So You Want to Be an RSA?

Sacred Heart Office of Residential Life has opened RSA applications for the 2022-2023 school year. RSAs, short for Residential Success Assistants, are responsible for being a mentor to the residents on their floor and in their building. 

“Top priority for RSAs is bringing all of the residents on your floor and in your building together to create a very positive, welcoming, and open space for community building,” said Kolby Driscoll, Resident Hall Director (RHD). “Being that friendly face residents can come to for help.” 

Other responsibilities include meeting with your residents, planning programs, meeting with your building staff, designing bulletin boards and door decks, and serving on-duty for the building on select nights. 

Each residential building at SHU has RSAs on-duty from Sunday- Wednesday 8 p.m.- 11 p.m. and Thursday- Saturday 8 p.m.- 2 a.m. to ensure residents always have someone to go to in case of an emergency. 

“I look forward to being on-duty every Tuesday, because I love who I work with,” said junior Laura Regan, an RSA. 

The application process consists of a written application and reference forms, which can be found on SHU’s website. On Feb. 17 and Feb. 18, applicants will meet with an RHD and an RSA to discuss the position further, and on Feb. 19, the RSA candidate pool will be grouped together in small groups for a group roundtable. The round table includes activities and conversation starters. 

“This will give Residential Life staff an understanding of how candidates work in groups, how they fit into the group dynamic, and their leadership skills,” said Driscoll. 

Following this process, notification letters will be sent out via email to all applicants by March 2. 

Although interviews can be stressful for some, the Office of Residential Life wants every applicant to have a positive experience. 

“Know who you are as a person, trust in yourself, never give up, and be 100% yourself,” said senior Simona Bruno, a Senior RSA. “That’s all Res Life is looking for.”

Being yourself throughout the application process plays a big role in Residential Life’s decision-making process. 

“When you are being yourself, the RHDs and the RSAs that are interviewing you get to have a great understanding of who the applicants are as individuals, and that then goes a long way to help us piece together who we want to hire as an RSA and where they would work best,” said Driscoll. 

Applicants also shouldn’t be afraid to be vulnerable during this process.

“When it comes to applying, know your strengths and weaknesses,” said Bruno. “But don’t be afraid to show your weaknesses, it just shows how strong and willing you are to work on those weaknesses.”

Many current RSAs have been inspired by past RSAs to apply for the job. 

“I loved my RSA freshman year and she made me feel so welcomed,” said Bruno. “Because of that, I wanted to do the same thing for other freshmen.”

And their work does not go unnoticed.

“The impacts RSAs have on their residents is tremendous. Our RSAs do an amazing job at building and maintaining a community,” said Driscoll. 

Aside from their residents, RSAs build a community within themselves.

“One of the best parts of being an RSA is the staff that you’re given,” said Regan. “Everyone says they become your second family, but it’s really true.” 

The Office of Residential Life will be holding information sessions on Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., Feb 4. At 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. 

“I tell everyone I know to apply to be an RSA,” said Bruno. “If you’re thinking about it, there’s no harm in applying. It could honestly change your life, like it did for me.”

About the author

Featured Editor

Leave a Reply