Residence Life sees increase in CA applications

For many college students, a part time job is a necessity.

As students look for ways to cover some of their financial debt, more are turning to positions as community advisors.

Colleges and universities across the nation have seen increases in their applications for CAs.

At Simpson, CAs receive a stipend equal to the room rate plus $1,400. For the 2009-10 school year, that will amount to $4,885 paid over 10 months.

Although the expected tuition increase for the next school year is the lowest it has been in years, Luke Behaunek, area coordinator for the freshmen residence halls, said there were more applicants than usual this year.

“I think that the applications were higher than normal, yes, but due to the increasing quality of our staff, the CA’s have gotten better year to year and the staff just keeps getting stronger,” Behaunek said.

At Simpson, 16 CA positions were available. Behaunek said the housing department received 27 applications for those openings.

CAs were chosen for the 2009-10 school year in February.

For sophomore Tiffany Flory, the financial benefit of serving as a CA was the ultimate factor in her decision to take the position.

“It’s hard to deny that Simpson residence life’s high pay is not a selling point, but I have always enjoyed helping people,” Flory said. “I also enjoy challenging myself and knew that confrontation and creativity were things I could work on. So while I contemplated applying, I was debating back and forth if I was willing to take the time out of my busy schedule and help the first years or if I should not so that I could have free time. It was a pretty even spread and the pay finally tipped the scale. It was a reason to apply, but not the initial one.”

Junior Stevie Trevathan, said that the economy didn’t play a large part in her decision to return as a CA.

“I didn’t really think about the economy when I made my decision,” Trevathan said. “I mean, this job is a great opportunity and honestly, it’s my financial income while in college. If I wasn’t a CA, it would be really difficult to have a financial income without losing my mind. So while the economy wasn’t a factor in my decision, it’s definitely something to plan around and keep in mind.”

Freshman Ali Cochrane will serve as a CA in the freshman residence halls next year. Cochrane said she agrees with Trevathan.

“The economy didn’t have any influence on my decision to become a CA because I’ve always felt that you should do a job because you enjoy it, not for the financial gain,” Cochrane said. “Although I’d be being silly if I didn’t admit that the extra dough isn’t going to come in handy when paying tuition next year.”

The process contains turning in an application along with attending group and individual interviews that takes place the in January and in to the beginning of February.

“We really look for responsibility among our applicants,” Behaunek said. “Along with that we look for friendliness, dedication, role modeling, and then we really look for the ability to handle conflict. We have a really, really good staff for the 2009-10 school year, it should be a good year.”