GW Housing Programs reported a 25 percent increase in applications for residence hall staff positions this year – with about 280 graduate students applying for fewer than 80 house mentor positions.
Matthew Trainum, the employment director for GW Housing, said that while the increase may be due to the economy, application numbers tend to fluctuate.
“Two years ago, prior to the current economic downturn, we had similar application numbers as we did this year,” Trainum said. “The house staff job is a demanding and rewarding position, and most individuals that pursue it are motivated much more by the idea of helping their fellow students and less by the financial incentive.”
House mentors, GW’s version of a residential assistant, receive a fixed stipend of $5,500 for the academic year, a furnished room and one weekend off per month, according to information on the Housing Programs Web site. Applicants must submit a résumé, cover letter and three references to be considered for positions.
Josh Bartell, a house mentor for International House seeking a master’s degree in higher education, said that despite the perks, applicants need to be serious about the job.
“Sure, the room is free, but you’re committed to at least 20 hours a week, what with staff meetings, office hours in your room, event planning, doing the bulletin boards, talking to residents,” Bartell said.
Though house mentors receive free housing, they do not get tuition assistance, which is offered for some University jobs.
“It gives you a one-on-one interaction with students. I get to immerse myself in student life,” Bartell said. “It’s been very beneficial. You learn a lot from your students.”