All kinds of people want to be involved in collegiate a cappella groups. But when it comes to running a student organization, the leadership needs to think about how new personalities will affect the group dynamics. In this column, we take a candid look at the stereotypes associated with various sorts of people, and explain what these people may contribute to a group.
Please note that many of the characterizations presented in this column are intended to defuse mean-spirited stereotypes through humor. We do not intend to offend anyone.
In this edition we consider resident assistants.
Building community is probably the most essential component of contemporary American college residential life. Yes, a propensity toward building community at all costs can come across as pretty cheese-ball, and get pretty grating. But don’t underestimate the importance of building community in your own a cappella group. A collection of talented singers is great, but a collection of talented singers who genuinely care about one another and consciously want to succeed is all the more likely to get somewhere.
The RA might seem condescending in her instinct toward babysitting others. Put this natural tendency to good use, though, and consider having the RA keep your freshmen in check or be a white angel on the shoulder of a group member with a troubled past. Let’s face it—sometimes college students could use a babysitter, and if someone’s volunteering for the role, to shun them out of turn.
A type A personality can be overwhelming, but don’t forget the benefits that come with that sort of person. RAs are accustomed to a balance of doing rounds, putting up bulletin boards, writing incident reports, going to meetings, etc. Put this go-getter to task on clerical tasks like hanging flyers for your next show or maintaining the group website. You’ll be amazed at what she can do!