Get more out of your experience. Get involved.
Residence Hall Association (RHA)
RHA is an organization that acts as an avenue for voicing recommendations and providing input regarding policies and other aspects of residential life. All residents of MSU's residence halls are eligible for membership in the RHA. Officers are elected from members of the residence halls and serve a one-year term. Committees address items such as policies, repairs, programming, budget, food service and intramurals. Contact your resident director, resident manager or resident assistant for more information on how you can get involved in this intra-hall government system specifically designed for students in residence. RHA offers you an opportunity to get more out of your residence hall experience.
Resident Assistants (RA)
RA's are a highly selective group of individuals that apply for the position each spring. Typically RA's are returning students that want to provide the leadership and gain the experience not afforded at any other position on campus. RA's are the highest compensated student worker at MSU, receiving a free room and discounted board plan. RA's work directly for their Resident Director (RD) under the Student Life Department. There is one RA at each floor and wing in each residence hall on campus.
The deadline for application materials is the Friday before Spring Break Ends by 4:00 pm.
RA Application activities and materials
1. Contact three references. Ask these people about their willingness to serve as a reference, and let them know you will be listing them as such. They will receive a survey via email regarding your application.
- The best references are professionals who:
- have been a teacher of yours, probably at Mayville, who can attest to your ability to challenge others in a positive way, think creatively, participate in educational experiences, or represent the institution well.
- act as an advisor of yours -- often an academic advisor, a club or organization advisor, or a "coach" for a team, a social/community service group, or the like; someone who can describe how you work with information, with goals, with other students, or with projects.
- are, or have been, a supervisor at a job.
- Residence Hall staff are probably not your go-to for references -- we'll give them a chance to give their input about your role on the floor and your potential as an RA.
- Other campus members might also be asked about their assessment of your RA-readiness.
- There are lots of examples of "good references," and ultimately the best choice is a reference with whom you're comfortable. Remember a person who has seen you work, lead, or perform certain tasks helps us evaluate you in a way that a friend or acquaintance might not. The lady across the street who thinks you're a really nice neighbor might not give us the same "umph" of a great reference that the family across the street for whom you've nannied might. If you have questions, please ask.
- FERPA Document for Recommendations
2. Complete a short online form (click on "Respond to this Survey" at the bottom of this page). We need to know how to contact you.
Although not due before April 10, providing the short information in the survey will allow your references more time to respond and help make sure we have the information we need when we are ready for hiring decisions. It is likely in your interest to do this part of the application before proceeding to the resume or short answer portions.
3. Attend an interest session -- Choose One:
- Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 10:00 am
- Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 8:00 pm
- Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 10:00 am
- Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 3:00 pm
- All sessions in the Heritage Room, of the Campus Center. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need accommodations related to using stairs to the second floor.
At the interest session, questions you have about the position will be answered, and we'll discuss the four most important parts of being an RA:
- accessibility (time on the floor)
- consistency in relationship building
- ability to work with peers who are struggling, in crisis, or who need to be connected with campus resources
- your role as a community developer and educator and the use of programming skills to meet these goals
4. Identify a weekend night when you will "be on duty" with a current RA. You will "be on duty" from 9:00 pm to approximately 8:00am. You will sit desk, do rounds, and respond to situations with the duty RA. There should only be one visitor with a current RA, so start asking soon for your choice of date.
5. Plan and Execute a Program. The event should occur either in your hall (if you live on-campus) or in the Campus Center (other locations considered)(regardless of whether you live on- or off-campus). You should submit a program proposal:
- basic logistical pieces (who, what, where, time)
- what do you hope to accomplish?
> I am doing a program to encourage Mayville State students to discuss the national movement: #BlackLivesMatter
> We're going to watch the Oscars on the big screen TV in the Berg Classroom. This will be fun and help us understand the entertainment industry.
> I am having an open mike night and inviting students in my English class, so we can recite our favorite poems from this semester
> I am sponsoring a pool tournament in the Comet Landing space, so students will have a chance to socialize over an activity.
