Resident Assistant Job Description


Website Banner 400700.jpg

The Resident Assistant is responsible for a community in one of the Residential Living and Learning operated buildings on the Deland campus of Stetson University. Reporting to a Residential Life Coordinator, the RA has several areas of responsibilities: community & student development, general administration, social justice, maintenance & facility administration, and to the staff team. Through daily interactions with residents, it is the RA's responsibility to create a safe and secure environment that supports the educational mission of the university and personal development of students. RAs employed by Stetson University need to have a strong understanding of what it means to live in, take part, and cultivate a strong community atmosphere within their specific residence hall assignment. RAs must know, understand and adhere to all university and departmental policies and regulations.

The 2019 - 2020 Resident Assistant application is now open. Applications for 2019 - 2020 will close December 7.

Qualifications

  • Must be in "Good Academic Standing" and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher at application as well as maintain a cumulative and term GPA of 2.5 or higher while employed.
  • Must be in "Good Conduct Standing" with Stetson University.
  • The Resident Assistant position is a commitment for the full academic year. Students with special considerations who may not be able to work the full academic year are encouraged to apply.
    For the 2019-2020 academic year, RAs return for fall training on August 4, 2019, and are released for winter break on December 16, 2019. RAs will return for spring training on January 7, 2020, and are released for summer break on May 11, 2020. These dates are tentative and could change before the 2019-2020 academic year begins.
  • RAs are required to live on campus and be available to work on all staff weekends including but not limited to: opening, closing, school breaks, Hatter Games, and Hatter Saturday.
  • RAs are expected to be available for their communities on the weekends, including university traditions i.e. fraternity & sorority recruitment, Halloween weekend, and Homecoming.
  • RAs are required to be available Wednesday evenings from 9:15 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. for staff / departmental meetings
  • RAs are limited to work no more than 10 hours per week paid employment and may not exceed 10 hours per week of outside time commitments (including other employment).
  • RAs are unable to hold any leadership or work position that conflicts with the RA position description.

Responsibilities

Community and Student Development Responsibilities

  • Sets an example for their own behavior and is available and visible in the community.
  • Will hold a one-on-one conversation with each resident in RAs designated area in order to complete Hatter Chat form during first few weeks of school.
  • Gets to know the residents in the building(s) and is able to identify and address the needs of the community.
  • Is known by residents as an approachable and resourceful staff member.
  • Coordinates and implements programs in the hall as outlined in the community development model.
  • Actively facilitates a positive living and learning environment in the RAs assigned area.
  • Helps maintain an atmosphere in the hall conducive to studying and sleeping while supporting student involvement.
  • Provides intervention in crisis situations which may include but are not limited to roommate conflicts, personal problems, and possible mental health concerns.
  • Responds appropriately to confidential/private matters and refers when appropriate.
  • Serves as a mandatory reporter in many incidents including but not limited to physical/mental health, sexual assault and/or violence.
  • Participates in both planned and spontaneous activities within the community and university at large.
  • Addresses inappropriate behavior, documents policy violations and provides essential information as appropriate.
  • Mediates conflict between residents appropriately and addresses conflict in close communication with the supervisor.
  • RAs in themed based housing and Fraternity and Sorority Houses may have additional responsibilities which will be covered during the workshop class. RAs placed in “alcohol-free” buildings must be willing to abide by and support alcohol-free policies.

General Administrative Responsibilities

  • Attends participates and engages in all pre-semester training sessions, staff meetings, and one-on-one meetings.
  • Checks their university email address on a consistent basis in order to receive and reply to information from supervisor and/or Residential Living and Learning.
  • Participates in a leadership assignment that enhances the operations of HRL.
  • Completes all paperwork accurately and within established timelines including but not limited to regular reports, staff feedback and program planning forms.
  • Distributes advertisements and university resources to residents in a timely manner
  • Assists with the check-in and check-out procedures of residents throughout the year as well as other responsibilities. including but not limited to admission recruitment events, health and safety inspections and traditions events.
  • Assists with the opening and closing of the residential facilities, and also remains until all halls are closed.

Staff Team Responsibilities

  • Works cooperatively as a part of the team of staff members responsible for the community.
  • Supports departmental policies and decisions and is able to articulate them positively to residents.
  • Participates in the building/area duty system by completing rounds, documenting policy violations and responding to resident concerns.
  • Communicates with a supervisor when he or she will be away from the assigned building.
  • Participates in the recruitment and selection of Residential Living and Learning Staff.
  • All HRL-operated buildings are open during fall, Thanksgiving and spring breaks; staff coverage is required. Some buildings will be open during the winter break; partial staff coverage is required during this time. In order to provide adequate coverage during break periods, staff throughout the system may be asked to assist with break coverage.
  • Assumes other responsibilities as assigned.

