Residence Life hires four new Villa RAs

New hires made after three RAs were terminated last December

By Brigid Lowney | January 18, 2019 5:14pm

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Four new RAs in Villa Maria have been hired by Residence Life. Three RAs were terminated last December.
by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Residence Life has hired four new resident assistants (RAs) in Villa Maria Hall, replacing three that were terminated at the end of last semester after an off-campus drinking event and one RA that announced his resignation on Monday. Juniors Teddy Russell, Chris Fishback, Jacob Apenes and sophomore with junior standing David Castillo have been hired as new RAs for this semester. They were all residents in Villa last semester. 

In addition to the three RAs that were removed from their positions in December, a fourth RA announced that he was resigning from his position at an all-hall meeting Monday night. The reason for the fourth RA’s resignation was not explained to residents at the meeting. The Beacon could not reach the fourth RA for comment. 

In an email sent Wednesday to Villa residents, Hall Director Matt Connolly announced that Apenes would be filling the vacant RA position.

The terminations caused a lot of emotional upheaval in Villa, a dorm known for its close-knit community. Connolly said Villa’s focus this semester is on restoration.

“We’re really working on moving forward and we’re focused on healing,” Connolly said. “You know we’ve had so much turmoil, so much upheaval that I want the guys to kind of focus on the semester and on getting work done and things like that, but I also don’t want to write off the emotions that they’re still feeling.”

The new RAs went through the standard hiring process, which includes filling out an application and writing an essay. Connolly said he and Assistant Hall Director Jacob Guckenberger interviewed candidates over the phone during the first few days of Christmas break. 

Connolly said that he is excited for a fresh start this semester and is looking forward to seeing how the new RAs will lead. 

“Obviously, the end of last semester was tough,” Connolly said. “But if I know anything about Villa, it’s that it’s resilient. We’re still gonna be the same loving, welcoming, goofy dorm that we’ve always been.”

Lowney is the Living Section Editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at lowney19@up.edu.

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