Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 16

Group Process as a Tool
for Resident Advisor Selection
THIS PAPER REVISITS THE EFFECTIVENESS and ethics of an enduring

feature of Resident Advisor (RA) candidate review and selection: group process.
Drawing on the limited existing literature and our own professional experience,
we present a review of current forms of group process, including potential
problems and benefits. The ethics of the current practice of group process along
with questions for its future are also considered. Regardless of how departments
may use group process in RA applicant review and selection, we posit a fresh
examination, guided by ethics and purpose, is overdue.

P

revalent across the United States as
an element of Resident Advisor (RA)
staff selection, group process is usually combined with a written application and
individual interview to evaluate candidate
potential. With such wide application, many
questions arise that deserve detailed consideration. Among the concerns is whether
group process works and if it contributes
to an effective and efficient selection process. Often noted as enjoyable and fun for
observers, it is possible group process is an
anachronistic vestige from years past. Critics
of group process question if it is an ethical
approach to evaluating candidates, especially
those from diverse backgrounds or who are
introverts. This paper explores group process
and its role in RA staff selection.
	
This paper examines the sparse literature (Wu & Stemler, 2008) specifically about
group process and draws from research about
related selection processes (i.e., academic
program admission). In addition, we offer a

philosophical exploration of group process
as part of an RA hiring procedure. We posit there is great value to exploring questions
about the utility, validity, and effectiveness
of group process in order to make informed
decisions about the process used to select
paraprofessional staff members. To achieve
this examination, we begin by describing and
defining three group interaction formats and
then outline the various purposes of group
process. This is followed by a review of the
literature examining the effectiveness, potential problems, and benefits of group process.
Finally, we conclude with a deep exploration
of various ethical considerations and offer
recommendations for practice.

GROUP DISCUSSIONS, GROUP
INTERVIEWS, AND GROUP PROCESS
RAs serve in a crucial role assisting students
throughout the residential college experience. Given the significance of their role,
appraisal and selection of RA candidates is

Volume 47, No. 3 * 2021

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Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3

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