you with questions; I’m in the lobby a lot mainly for that purpose.”

However, being an RA does have its downsides.

“As far as the negative aspects of the job, I’d probably just say having to let people in their rooms when they lock themselves out super early in the morning can get frustrating,” said Templin. “Also, dealing with alcohol related incidents or emergencies is never fun.”

All in all, Templin enjoys being a residential assistant. The job is not always enjoyable, but leaders are asked to deal with situations others are not always capable of handling.