Maintenance and Facility Administration Responsibilities

  • Follows departmental procedures for reporting housekeeping and maintenance problems and also follows up to see that these requests have been completed.
  • Maintains open communication with building housekeepers and their direct supervisor concerning maintenance and housekeeping requests.
  • Identifies and investigates any damage to the building and reports it to their supervisor immediately in addition to offering suggestions for community enhancement.

Resident Assistant Position FAQs

How many RA positions are there?

We will have 60+ RA positions next year; some will go to returners; some are gender specific; selecting “available for all buildings” on your application will increase your chances of being selected. The number of RAs we need is also subject to change depending on the needs of our residential population. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

What are the requirements to apply?

A successful candidate must:

  • be in "Good Academic Standing" and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher at the application as well as maintain a cumulative and term GPA of 2.5 or higher while employed.
  • be in "Good Conduct Standing" with Stetson University.
  • be able to make a commitment for the full academic year. Students with special considerations who may not be able to work the full academic year are encouraged to apply.
  • be available Wednesday evenings from 9:15 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. for staff / departmental meetings.
  • be able to work no more than 10 hours per week paid employment and may not exceed 10 hours per week of outside time commitments (including other employment).
  • not hold any leadership or work position that conflicts with the RA position description.

What is the compensation for the RA position?

The housing cost is covered by a financial aid award from Residential Living and Learning which will be applied to your room charges in that specific amount. It is possible that this award may put you over your need and may reduce certain need-based grants that you may be eligible for. In addition, RA’s receive $1,000 paid over 20 payments. These stipends will be covered by either Federal Work Study (FWS) or University Employment. Students who are eligible for FWS will receive their stipend from this fund. Stipends are paid over 10 months (August-May). The stipend and room award will be terminated if the position is terminated. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

What is the RA seminar?

The RA seminar is a three-week-long course where candidates are able to learn more about the RA position to see if they are a good fit for the position. The course will be lecture and experiential with participants learning about different aspects of the RA position and participating in activities to gain a better understanding of what it means to be an RA. Residential Living and Learning professional staff lead the seminar courses. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

What is RA Institute like?

RA Institute is a two-week-long, intensive training period where incoming and returning RAs learn about the position, expectations, and skills and techniques to help them in the RA position throughout the year. Institute is also the time you will get to know the team you will be working with throughout the year! Institute days are scheduled to go from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. depending on the topics of the day. August Institute includes an overnight experience away from the campus. All RAs are expected to be completely free during the days designated for August and January Institute and are expected not to plan any outside activities, personal or other work commitments. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

If I have a conflict, can I miss RA Institute or be late for it?

No. Attending RA Institute in its entirety and fully participating in opening the halls is required to hold the position. RA Institute lasts up until the first day of classes and covers a breadth of information ranging from understanding resident assistant role and confrontation to community building and inclusion. The time invested is critical to prepare Resident Assistants on how to serve as positive resources for their residents. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

How are RA placements decided?

The Residential Living and Learning staff puts a lot of time and energy into deciding who will be offered an RA position. Building a strong vibrant community is our overall goal. We do our best to place applicants into building environments where we feel they will thrive and also have a chance to grow and learn from their experience in a particular building. Community needs are a priority when evaluating candidate placement in each area. Candidates’ preferences are taken into consideration during the placement process. It is possible to be offered a placement that may not be your preference. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

How often are RAs on duty?

It depends. Each RA staff, which typically consists of around 14-21 RAs, is responsible for covering all the duty weekdays (4:30 p.m. – 8:00 a.m. next day) and weekends (all day) associated with their area. Two RAs are on duty for each duty shift and the RAs will evenly split up the weekdays and weekends among themselves. In general, you may have one weeknight you have to cover every other week and then be on duty for one weekend a month. However, this will vary depending on the size of your staff. The department also has what we call All Staff weekends which RAs are required to work. All staff weekends include openings, FOCUS Orientation, closings, and Hatter Saturday. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

I was offered an "Alternate" position? What does this mean?

If a candidate is not offered an open position at selection time, they may be given the opportunity to accept a spot as an Alternate RA. Alternate RAs are eligible for hire should a position become available throughout the year. An alternate position remains active through mid-January. This is not a guarantee, however. Alternates are selected based on who will best fit the needs of the community and staff vacancy. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

Which buildings are alcohol-free?

RLL operates all first year only communities as alcohol-free housing (Carson, Hollis, Gordis, Smith and Nemec Halls). Individuals living in alcohol-free buildings, including Resident Assistants, agree that they will not consume or possess alcohol or other drugs in these communities. Students, regardless of age, may not possess/consume alcohol in these communities. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

Can I have a second job as an RA?

