Each year the Resident Director for each John Brown University Residence Hall goes through the process of hiring a new Assistant Resident Director (ARD) for the next year. Each Resident Director (RD) has a different set of qualifications they look for in the ARD candidates in order to make the best fit for each residence hall.
Hutcheson Hall Resident Direcor, Meredith Baltz, said that each RD has a different way of choosing an assistant. For Baltz, she looks for candidates that can fill in her weaknesses.
“I look for an ARD who is organized and can help remind me of things I need to do,” Baltz said, “I also look for one who is dependable, relatable, and intentional in reaching out to others.”
Hutcheson Hall ARD for the 2015-2016 year, Shelby Lawson, is currently a Resident Assistant (RA) this year, and notes how transitioning into the ARD role seemed like the next natural step to take.
“I have loved being a RA so much this year, and I’ve grown in so many ways from my experiences, that the ARD role seems like a fluid, natural next step for me to attempt,” said Lawson.
“I know there is a lot more for me to learn within the realm of Residence Life, and I want to pursue the progression!”
The biggest transitions from RA to ARD is both the type of work and the role each will be serving in. Sophomore Candous McGuire, a current RA for the Mayfield Dorm, says her position as ARD for next year will allow her to unite the halls within the dorm together for community and spiritual growth.
“Next year in Mayfield I hope to build more inter-floor relationships and unity throughout the building by having floors do events together,” McGuire said.
“In order to foster this unity, I plan to have residents do heart-to-hearts instead of only RAs, so that girls on one side of the building can read about what girls on the other side of the building are learning and going through.”
Junior J.Alvin RA and 2014-2015 ARD Ethan Penner recognizes the importance of residence life in all four years of a student’s time at the University. He notes that there are so many changes that each student goes through during this time, and that students need to have a solid foundation for community and connection that is ultimately rooted in Christ.
“Dorm life is literally the perfect setup for relationships to thrive,” Penner said. “By this time next year, I want J. Alvin men to have a better understanding of what it means be in close relationships with both men and women. A big part of that is commitment. Jesus Christ not only committed 100% in his relationship with each one of us, but he also requires 100% commitment in our relationship with Him.”
Though most ARDs have had previous RA experience, there is not a requirement for ARD candidates to have been an RA before applying for the position.
Current RD for Walker Hall, Andrew Lehr, has chosen to hire from outside the RA pool for this next year’s ARD position. Sophomore Haley Maguire was chosen as the ARD for Walker for next school year, making her one of the few who has not had prior RA experience.
“While experience is helpful, it does not dictate one’s abilities. I look for the best candidate for the position,” Lehr said.
This year, Maguire co-founded a mentorship program in Mayfield.
“I look for students who want to invest in their peers, strong leadership skills, and a desire to lead others closer to Christ. I also look for individuals who take initiative and seek out ways they can improve their communities.”
Maguire noted that, though she has not been an RA, her role as ARD will give her the opportunity to encourage and disciple both the students and the RA staff.
“I wanted to be a part of ResLife at JBU because of the impact the residence hall has on a student’s college experience,” Maguire said.
“I chose to apply for ARD because it gives me an opportunity to encourage the RAs as well as start programs that will have an influential role in students lives.”