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Resident Assistant Job Description

photoDescription
Specifications
Compensation
Responsibilities
Questions?

Description
The Resident Assistant (RA) is a paraprofessional staff member for the Department of Residence Life. The RA is the closest and most vital link with the residents. Under the supervision of a Residence Life Coordinator or Resident Director, the RA is responsible for creating and maintaining a residence hall environment that is conducive to living and learning. In order to accomplish this, the RA is expected to play a variety of constantly changing roles. The RA must be flexible and creative in meeting the residents' needs by serving as a counselor, advisor, community developer, educator, and friend. The position requires a serious time commitment and willingness to be available and accessible to other students.

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Specifications

1. An RA must be enrolled as a full-time student in good academic standing and meet the following:
a. Must enroll for an academic load of not less than 12 hours.
b. May not carry an academic overload or more than 17 hours without the approval of the Assistant Director of Residence Life for Programming and Staff Development.
c. Must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.30 during the period of employment.

2. RA Course:  Each RA must enroll and successfully complete the course, CEPD 4106, as soon as it is offered after appointment to the position.  The RA is responsible for tuition for the class.  The RA must pass with a “C” or better.

3. Outside Involvement:  Frequently, members of the Department of Residence Life Staff are individuals who are involved in many facets of campus life, leadership, sports, and work.  The RA position demands a significant commitment of time and energy, which should not detract from student academic performance.  Involvement in residence life activities such as duty, staff meetings, floor and hall activities, staff training, and quality time with the residents must take priority over other co-curricular and work activities.  Therefore, RAs are not to pledge a fraternity, sorority, student teach, or hold an internship (paid or unpaid) during the first semester of employment.  After the first semester of employment, the RA must receive approval from the Assistant Director of Residence Life to be involved in any of the above listed time commitments.  In addition, RAs may not hold additional employment in excess of 7 hours per week.  RAs may not hold additional employment, on or off campus, without the consent of their supervisors. 

4. Training & Development Requirements:  The skills needed to fulfill the RA position successfully are many.  Therefore, RAs are required to attend many skill development opportunities, including the following:
a. Weekly staff administrative/developmental meetings at a time to be determined by the Assistant Director of Residence Life.  RAs are expected to not take classes scheduled during this time period and are granted early registration so that they may adjust their schedules accordingly. 
b. Summer training and work sessions prior to the beginning of classes each fall semester.  This training takes precedence over any extracurricular activities with which an RA is involved. 

5. Term of Employment:  The RA position is an academic year appointment beginning August 1 or later and ending when the halls close after May graduation of the following year.  RAs are hired on a year to year basis.  Annual evaluation of job performance and successful reapplication will determine continued employment.

 

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Compensation

RAs are required to pay for their housing, however, over a 10-month employment period, RAs earn back the full cost of their two semesters worth of housing rent plus a additional $500 stipend distributed in ten equal installments on the last business day of each month.  In addition, RAs receive shared access to reserved parking, priority class registration, and a single/private living space at the lower cost of the double living space.  Increases to the RA compensation package are under review for the 2009-2010 academic year and will be announced as soon as possible.

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Responsibilities

1. Time Commitment. The RA position is the RAs principal non-academic activity. The RA is expected to:
  1. Be available and accessible to the students on his/her floor.
  2. Remain on his/her floor in the hall during the weekdays and/or weekends according to the duty schedule and as required by the building supervisor. Be in the assigned residence hall most evening hours. The RA is expected to spend the night in his/her assigned residence hall Sunday through Thursday, unless s/he informs the building supervisor and receives approval to be out of the building overnight during the week. While RAs are not scheduled for duty every weekend, they should expect to stay on campus at least two weekends a month to assist students and foster community.
  3. Remain in the hall until the building is deemed closed by the Department of Residence Life or its designee preceding vacation periods (Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, summer closing), and return early to open the halls after a vacation break. Requests to leave early or return late must be submitted in writing and approved in advance by the Assistant Director for Residence Life. Tyus, University Suites, and Arbor View apartments do not close for University break periods; RAs in these buildings will be required to stay in the buildings and provide staff coverage over these breaks. These hall staffs will divide the responsibility equally amongst staff over the course of the year; RAs will receive some additional compensation during this time.
  4. Participate in extra-curricular activities in such a way that they will not conflict with the RA position.
  5. Attend regular staff meetings, training sessions and other meetings as required by the building director and/or Department of Residence Life.
  6. Assist with the departmental staff selection processes (RA, RD, RLC, etc.) each semester as necessary. Participate in University visitation days as needed.

