CAs juggle roles and responsibilities

By Cara Donfrio

Residence hall students should have one person on their floor that they are able to turn to in times of trouble or who are just there to talk to.

This person is the community adviser – more commonly known as the CA.

Currently, there are 141 CAs on campus. Belinda Vazquez, assistant director and area coordinator of Student Housing and Dining Services for the Neptune Complex, said that some students apply to be CAs for financial reasons while others want the leadership position.

CA benefits include free room and board and a monthly stipend of $62.50, Vazquez said. Returning CAs earn $75 a month.

CAs are in a position that requires a high level of responsibility. Because of this, getting the job is not an easy task.

“It’s a huge process,” Vazquez said.

In addition to a lengthy application packet, applicants are interviewed by a Residential Life Team, which consists of hall directors and assistant area coordinators, and a Community Adviser Panel, consisting of student residents.

There are certain traits that Student Housing and Dining Services are looking for. The ability to be a peer leader, to plan programs, to manage time and to build a good reputation with different kinds of people are a few of those traits, Vazquez said.

All CAs must have at least one semester of living in a community setting, preferably in NIU’s residence halls.

While some qualities make for a good leader, others prefer someone who will act as a friend.

Alexandria Callahan, a freshman dance performance major, said that a CA should have leadership ability and that friendliness was also important.

Monica Foskett, also a freshman dance performance major, elaborated.

“A CA should be more like a friend than a parental figure,” she said. “Some of them are way too strict.”

Maintaining a relationship with students is difficult if the CAs don’t make their presence known.

“Sometimes CAs are absent,” Foskett said. “Sometimes they make no effort to help the floor or to plan anything.”

Callahan added that it is necessary to have CAs on the floor for various reasons.

“They keep things organized,” she said.

For those interested in becoming CAs, the deadline is Jan. 29. Applications can be obtained from hall directors.