Joshua Meribole – Staff Writer
This year Dordt received 85 Resident Assistant applications. Out of the applicants, only 33 were chosen.
As the spring semester approaches the midway point, the application process for next year’s RAs has concluded.
“I really enjoyed being paid to know people,” said Jalyn Vander Wal, who was a past RA.
Although being an RA has it perks, such as free housing plus salary, the job can also be stressful.
“There are so many people that want to do the job because of the financial sense to do so, because you do get free room for that, but when that becomes your only motive, you burn out quickly,” said Sam Roskamp, who was an RA for two years.
Now a senior, Roskamp looks back at his days as an RA and the difficulties he had to face. One of the difficulties, he says, is explaining “nit-picky rules.” Fortunately, he says that he is the sort of person to stick by the rules.
“On business, I know that I am being held liable to Student Services and my bosses there,” Roskamp said. “And if they hear that an RA is not doing their job, it looks bad.”
Apart from enforcing rules, Roskamp discussed the difficulties he faced when it came to documenting friends.
“It can be scary confronting your friends,” said Derek Buteyn, director of residence life.
He continued by explaining what makes it easy. RAs only hand out documents and do not determine the punishments. He also went on to say that friends of RAs understand their responsibility.
Looking back, Vander Wal said that she faced different problems while being an RA. For her, one of the most challenging was defining what type of relationship she was to have with her residents.
“I realized that I wasn’t the mother of these girls on my wing,” said Vander Wal. “I was their friend.”
On the job, some of the problems she had to deal with was with comparison.
“Lord, help me not to compare myself to the other RAs, help me to be the best one I can be.” This is the prayer that RAs should pray.
Although both Vander Wal and Roskamp had their own difficulties, they both said they grew with the job and ending up loving it.
“It’s a unique position,” Roskamp said.