- prepare advertising for your program
- indicate if you need a small amount of money for your program (snacks, a "prop" of some sort, a prize for the winner)
The program proposal must be submitted to email@example.com at least eight days before the event. The program itself must occur before April 30th.
6. Write short answers (approximately 400-600 words), one "medium length" answer (approximately 600-words), and one longer answer (approximately 1600 words) on the topics specified below.
- Short Answer: Describe your program. What was it like for you to plan and execute a program? Did you need help? Do you believe students learned anything from attending? What would you do differently? the same?
- Short Answer: What is your major? In what semester are you, and what is your GPA? How did you get interested in this academic field; how will your academic interest inform your approach to the RA position? When do you expect to graduate, and is there a time period in that timeframe where you'll be away from campus (study abroad, student teaching, co-op/internship)?
- Medium Answer: Describe a time when you've had to "be a leader." This may be a scenario where you had to confront a group or team member or another person. It may be a moment you stood up to a bully. It might be a situation where someone on your team or in your group was not pulling their own weight. How did you assess the problem in this situation, what actions did you take, did your actions "solve" the problem, what was the impact on any interpersonal relationships resulting from your actions, and what did you learn from this action? If you become an RA, should your response be thought of as typical of you, or would you do approach such a scenario differently next time?
- Short Answer: Is there an activity (or several activities) on campus in which you are involved? What does this commitment mean for your schedule, for the ability for residents to find you, and for your colleagues to depend on you? Has your activity effected your task- and time-management? Do you need to work in addition to your RA position?
- RAs are expected to be available to residents at least two hours a day, every day, typically in your room with your room door open. RAs are expected to talk with every resident each week.
- RAs are expected to be "on duty" four-to-six nights per month, in addition to the daily/nightly presence.
- If we determine you are less available than we expect you to be, we will ask you to reprioritize your involvement or reassess your ability to have this position.
- In general, you should understand you should be enrolled in 14-17 credits and you may be involved in a "something else" that consumes approximately 12-15 hours per week. Most RAs who are also in a sport will be unable to be in a different (third) activity during season.
- In general, students cannot be an RA when they are doing student teaching experiences, nor can they be an RA in the fall if they have a student teaching semester scheduled for the spring.
- RAs must have a minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.6 to be selected, and keep consecutive term GPAs of 2.6 or higher to continue in the position.
- Rare exceptions to any of the above may be made by the Director of Student Life.
- Programming expectations
- RAs are expected to complete a floor event or program once a month -- one of these five programs over the course of the semester must be an educational program, and one must be of a scale to be "building wide."
- RAs are expected to attend a campus program once a week, and to bring residents with them.
- There may be some programs that the Director of Student Life will determine is "mandatory," and RAs should attend these.
- Longer Answer: Student Life is about _________. (complete this sentence, in the form of an essay. How does your thesis effect, and how is it informed by, the skills and temperament you bring to the candidate pool?)
If you need help in writing one or more of these essays, please contact the Writing Center in the Library to schedule an appointment.
7. Write a resume.
As a general expectation, you should contact Career Services in Classroom Building 115 to schedule an appointment (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), such that you can have assistance and/or another set of eyes in creating your resume.
8. Label all five documents with your_name.pdf, and email these to email@example.com.
(my document names would look like: John_Doe_Program.pdf; John_Doe_Major.pdf; John_Doe_Activities.pdf; John_Doe_StLife.pdf; and John_Doe_resume.pdf)
9. Be aware that candidates selected for the position require a successful background check prior to a job offer occurring. If you believe concerns about your employment will be revealed during the background check, please schedule a meeting with the Director of Student Life to address these. Students with non-violent violations are eligible to be hired as RAs. All information available regarding such a violation is considered within the hiring process.
We will reach out to confirm your materials are received. The deadline for application materials is the Friday before Spring Break Ends by 4:00 pm. Not every candidate is guaranteed an interview, but we will schedule an interview with students who appear to be appropriate candidates.