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RAs prepare for arrival of students

August 06, 2014 2:30PM

Lynzee Flores, a junior from Lamar, Mo., practices using a fire extinguisher during training for residence hall RAs on Wednesday. Classes begin at PSU on Aug. 18

About 50 resident assistants are training this week and next in preparation for the arrival of more than 1,200 students who will live in Pittsburg State University’s residence halls. Most of them will arrive on Move In Day, Saturday, Aug. 16.

Ash Sahni, an area coordinator for university housing, said the training is extensive and covers everything from helping students from a wide variety of backgrounds develop into vibrant living communities to dealing with conflict and handling emergencies.

Connie Malle, director of university housing, said the RAs are critical members of the housing team.

“RAs play an extremely important role and have a significant influence on students’ ultimate success,” Malle said. “That’s especially true for freshmen, who are experiencing university life for the first time.”

Because the RAs are so important, Malle said, the selection process and the training is rigorous.

“We’re looking for students who are creative, enthusiastic, and honest,” Malle said. “They also need a good work ethic and must have strong communication and leadership skills.”

Malle said that in the same way RAs have a strong influence on students, the experience is also a memorable one for the RAs.

“It can be hard work, but it is also rewarding work,” Malle said.

©2014 Pittsburg State University