‘Someone they can go to’: Marcum among group applying for RA positions

Karinne Marcum, in her Poland Hall room, is currently going through the selection process to become an RA next semester. When asked why she wants to become an RA the London, Ky. sophomore said, “I like to explain it with a lyric, ‘In order to live we must give our lives away’.” She says the lyric, from a song by the band Reliant K, helps her convey why. “It’s a service job, giving your life to the students living in the residence hall. I’m a Christian. The whole base to that is to love by serving others.” JULIA WALKER THOMAS/HERALD

Caitlin Carter

London sophomore Karinne Marcum said she wants to have a positive influence on other students’ lives during her time at WKU.

And Marcum said she thinks she can make that happen by becoming a resident assistant.


In November, Marcum began the application process for becoming an RA for the spring semester.

She said her twin sister Kara is currently an RA in Bemis Lawrence Hall.

“This really influenced my decision in applying to be an RA,” Karinne Marcum said. “Once I saw what goes into it and how she liked it, I became really interested.”

Kara Marcum said she chose to apply to be an RA for the same reason as her sister – she wanted to influence others.

“I know that the transition into college can be really hard for freshmen,” she said. “My heart is in it for these freshmen girls.”

Kara Marcum said her sister would make a good RA because she contains many of the needed attributes.

“She’s very compassionate toward others,” Kara Marcum said. “And she is organized. You definitely have to be organized to be an RA. She also has patience, which is something you either learn as an RA or you should come in with.”

RAs serve important roles in campus life, said Chris Jensen, Pearce-Ford Tower coordinator.

Jensen said RAs make bulletin boards for their floors, resolve conflicts, plan social events and work the front desk of the dorm.

While RAs must meet these obligations, Jensen said the most important role RAs play is making residents feel comfortable.

“A floor is like a community,” Jensen said at an RA interest session last month. “And RAs are an important part of this community, serving in the leadership position.”

By watching her sister perform her duties as an RA, Karinne Marcum said she realizes just how important this aspect of the job is.

“You want to establish that everyone on your floor knows that they have someone they can go to,” she said.

The RA selection process includes filling out an online application, attending processing night and individually interviewing with a current hall director, said Steve Briggs, assistant director for Housing and Residence Life.

Throughout the process, Karinne Marcum said she has learned many values she can use throughout the rest of her life.

During processing night, she said she learned to have an open mind to diversity.

“I also learned things through the interview,” she said. “I learned the importance of being prepared and prompt. I got there early, and I think the hall director really appreciated that.”

Karinne Marcum has already learned a lot just through the process, but she’ll gain even more knowledge if she’s chosen to be an RA.

“I’ll gain experience in managing my time,” she said. “I’ll have work, but also have class and everything else going on at the same time that I’m an RA. I’ll have to learn to keep a level head with all of the responsibility.”

About 30 students applied for the 15 open RA positions for the spring semester, Briggs said.

He said applicants will know if they are selected today.

“If I’m chosen, I’m looking forward to even just the hall meetings with those on my floor and getting to know them better,” Karinne Marcum said. “If I’m not, I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll reapply.”