About 150 students applied for Residential Life (ResLife) positions for the 2015-2016 school year. Of those applicants, around 45 students reapplied—roughly 80 percent of the current non-graduating ResLife staff—and 105 were new applicants.  These applicants will compete to fill 73 available positions.

New interview policies have been implemented this year. For the first time, not all applicants were offered an interview. Although he could not give an exact number of how many applicants were offered interviews, Associate Director of Residential Education Mike Felton ’00 explained that this change was simply due to the time constraints associated with interviewing 150 people for 20 to 30 minutes each—while still needing to support their current staff before the year is done.  

He stressed that just because an applicant was not offered an initial interview does not mean that they are out of the running for a position on the staff. All applicants remain in consideration for positions until decisions are sent out, whether or not they are interviewed.

According to Felton, who oversees the application and selection process, appointing the ResLife staff is all about balance. Felton emphasized the value that he and his colleagues put on creating a complementary team of first-year proctors, RAs and house proctors when selecting the staff.

“What someone brings to the table as an individual is as important as how they fit together with every other individual,” he said. “Residential Life is just a collection of teams. All of the teams have to be balanced, those team members have to complement one another and they have to be able to reach all parts of the campus.” 

Felton said he is very pleased with this year’s applicant pool, both in terms of its diversity and quality.

“I’ve been going through every applicant and the trend that I see is they’re from all over the place with respect to everything,” said Felton.

While in past years the majority of applicants have tended to be first year students, Felton said that this year had bucked that trend as well and the applicant pool was evenly distributed across class years. 

Like many of her fellow applicants, Indré Altman ’18 applied to be on ResLife because she felt it was a great way to help shape the community.  

“[ResLife’s] practical guidance and social support not only help a student conduct themselves well, but also lend them an ear when simply listening is what is needed most,” she said. “I felt that serving the Bowdoin community in this way would be rewarding.”

In an e-mail to The Orient, Justin Pearson ’17  echoed this sentiment.  

“As an RA in Chamberlain, I get to create a sense of community that can sometimes dwindle away after first year,” said Pearson, who decided to re-apply for ResLife. “ResLife is a unique opportunity to engage [in] the Bowdoin experience.” 

Applicants should expect to find out whether they have been selected by Spring Break.