Being an RA is a time intensive job. It is expected for an RA to spend time getting to know the residents in their community and be available to meet their needs on a consistent basis. In order to maintain appropriate support and community development, RAs are approved to have up to 10 hours per week of outside time commitments, including work. Work is identified as paid employment on or off campus. Returning RAs who wish to have more than 10 hours per week of outside commitments must have prior supervisor approval. The RA position is considered your primary non-academic commitment.  Additionally, international students, per visa requirements, are only able to work a total of 20 hours per week. The RA position requires at least 10 hours per week so international students can only work 10 additional hours due to visa restrictions. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

What about other commitments on campus? Can I go home?

Being an RA is a time intensive job. The RA position is considered your primary non-academic commitment. RAs are approved to have up to 10 hours per week of outside time commitments, including work. RAs are not able to hold any other leadership or work role on campus that would conflict with the RA responsibilities in any way or cause confusion to residents regarding which role the student is currently holding. Residential Living and Learning holds the right to determine if a position conflicts with the RA role in any way. RAs will be expected to serve on duty some weekends in the semester based on area, as well as be present during all staff weekends when these scenarios are not present you are welcome to travel away from campus. RAs who are away for an extended period of time will be required to gain approval and discuss support for the community with their Residential Life Coordinator. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

If I applied last year but was not offered a position, can I reapply?

Yes. Applicants and alternates who did not obtain a position in the previous year are eligible to apply. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

What does the Interview process entail?

Step 1: Attend an Information Session

These one-hour sessions were developed to ensure that before you apply, you have all the necessary information needed to move forward in the interview process.

Step 2: Apply!

Applications open on October 1 and are due by 11:59 p.m. on December 7.

Step 3: Submit a Professional Reference

All applicants must submit a professional reference no later than 11:59 p.m. on December 14. A reference should be an individual who has knowledge about you and your skills/personality and previous work ethic. The following will serve as an appropriate reference: current or previous supervisors in a work or volunteer position, professors and/or high school teachers. Please note that your reference must not be another student at Stetson University nor someone whom you consider a relative. Full-time Residential Living and Learning staff are not eligible to be references for the RA application. References submitted by any Residential Living and Learning staff member, relative, or friend will not be considered adequate and will not be accepted. An application is not considered completed until the reference is submitted.

Step 4: Interview

If your application is successful, you will be invited via email in January to sign up for an interview time slot between January 23 – 25. You will be asked to report which days of the week would work best for your schedule for the RA seminar, should you be selected to move forward in the process.

Step 5: RA Seminar

If your interview is successful, you will be invited via email to participate in the RA Seminar, three-week workshop series hosted at the end of January – the second week of February. You will be required to attend all three to be considered for an RA position.

  • Mondays: January 28, February 4, and February 11 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Tuesdays: January 29, February 5, and February 12 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Step 6: Decision Letters

Decision letters will be sent out via Stetson email on March 1.

Can I choose my building placement as a Resident Assistant?

No. You will be given an opportunity to share your interest in a residential population and community fit to which you feel you would be best suited for. When it comes to selecting assignments, the professional staff looks at individual plus team fit so that each RA is able to provide an optimal community experience as well as serve as a strong leader within the community and team they are placed on. Ultimately, the more flexible you are, the more chances you will have to be placed. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

If I have been documented through the Community Standards process, can I still apply?

Yes. Residential Living and Learning reviews all applicants’ community standards findings. You must be in "Good Conduct Standing" with Stetson University for your application to move forward in the process. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

If I will be studying aboard in the spring during interviews, can I still apply?

Yes. Applicants studying abroad in the spring semester during the interview process who wish to be considered for an open position in the new academic year must apply by 11:59 p.m. on November 19. For more information, we encourage you to attend an Information Session.

Selection Process

RA applicants typically go through a rigorous selection process which includes an interview with professional staff and current RAs and a three-week-long RA seminar course that takes place in the end of January through the second week of February. You will be required to attend all three to be considered for an RA position. Our goal is that through this process, a candidate is able to learn more about the position and department as well as identify if the RA position is a good fit.

  • Mondays: January 28, February 4, and February 11 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Tuesdays: January 29, February 5, and February 12 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Information Sessions

Interested applicants should consider attending an information session to best prepare for application. Information Sessions are not required to apply but are strongly encouraged.

  • September 27 at 5 p.m. in Lynn Business Center 108
  • October 15 at 7 p.m. in Conrad Main Lounge
  • November 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Chaudoin Seminar Room
  • November 26 at 2 p.m. in SAGE 222

Apply

Stetson's Unified Leadership Application provides access to the application for interested applicants.

Contact

If you have questions or feel a need to contact Residential Living and Learning directly for more information regarding this position, please email RLandLemployment@stetson.edu