Thursday, September 21

Fewer students apply to become RAs after university cuts scholarship in half

By Tyler Whetstone

Between 10 and 20 fewer students applied for resident assistant positions this year.

A few weeks ago student development was told that it must cut $200,000 from next year’s budget in a larger mission to help the university cut $1.2 million from the university’s overall budget.

As a result of those cuts, Trevecca’s RA scholarships were cut nearly in half. However, the cut of scholarship had little impact on the turnout of RA applications for next fall.

Student development received 55 applications for its 34 RA positions, a number that Ronda Lilienthal, associate dean for students and residential life, said is slightly down from a normal year.

“I think we have a few less new applicants, but don’t know the reason for that necessarily,” Lilienthal said.

In a normal year, Lilienthal said, there will be 65 to 75 applicants that get narrowed down through an elimination process.

The scholarship was valued at $7,788 for 2013-2014, which covered both room and board. However, beginning next year RAs will only be compensated for room, which will total $4,030 per year.

The cuts will save student development $137,000 next year, Steve Harris, associate provost and dean of student development, said in February.

Administration did not say whether or not the job tasks would be adjusted to reflect the change in the amount of scholarship given. In February, Lilienthal said administration was still discussing the options.

Not every RAs agreed with having the same responsibilities for half of the pay.

“The ($7,788) was what made it worth it to do all the added work that a Trevecca RA is expected to do,” Michael Cypher, senior, said. “Without that kind of pay, it would be impossible to keep up with the expected workload and make enough money as they restrict RAs to working 12 hours a week at any other job.”

However, 21 RAs reapplied to continue being a RA next fall. Anna Byrne was one of those.

“I never thought about no reapplying,” Byrne, sophomore said. “Being an RA is my way of giving back and serving my community. It is something I am passionate about and I believe God is using it to shape me into a better leader. I don’t do it for the money so the scholarship cut didn’t change my desire to reapply for next year.”

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