Bucknell’s Residential Adviser applications for next year are approaching

Jessie Castellano, Senior Writer

With a staff of 101 student advisers and six full-time faculty members, the Office of Residential Education arranges a team to make the transition and continuation of residential experience easier for University students.

The application process varies for first-time and returning Residential Advisers (RAs).

First-time RA applicants must submit letters of recommendation and undergo a group process as well as a group interview. The group process includes activities that are simulation team-building activities in order to see how well individuals do with problem-solving, leadership, and communication with teammates. These activities are supposed to resemble what it is like to be a Residential Adviser, and evaluate how well the applicant would fit into the role as a leader of a residence hall and a team member with other staff.

For returning Residential Advisers, the application process is much more straightforward and includes submitting a portfolio of projects you have accomplished as an RA. This is called an REP which all RAs must complete during their tenure, and a similar group interview with other returning RA candidates.

“The interview process for both returners and first timers is a group interview which is a great experience and makes the interview process so much less stressful,” Ariana Gambrell ’23, a current junior Residential Adviser living in Swartz, said.

According to Gambrell, some helpful qualities for a Residential Advisor are an outgoing personality, skills in creativity and the ability to deal with conflict favorably.

The most advantageous thing for an RA to do is to curate connections and relationships with their communities and to bond their community as one. This becomes especially important for first-year students, as they are newly settling into the college experience and attempting to feel comfortable in their new community.

“The ability to deal with conflict is another major part of being an RA because you will run into a lot of different difficult situations within the position. Some of those situations will be hard to navigate and you have to be able to use your resources and know when to delegate,” Gambrell said.

Many University students wish to join the Residential Adviser staff because it offers an excellent opportunity for leadership on campus. It promotes skills that help in any area of life, such as conflict management, responsibility, and preparing for real-life problems after college.

Gambrell shared her motivation to join the team.

“I particularly wanted to work with first-year students to impact their quality of life on campus during their first year. The adjustment to college was a hard adjustment for myself so I wanted to be able to be a resource for first year students during that transition and be a point of guidance for them,” said Gambrell.

If you have aspirations of being a Residential Adviser, applications open Nov. 8 and close Dec. 20. The application can be found online at bucknell.edu/life-bucknell/housing-services/residential-education.

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