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Why YOU should consider being a CA

By Brendan Crowley
On January 31, 2018

Castleton Residence Life is looking for students who want to be a Community Advisor next year! The application process for new CAs has begun, and anyone who is interested can apply online now. However, you may be thinking, what is it like being a CA? How can I apply?

Well, you’re in luck. I worked with four CAs and put together a short Q&A and Mythbusters: CA Edition. This will give you a much closer look at the life of a Castleton Community Advisor!

CA Q & A!

I had the opportunity to ask some of our current Community Advisors a few questions about being a CA. I talked to Natasha Teston, Christin Martin, Jenna Goldsnider, and Frank Wan. Each talked about why they became a CA, their favorite part about being a CA, and a memorable story from their times on duty.

Q: Why did you become a CA?

Natasha: I became a CA so I could be there for the people around me. I really love helping people and being really creative, so this was kind of another way for me to expand skills and to get out of my comfort zone a little bit.

Christin: I come from a really small community, so community is really important. This job basically fosters community. That’s the whole point, it’s so you can build your own community in the residence hall. You get to meet a bunch of new people, it’s a lot of fun.

Frank: My CA in my freshmen year really helped me a lot. He helped me build confidence. It was kind of because of my dorm changing, I saw a lot of CA’s in different buildings. I saw what they did and how they make the community safe and diverse.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a CA?

Jenna: Being able to be the person people think of when they have something that they need help with or they want advice on, they’ll come to us in our office and they’ll ask. And you’ll be surprised by who shows up at two in the morning, who got locked out or who wants a paper revised at seven, little things like that and it makes you feel good because you’re doing something. Whether it’s really small or really big, you’re helping out.

Frank: The conversations with my residents. Especially on duty time and after the duty time. We can hang out together, maybe go hiking with my residents, something like that, and be best friends.

Christin: My favorite part of the job is just how many different people you meet, and how different and interesting they are.

Q: What is your favorite memory from your experiences as a CA?

Frank: I remember one of my programs was the Halloween Night. We were having the “eating bagels competition,” and that was so much fun.

Christin: The first time I met the CA staff. I am really shy and awkward, so the first time I met my staff that I was going to be working with, there was Jenna who’s very fun and exciting and friendly, there was Eric who was also very extroverted and friendly, and then there was Emma who was like a ray of sunshine. I was a little uncomfortable! So when I first met with them I was like “Oh my god, how am I ever going to work with them? They’re just so much energy all the time,” and they just immediately welcomed me in. I was like “What am I doing here?”

Jenna: My first year as a CA, I was over in Ellis Hall, and I was sitting in the office, it was a really quiet night, and I had this young man who came into my office, he sat down, he looked at me, and he said, “Jenna, I know you don’t know me, but I have a problem. There’s this girl, and I need some advice.” We had the best conversation, and now he’s one of my very very close friends.

 

CA Mythbusters!

Next, the five of us took the time to think of some negative “myths” that students might have about being a CA and proved all of them wrong! This is what we came up with:

Myth: CAs are similar to police officers and public safety.

BUSTED

Community Advisors are not similar to law enforcement! Their goal is to make sure their communities are the safest, healthiest, and most comfortable places they can be. That is their job, and they will do what it takes to ensure that. They are not here to get you in trouble, they just want to help and make you feel welcome. They’re making sure you are safe and happy, and CAs will do anything to help anyone out. Sometimes, CAs might just want to have a chat, so if a CA comes knocking, you do not have to worry!

Myth: The hours are terribly long, crazy, and awful!

BUSTED

CAs work from 7:00 p.m. to midnight on Sunday through Thursday, and 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. According to CA Jenna, the time flies by. There are so many people who come and talk to you, and usually you’re running around hanging posters or talking to people and listening to what’s going on. It’s almost like you’re just hanging out with friends and getting paid to do it!

Myth: Being a CA takes up all of your time and you have no time to do anything else.

BUSTED

A large number of CAs that are members of several sports teams and clubs, and others even have a second job, but they still have lives outside of their CA job. They are still able to go out and do things, as they have plenty of time to do so. In fact, being a CA can help you manage your time and avoid procrastination. Plus, you can easily work out scheduling issues with the Area Coordinators so it is not super crazy.

How to apply!

Find the application online by going to the Castleton website and searching for “CA Application.” Then, fill it out, answer the questions the best you can, upload a cover letter and resume online, sign it, and provide two references from faculty and staff. Send that in online. Then, there will be group processing day, which is a whole day dedicated to group interviews and then individual interviews. The first half of the day is group work, and then there will be individual interviews with two current CAs. After that, the Area Coordinators look at all of the information they have gathered and decide who will be next year’s new Community Advisors. If you want more information, you can contact Cora Churchill at cora.churchill@castleton.edu or (802) 468-1401.

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