Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 24

	

Finally, the fifth ethical principle is Being
Faithful, sometimes labeled " fidelity. " The
Oxford English Dictionary (2020) described
Being Faithful with words such as trustworthy,
reliable, conscientiousness, and fulfilling
one's duty. In a residence life and housing
context, Being Faithful includes being accurate (ACPA, n. d.; CAS, 2015), and upholding
relevant contracts and agreements (Kitchener,
1985). The most concerning element of group
process is its trustworthiness as related to
the evaluators, an element of Being Faithful.
Certainly, validity is questionable (i.e., is the
information gathered regarding candidate
performance an accurate and true representation of that candidate?). Candidates are almost certainly on their best behavior, trying to
make a good impression, and may stifle their
normal conduct. As well, some departments'
candidate evaluations are not based on evidence that connects an observed behavior in a
group to performance as an RA. What might
be rated negatively in group process (e.g., interrupting someone) might be positive when
a resident is arguing with a presenter during
an educational program. Similarly, a candidate perceived to talk too much, might need to
speak quite a bit to be heard when in a staff of
extroverts. To be valid, evaluation of behavior
in group process should be directly connected
to behaviors required in job performance.
	
Reliability (i.e., is the observed behavior
consistent in contexts other than the group
process event?) is a second concern. When
group membership changes, member behaviors may also change. As referenced earlier, Bass (1949) noted leadership is specific
to a particular group of people and may not
translate to other groups (e.g., their future
staff team). It is possible, then, for a candidate to display desirable skills when solving

a difficult problem while not demonstrating
the same characteristics within their residential community. Similarly, a different
day, different time of day, different activity,
or other variations may influence behavior. A
carousel structure attempts to control for this
by having participants engage in several activities, thus making it possible for selection
to be based on consistency of behavior. However, we must remember that candidates remain under pressure and behavior may, accordingly, be either more or less consistent.
	
Ethical considerations abound as one
considers the group process experience. Residence life professionals have an affirmative
responsibility to examine their group process
in light of these ethical considerations (or
sets of ethics specific to their respective institutions). While Kitchener's ethical framework is presented here and can be instructive
(though we recognize its limits), organizers
should align their group process experiences-and all selection process components-
with their campus or departmental code of
ethics and regularly review these experiences
relative to these codes.

A BETTER GROUP PROCESS
The housing and residence life field has
come to think of group process in a fairly
standard way: a small group of candidates
engaged in a task while being observed, perhaps as a one-time group or as a series of
several tasks. Candidates are scored or evaluated in some manner and these data are
reviewed in combination with other sources (i.e., application, recommendations, individual interviews). Unfortunately, as we
have illustrated here, implementing group
process in this way has a variety of unwelcome features. Below, we provide several

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