Resident Assistant (RA)
Dates of Employment
August 1, 2022 - May 8, 2023
General Job Summary
A Resident Assistant (RA) is a West Virginia University (WVU) live-in undergraduate student employee who serves as a member of the Residence Life (RL) team. The RA, under the direct supervision of the Residence Life Specialist (RLS), is responsible for assessing and meeting the individual needs of residents. An RA serves as a resource and role model for residents and is required to abide by and uphold expectations outlined in the Residence Life Employment Agreement, WVU’s Housing & Residence Life’s Community Standards of Conduct, the WVU Student Conduct Code, and all other applicable laws. An RA is also responsible for ensuring the goals of Residence Life are carried out.
Develop and Build Community
Students will learn and grow in specific ways while living on-campus. Through facilitating the Residential Learning Model, RAs will connect to their residents on an individual level in many different meaningful ways. The RA is instrumental in the development of the overall residential community by being visible, available, and engaged with their residents throughout the academic year. In order to develop and build a community, the RA will:
- Develop relationships with their residents. RAs are expected to have regular one-on-one interactions in order to get to know each resident individually. RAs help to connect residents in the community to one another.
- Become well acquainted with and knowledgeable about residents’ academic and social progress. Alert RLS about residents who appear to need additional support, and make contact with students at the direction of the Residence Life Specialist and/or other university officials.
- Lead floor and community meetings as needed to address community issues and address RL expectations. RAs also assist residents in proactively addressing individual and community conflict.
- Support their residents’ leadership development through the encouragement of involvement in the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and Community Council.
- Design passive educational strategies such as bulletin boards and door decorations to better enhance the community.
Serve as a Role Model
RAs hold diverse perspectives and often draw on their own experiences to guide their peers. In guiding their peers, the RA must model appropriate, mature, personal, and professional behavior. In order to serve as a role model, the RA will:
- Model responsible, healthy, and mature behavior and habits.
- Comply with and support WVU policies, procedures, and other applicable laws.
- Demonstrate excellent personal and professional judgment.
- Avoid situations that may compromise the credibility, integrity and/or reputation of the RA, RL department and/or the university.
Maintain an Environment Conducive to Success
The residence hall serves as a student’s home; consequently, the RA is expected to work with students to create and maintain an environment conducive to academic success, personal development, and positive community identity. In order to maintain an environment conducive to success, the RA will:
- Explain and interpret university and/or residence hall rules and regulations to students, and facilitate all residence hall policies in a fair and objective manner.
- Document all violations of university and residence hall policy in a fair and objective manner, and participate as required in the student conduct process.
- Create a community that is conducive to academic success. RAs should be able to refer students to a variety of academic resources on campus.
Serve as a Resource and Provide Referrals as Needed
As an university employee, the RA is expected to be knowledgeable about the campus, its facilities, programs, services, student processes, and overall student resources. In order to serve as a resource, the RA will:
- Be readily accessible to students and accepting of their questions, particularly during times of the year that generate many concerns (registration, selection of room assignments, final exams, etc.).
- Be familiar with campus personnel, resources, processes, and procedures.
- Be aware of changes in available services and resources on campus.
- Be observant and seek assistance for behaviors of concerns as outlined by the CARE team.
Perform Administrative and Operational Duties
- RAs are responsible for completing administrative and operational responsibilities within the community. An RA will assist with room inspections during the year, work assigned hours at the desk, be available to respond to emergency situations, and complete other duties as assigned by the RLS and department officials. It is important to note that an RA is a mandatory reporter on campus. In order to accomplish administrative and operational duties, the RA will:
- Attend and actively engage in required training, professional development, team bonding activities, and other activities or duties.
- Adhere to RL expectations and participate in duty shifts as outlined in the RA Manual and RLS supervisor.
- Maintain confidentiality in all student and staff personal matters in compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Read and post all information of interest to students in a timely manner and ensure outdated materials are not posted/displayed.
- Address and/or report safety and security issues.
- Complete all paperwork, forms, and other administrative duties or actions in a timely fashion.
We prioritize academic success and your role as a student, and have therefore implemented academic policies designed to support and enhance your academic career:
- RAs must be enrolled as a full-time student but cannot exceed 18 credit hours. An RA may be permitted to have one semester below full-time during his/her employment period(s) with RL with RLS approval.
- RAs (undergraduate) must have and maintain a 2.75 cumulative and semester Grade Point Average. RAs in graduate school must maintain a 3.0 cumulative and semester Grade Point Average.
- RAs must be in good academic, conduct, and/or financial standing with the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and the university.
A Resident Assistant will also be subject to the following policies and guidelines:
- RAs must be available to participate in designated staff training and development.
- RAs must be available to work irregular hours, university holidays, university breaks, university weather-related closures, special events, and residence hall opening and closing. RAs must be available to work on-campus before and after the regular academic year cycle.
- RAs must be at least 18 years old (when they assume their duties) and have at least 29 on- campus credit hours.
- RAs must be available to participate in weekly staff meetings.
Staff placement is at the discretion of Residence Life staff. Residence Life staff assesses needs of each community, as well as the strengths and talents that an individual staff member can bring to that resident population and the staff team. Living-learning communities may have specific requirements for membership; RA positions are aligned with those requirements. The department also strongly considers any “conflict of interest” that may affect placement. For instance, individuals with family relationships, dating relationships, etc. may not be placed on the same staff.
RL reserves the right to make changes to placement location prior to and during the academic year if deemed necessary. In the event a residence hall has configuration changes, RL reserves the right to reassign the staff to other responsibilities commensurate with RA room and board salary equivalents.
A Resident Assistant is first committed to their RA role and responsibilities. Extracurricular involvement is secondary to the RA position. An RA should consider the impact of a significant leadership role in an organization, and/or involvement in an organization with time commitments that are counter to requirements for RAs to be available within their community. An RA should speak to their supervisor in advance about these types of commitments; not all outside opportunities and extracurricular involvement will be approved.
Participation in a co-op, internship, student teaching experience, or clinicals may have significant impacts on an RA’s wellbeing and ability to balance responsibilities of the RA role. An RA must request permission in advance to engage in these commitments; all request may not be granted.
Reappointment is not guaranteed. RAs are appointed for one academic year and report directly to the RHC. The RLS will evaluate their performance throughout the year. RAs may re- apply to be reappointed. Re-appointment will be based on performance history and motivation.Download RA Position Description as PDF