Dip in enrollment leads to fewer RAs on campus next year
Things will be slightly different for Resident Life staff members in the upcoming academic year. Fewer Resident Assistants were hired for the next school year.
Mikal Kenfield, Assistant Director of Resident Life staff, provided some detail regarding next year’s RAs.
“We’ve hired fewer staff members than we currently have here on staff,” Kenfield said.
Kenfield refered to a “dip” in Concordia’s student enrollment causing changes in housing to occur. The top floors of Hoyum Hall and Park Region currently have no residents, a result of relocating students to lower floors to make them more populous. The same vacancy may occur next year, depending on the number of enrolled students.
“We try to keep a consistent ratio of RAs to residents,” Kenfield said. “It’s better to have a floor that’s mostly full rather than have a sort of half-empty community. Why would we spread them out and create that sort of weird environment?”
Concordia Junior Jenna Morris, a Fjelstad RA, presently attends to six students. Her total floor capacity is about thirty-five students.
“(My floor-mates) get along really well,” Morris said. “But I definitely wish I had more people.”
Fjelstad Hall will require only half of the RAs it currently houses. Currently, the hall consists of six RAs, two for every floor. Next year, only one staff member will attend each floor, serving both wings of that floor.
Kenfield also mentions vacant floors will no longer require management nor maintenance, saving the college a small sum of money.
Other changes will affect the responsibilities and roles of next year’s RAs, such as the recent discontinuation of Concordia’s visitation restriction policy.
“A good chunk of (violations) have been inter-visitation violations,” Kenfield said. “Most staff won’t be dealing with (that).”
RAs still require training for these situations as Concordia will offer select housing under this year’s current inter-visitation rules.
Furthermore, Resident Life intends to house all first-year students on specific floors, dividing them from upperclassmen. RAs will receive different training based on the occupants of their floor.
“We can sort of tailor our programming,” Kenfield said. “First-year students need very different things than sophomores, juniors and seniors.”