One hundred and forty-five people applied for positions as proctors and RAs on the Residential Life staff for the next academic year—the highest applicant pool ever.
Nonetheless, this number is only 3.4 percent larger than the 141 people who applied last year for the same 71 positions. This year's pool contains 46 current staff members who have reapplied and 99 new applicants. Twenty-six members of the staff are graduating in May.
When asked why she thought this was the highest applicant pool to date, Mary Pat McMahon, director of Residential Life, said, "I think that there are a great number of leaders at Bowdoin who want to find a way to make this a better campus, and I think that this is one of the ways to do that."
Although there is no real data on how many people apply to be RAs versus proctors in first year dormitories, McMahon note that rising sophomores tend to want to be proctors but emphasized that there is not a set path from position to position.
"We don't want it to be that there is a certain set of steps you take in order to secure a particular position on staff," she said.
McMahon said that if she had to pick a few characteristics to describe those chosen to serve on Residential Life, they would be "good communicators" and "reliable narrators." She added, "I think the overriding principle is steadiness because the thing about being on the Res Life staff is that you never go home away from your job. When you go home, you go to your job, so we look for people who are able to wear the residential life hat a large part of their day and also in the down time of their day."
This year, the application process has changed slightly. In addition to an online application, Residential Life is holding individual interviews instead of the traditional group interview required in the past. This provides a one-on-one setting where interviewers spend more time with each applicant.
"I think the group interviews were great for people who would want to speak up, but the individual interviews are more intimate and advantageous for the applicant," said Tara Connolly '13, a proctor in West Hall who has reapplied for a Residential Life position for next year.
People apply to participate in Residential Life for many reasons including resume-building, attractive living arrangements, and pay.
First year Ryan Collier applied because he thought "it was a good way to become more involved in the Bowdoin community and a way to facilitate meeting new people."
Tori Guen '13, a proctor in Moore Hall said, "I wanted to participate and encourage inter-class bonding, and what better way than by living with students in a different class year?"
Applicants will find out whether they have been accepted by March 1.