Sage Hall Residence Life Advisor (RLA) Liam McDonald.
Photo by Anton Zemba.
Residence Life Advisors (RLAs) are some of the
first students incoming freshmen meet at Lawrence. Some of their administrative
duties include sitting at the front desk, building community with residents and
directing students to on campus resources. They also make bulletin boards and
door decorations, plan activities and events and have open hours. The perks of
being an RLA include having a single room and getting to work with people. The
schedule varies hall to hall.
Head Residence Life Advisors (HRLAs) have extra
administrative duties, which include mentoring new staff members in the fall
term and working with the hall director. RLAs have to apply with an application
and resume, have some references and have an interview with hall directors.
Senior Jaime Gensler is an HRLA for Colman and
Brokaw Halls. One of his favorite parts of the job is programming, which
involves community building and getting people out of their rooms to branch out
and do things they would not normally do. On Halloween, he had a program where
residents could make tie blankets and watch a movie.
He was an RLA sophomore year in Plantz, took a
break to become a Core Leader junior year and became HRLA for Colman and Brokaw
senior year. He enjoys the everyday interactions and being able to connect with
and support students as best as he can. He believes it is important to know
campus resources if he cannot help people directly. He works two to twelve
hours per week. In addition, he is a writing tutor and content tutor for
symbolic logic. Gensler believes being a good listener is the most important
quality to have as an RLA.
Junior Ashlei Raifsnider is currently an RLA in
Colman and was in Plantz last year. She works four to five hours per week. Her
favorite part of the job is building community, meeting new people and doing
creative things. For example, she knows one RLA who spent $100 on ramen for a
ramen expo. Some programs she has done include making dog toys, having pancakes
in the lounge, making caramel apples and showing movies.
In addition to being an RLA, Raifsnider is a
teacher’s assistant at Bridge’s Child’s Center off campus, a student worker at
the library circulation desk, a Volunteers in Tutoring at Lawrence (VITAL)
Tutor and a Lawrence Assistance Reaching Youth (LARY) Buddy. She is president
of Globe-Med and a member of Food Recovery and the Student Organization for
University Programming (SOUP). She would recommend this job especially to
homebodies because they can learn to socialize with people and gain skills
along the way, such as working as a team with your co-RLA. Raifsnider believes
being an RLA is a very fun job and something she feels strongly about. If
students enjoy going to programs and feel they have ideas for programs and
engaging the halls in activities, the job is a good fit for them.
Junior Grace Kruger is an RLA in Ormsby. She has
been an RLA since fall term of 2018 and wishes to continue being an RLA the
rest of her time at Lawrence. Kruger’s favorite part of the job is being able
to connect with and help people. In addition to being an RLA, Kruger is a
student worker at the library circulation desk, participates in Lawrence
Inclusive Theatre, Melee Dance Troupe and was a Trivia Master.
Some programs she has lead include “Mugs and
Hugs,” where residents decorated ceramic mugs, make-your-own face scrub, a gum
ball eating contest and teaching people on her floor to knit and crochet. She
believes someone who wants to do this job should be outgoing, a good listener,
able to talk to people and creative. Kruger is on duty once a week, has open
door hours and attends weekly staff meetings to discuss things going on in the
hall. She thinks the job is a good opportunity if it is something students are
willing to work at.
Next year, the position will be renamed Community Advisors (CA).
Gensler, Raifsnider and Kruger are excited about the new position, because it
will have student workers engage with 20 students on a more personal level. The
pay and hours are almost doubled, and the position has a bigger focus on
sub-communities. Gensler recommends the CA position to everyone because it is
nice to help people out, and being paid to hang out with people rather than
sitting at a desk is a bonus.