Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 71

Factors Considered When Selecting Teams

	
Most RLPs shared that they did not have
specific requirements from their departments mandating placing RAs by identity,
but the value to have representative teams
was widely shared. Diversity on RA teams
was interpreted broadly with RLPs citing
race, national origin, gender, academic major, class standing, ability, socioeconomic
status, and first-generation college students
as examples they consider. As one RLP said,
" We also want to make sure we have a diverse
candidate pool in every sense of the word. "
Some RLPs shared that they were comfortable hiring RA teams more diverse than the
overall student population if it provided an
advantage to historically marginalized populations, " I would say most staffs can actually
be more diverse than their communities are,
but...some [RA staffs] are way less diverse
than others. "
	
Consistency within diversity on teams
was a common challenge, and many RLPs
discussed that recruiting diverse candidate
pools was critical to having a representative
RA staff. One RLP, describing intentional
approaches to recruiting a more diverse candidate pool, shared, " We want the RA position to be reflective of what...campus is, not
just who may have been the most privileged
to be in that position in the years prior. "
Team Versatility
Another important factor RLPs considered
when building a diverse RA team was variety
in working style, skill, and personality. RLPs
in this study preferred a variety of personalities and skills on teams for two main reasons.
The first was to maximize the likelihood residents in the community will find an RA to
whom they can relate; the other reason was
to make the team more effective at handling
a wider range of situations. Different personalities influence how the team will work to-

68

The Journal of College and University Student Housing

gether, with one RLP saying, " I cannot have
a staff of eight people that...always have to
be the leader and [think] 'I'm always right.'
I can't have that; that doesn't make for a great
cohesive team. So, I try to balance that when
I'm building a team. " One RLP shared several hypothetical archetypes that they might
look for in a team including the extrovert,
peacekeeper, or someone who works better in
small groups saying, " That personality piece
is something that I look for as I'm building
a team. "
	
A variety of personalities on RA teams
can also be helpful in meeting the needs of
particular communities, including Living
Learning Communities (LLC). An RA may
have particular skills or experiences that will
fit a specific community. This influenced
placement of RAs in some instances. For
example, an RLP shared an experience of
placing an RA in an LLC they had been part
of the previous year, saying, " We're probably
going to put that RA [in that LLC] because
they will know what it's going to take to make
those residents successful. "
	
A variety of skills increases the likelihood that as teams, the RAs are wellequipped to deal with different challenges
and help each other. Many RLPs alluded to
the RAs' skills as assets to the larger team.
A variety of skills on an RA team allows for
team members to teach each other skills.
One RLP used a sports analogy of the quarterback (QB) position in football as an example, saying, " You want a good QB, but
you don't need seven QBs. " This suggests
different team members can bring different
skills and play different roles, theoretically
enhancing the team's versatility.
	
RLPs shared how interview questions
helped them understand candidates' skills,
but the questions measured personality less



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

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