Every academic year, Winona State University selects around 60 students of all ages and backgrounds to develop a welcoming and fun-filled community so the students feel right at home and can properly ease into academic life.
Max Murray, a sophomore biology major, is a resident assistant (RA) in both Haake and Kirkland halls. When he was living in Quad, his RA approached him and suggested that he might make a good resident assistant since he was such a good leader on his current floor.
“I kind of came upon the job when I was talking to my previous RA when I was living at the Quad. He reached out to me because he thought I would be a great leader [because I was already leading people on my floor],” Murray said. “I thought about this idea for a while and I thought it would be a good choice for me because I really enjoy making personal connections with people, so I applied.”
Murray listed his numerous tasks as an RA. While RAs live in the dorms and work there, they are not always on duty.
“I’m on duty one weekend a month and one week every other week. We sit at the front desk; we do a lot of clerical desk duties; we do rounds to check the building and make sure people are behaving the way they should and not causing a disturbance for the other residents,” Murray said. “Another thing we do is plan programs and events to help create a sense of community in our halls like ice cream, cookies, and free breakfast.”
According to the Winona State University website, in addition to the duties Murray listed, resident assistants are also required to have 10 “open door” hours per week in which residents are able to come and talk about issues with their RAs, attend the weekly hall staff meeting and attend the weekly hall council meeting. Resident assistants generally work between 15-20 hours per week, though some schedule interruptions may occur, especially around the holidays.
Every two weeks, each RA will meet with the hall director.
Every semester, RAs are expected to attend hall staff activities, construct bulletin boards, make door decorations and attend training sessions.
Some RAs host educational events to teach students how to make the transition into adulthood.
“We have some educational events once in a while where we try to educate people on things they don’t learn in class,” Murray said. “We are trying to teach people how to be adults, be more independent, making that transition from home to college.”
In order to be a resident assistant at Winona State University, students who apply must have at least a 2.5 grade point average, be willing to live on campus, and be in good conduct standing. The application is available on Handshake, the university’s website for on-campus jobs. Applicants are also required to have references available when applying. While candidates for the 2020-21 school year were due in Jan., interviews will be conducted in Feb.
The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.