To be rehired, current student staff must complete an application for the available positions, including resident adviser, community manager and office assistant. The position of resident adviser mentor (RAM) has been eliminated — but these students will be allowed to reapply for RA positions.
“As we wait for final residence hall occupancy numbers, the application process is open for eligible, former staff members who are interested in potentially being re-hired for the spring semester," Blattner said in the statement. “We reached out to those students to let them know about the application process.”
One former RAM, who requested anonymity due to future employment concerns, said it is disappointing to see the RAM position taken away.
“As an RA who’s been in the position for a while, there was something about the resident adviser mentor position that felt like you were going a step further, you were getting more professional development on your end,” the RAM said. “Now, we’re having to go back to the (RA) positions.”
Eliminating the RAM position also means a financial change for current resident adviser mentors looking ahead to the spring semester.
“A lot of the distress I’ve heard from RAMs is that our position gets about $300 more per month than the RA position,” they said. “So, it’s putting some RAMs in a financial bind. That’s a big loss.”
The RAM said eliminating this position will affect not only current students holding that position, but also the broader community of student staff members.
“I think it’s going to be hard next semester to facilitate community amongst staff, because that is one of the things that the RAM position is supposed to do,” they said. “I think that’s going to put a lot of burden on community directors to try to facilitate that community and connect resident advisers.”
Despite these challenges, the RAM said they are still planning to reapply for an RA position next semester.
“When I first got the email, I was just so frustrated — the hard part is I really love my position and love what I do as a resident adviser,” they said. “It feels like this entire semester, I’ve had to jump through hoops for Housing in order to keep this job that I love so much.”
All student staff who wish to continue working for Carolina Housing are asked to reapply for spring 2021. A former RA, who also requested anonymity, said they do not plan to reapply for their position next semester.
“I think having to do an entire reapplication process with essays is really extraneous," the RA said. “Especially considering the fact that all of us have already gone through a rigorous application process to even become an RA in the first place.”
Though they appreciate Carolina Housing’s effort to maintain some student employment, the RA said the reapplication process felt unnecessary.
“I think the fact that they’re showing the initiative to rehire staff for next semester shows that they do want as many of us employed as they can,” they said. “But I think some of the ways they tried to make things work were not the best options, like I mentioned having to reapply and only giving us a week to do so.”
Because student student staff will see who is rehired and who is not, the former RAM said they believe next semester will be tense between Housing and staff.
“I don’t envy Carolina Housing in making this decision, because they’re going to make somebody mad somehow," the RAM said.