Dorm residents moving out, RAs’ needed for next semester

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May 8, a day that will live in infamy for students living on campus. With finals done, these students will have one mighty task left before they depart from the sacred halls of Tyler Junior College.

The Housing Department now asks all students who are not taking a summer course to move out for the summer.

“On finals week, the Housing Department will have staff located in the lobby of each hall,” Housing Director of TJC, Angela Nunez said. “From 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., there is always someone in the lobby to help check out a resident. Whenever a resident is ready for checkout, if we find anything in the room that was not on their inventory sheet we fine the student a damage fee.”

Inventory sheets are a form students fill out on move-in day. It contains the current condition of the room on check-in and the RA checks the sheet against the room on checkout. If anything is damaged, the student is fined a damage fee. However, the fee is different depending on what is damaged.

“Say the student scratched their name in the wall,” Angela Nunez said. “That’s us. Having to contract out a painter which could cost around 200 dollars. If they broke their chair, we look up the price, and fine the student accordingly. If a student doesn’t check out, they just take their stuff and leave; they are charged a $100 improper checkout fee.”

Students are already getting ready and plans are being formulated for that fateful day. Bre’Anna Loftis has her game plan set to move out of her dorm in Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas Residential Complex, but looks forward to returning this fall.

“My boyfriend and my dad are bringing their trucks over. I got two truckloads to fill,” Loftis said. “I’m not ready to go. I’m from the country and there’s nothing to do back at home.”

Rebecca Smith, also living in Ornelas, isn’t expecting to fill two trucks, but she does have her plan set.

“I’ll have a friend or two to help me out.” Loftis said. “I’m just packing and loading everything up in my car. I have a lot of stuff though, I’m a pack rat.”

The halls will close for the summer, with the exception of a few for summer classes. All the halls will re-open for the Fall 2009 semester.

Although residents are moving out of the dorms, Residential Life and Housing are looking to hire more resident assistants (RA).

“We take applications year round,” said Angela Nunez, director of housing at TJC. The housing department employs 28 RAs on campus, with one RA per floor in each residence hall. That makes four in Bateman, four in Claridge, two in Holley, three in Hudnall, two in Louis, two in Sledge, two in Vaughn, two in West and seven in Ornelas. We will continue accepting applications, even when we are fully staffed. Something may happen, such as grades. We usually like to keep about two to three people in an alternate pool.”

Any student interested in becoming an RA can come to the housing department to fill out a sign-in sheet, so that housing employees may contact and ask the recipient questions.

“They will fill out a resume,” Nunez said. Then they are pulled into a group interview and a personal interview with the RD.”

The Housing Department offers a compensation package for all RAs on staff, a free room and board and food. The Residence directors also receive an additional $650 along with the package.

Davis Poscente lived in Ornelas and was also an RA. He said the benefit is worth the extra effort.

“Get to know your residents mostly. Learn their tendencies, how they act, who comes in late, who studies a lot,” Poscente said. “Also be involved. Just be around, don’t stay in your room all the time so people can find you. Be ready for work – from duty at the front desk of Ornelas to housing office hours to RHA meetings. There’s a lot of stuff to deal with, but it’s all worth it.”

Raymond Wourusa, another RA at Ornelas, advised future RAs to stick with it. She said the job isn’t too difficult and is fairly relaxed.

Students with questions about residential life can go to www.tjc.edu/housing.

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