2. Community Development. The RA is expected to promote an atmosphere conducive to individual and group development. The RA is expected to:

  1. Know every student in his/her assigned area.
  2. Be available to students for counseling and make appropriate referrals, while maintaining confidentiality.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of referral options within the University (i.e. Health Services, Student Development Center) and be able to effectively refer students for assistance.
  4. Maintain an attitude of sincere interest in the residents. Encourage an atmosphere of courtesy, consideration, and unity among floor and hall residents.
  5. Be aware of and report to the building supervisor any illness, abnormal behavior, long absences or special concerns of hall residents.
  6. Facilitate social interaction among the residents by encouraging attendance at scheduled floor meetings, hall meetings, Residence Life activities and University activities.
  7. Fulfill the community development and programmatic expectations of the assigned residence hall and Department of Residence Life. These include, but are not limited to, social and educational programs and bulletin boards.
  8. Encourage student interaction with members of the University community by involving faculty and staff in programs. Actively participate and support the hall council and Residence Hall Presidents' Council. Support and attend programs.

3. Administrative Duties. The RA is primarily administratively responsible to the building supervisor, secondarily to the Assistant Director for Residence Life, and is expected to:

  1. Assist with administrative procedures such as room change and roster verification.
  2. Assist with resident check-in and check-out procedures.
  3. Maintain a West Georgia e-mail account and check it at least once a day.
  4. Report and follow-up on all necessary repairs and housekeeping problems as specified by the building supervisor and according to the established policies of Residence Life.
  5. Supervise the use of the University's property and facilities.
  6. Report room assignment concerns to the building supervisor.
  7. Complete reports as specified by the building supervisor and the Department of Residence Life.
  8. Maintain regular office/lobby hours as specified by the duty schedule and as specified by the building supervisor.
  9. Perform other duties as assigned that relate to the operation of the hall.

4. Discipline and Student Conduct. By accepting employment with the Department of Residence Life, the RA has accepted the responsibility to know, understand, and abide by the University of West Georgia's policies, procedures, and regulations. RAs are responsible for all materials and information provided in the Residence Life Sourcebook. RAs serve as role models and their behavior should convey an image of responsibility and maturity. Violations of regulations by RAs, or encouragement of residents to violate UWG policies, will not be tolerated and could result in immediate termination. An RA is expected to:

  1. Encourage by example the principles of individual responsibility and respect student development.
  2. Assist students in knowing what is expected of them and the reasons for these expectations.
  3. Explain, support, follow, and enforce the regulations and policies of Residence Life.
  4. Confront all behavioral infractions; follow-up with appropriate procedures.
  5. Take an educational approach when dealing with behaviors that disrupt the normal living and learning environment.


5. Emergency Situations. The RA assists in responding to emergency situations in the residence halls, and is expected to:

  1. Know and follow the emergency procedures as outlined in the Residence Life Sourcebook.
  2. Be available in emergency situations (i.e. tornado, fires) and at scheduled fire drills.
  3. Conduct safety inspections at least once a semester and assist with evacuation drills.
  4. Report individual emergencies to the building supervisor and/or Public Safety.

6. Other Duties as Assigned. The nature of the Resident Assistant position requires RAs be flexible and complete other reasonable requests that fulfill the mission of the Department of Residence Life. 

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Questions?
Contact Dawn Vavrik Palmer, Assistant Director for Residence Life at 678-839-4713 or dpalmer@westga.edu.

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