Resident Assistant Position Description

Mission of the Office of Residence Life

The Office of Residence Life collaborates with other offices to facilitate students’ successful adjustment to and transitions through their collegiate experience. We provide a safe and supportive environment promoting academic success, personal development, involvement in campus life, and understanding of intercultural issues. We support the University’s commitment to build citizen leaders for the future.

Overview of the Resident Assistant Position

Resident Assistants (RAs) are full-time enrolled students who assist the Office of Residence Life in fostering growth and engaging in academic success, effective community engagement, intrapersonal development and cultural competency. Through the creation of community, facilitation of events, and development of relationships during intentional one-on-one conversations, resident assistants provide opportunities for students to become citizen leaders within their community. RAs will participate in ongoing professional development related to policies, procedures, philosophy and learning outcomes established by the Office of Residence Life.

Responsibilities

Academic Success

  • Identify and assist residents with personal, social or academic concerns (current or potential) and make appropriate referrals to resources as necessary
    • Promote, support and actively participate in faculty interaction in the residence halls
    • Inform residents of deadlines and pertinent information concerning academic matters and upcoming campus activities

Effective Community Engagement

  • Develop an open and honest professional relationship with each resident in his/her community
  • Plan and execute activities that will assist residents in interacting with one another, developing new skills or knowledge, and/or familiarize residents with university programs, activities, and services
  • Encourage residents to become active in hall, campus, and community activities
  • Promote a working relationship between the residence hall team, students and Community Leadership Team with regard to activities, concerns and mutual goals
  • Facilitate and/or assist in the development of a Community Agreement
  • Inform the professional staff member of actual and potential problems which interfere with the living-learning environment

Personal Development

  • Conduct one-on-one meetings with residents
  • Be available and objective in discussing concerns, interest, and needs with residents
  • Assist community members in planning and implementing activities
  • Acquaint residents with student services on and off campus
  • Relay information regarding policies, administrative matters and hall activities
  • Work with other team members to promote a responsible living-learning environment within the residence hall/apartment complex by enforcing the Code of Student Conduct in an objective and unbiased manner

Intercultural Understanding

  • Establish an inclusive learning environment based upon an atmosphere of mutual respect and positive engagement
  • Promote acceptance and appreciation of the Miami University Statement Asserting Respect for Human Diversity
  • Facilitate educational experiences that help students understand human differences
  • Attend and encourage resident participation in hall and campus activities such as public lectures, exhibits, concerts, etc.
  • Demonstrate a consistent willingness to interact with individuals from different backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, ideology, religion, and national origin
  • Encourage residents to be accountable for their actions

Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and Themed Communities (TCs)

  • Understand the goals and purpose of the assigned LLC or TC
  • Engage with stakeholders and advisory councils of assigned LLCs and TCs as needed
  • Incorporate the LLC or TC theme and goals into programming for the hall

Resident Assistants are expected to engage with residents and fellow team members around the following areas:

Student Behavior

  • Abide by hall and university policies as outlined in the Code of Student conduct, Residence Hall Policies, as well as state and federal laws
  • Know and understand the rationale for hall policies, university policies as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct, state and federal laws to be able to communicate this information to residents and establish behavioral expectations accordingly
  • Be aware of federal and state laws that may affect student behavior in the halls
  • Report any behavior which may constitute a violation of any policy or law
  • Participate in the mandatory reporting of crimes for statistical and timely warning requirements of the Jeanne Clery Campus Security Act

Hall Management

  • Assist with the opening and closing of the hall each semester and for every break closing
  • Submit reports and paperwork as required by professional staff member by the deadline
  • Participate in on-call hall duty as determined by the professional staff member and the Office of Residence Life
  • Report problems with facilities or damage 
  • Cooperate with maintenance staff in achieving a healthy physical environment within the community
  • Assist university offices in various administrative tasks such as evaluations, surveys and the distribution of material to residents
  • Understand and utilize emergency procedures as appropriate

Training

  • Participate in all training sessions
  • Attend regular hall team meetings and one-on-one meetings with professional staff member
  • Successfully complete EDL 301 course with at least a ‘C’ grade, during the first semester of service. Any offer of placement as a Resident Assistant is withdrawn if the RA does not successfully complete this course during this timeframe

Miscellaneous

  • For Resident Assistants with first-year residents, attend, support and participate in Welcome Week Events, including University Convocation and Fire Safety Fair for assigned quad
  • For Resident Assistants with second year/upper class residents, assist with First Year Move-In
  • Assist in recruitment and selection of full time professional staff members, graduate students and Resident Assistants
  • Other duties as assigned by the Office of Residence Life

Qualifications

To be eligible for the Resident Assistant position:

  • Students must be full-time enrolled students on the Oxford campus.
  • GPA: Undergraduate candidates must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of a 2.5. Graduate students must have a minimum grade point average of a 3.0. Full-time student status is also required.
  • All candidates must have resided for at least two semesters in residence halls prior to beginning their time of service. Students who lived in residence halls during their first year and then moved off campus are eligible to return to the resident assistant position.
  • All candidates must be in good student conduct standing with the University.
  • All RAs must complete and pass a background check facilitated by Human Resources.
  • International graduate students who hold an academic year graduate assistantship are unable to apply because their visa prohibits them from earning other income.

Terms of Service (2018-19)

We are excited that you are going to be a Resident Assistant! The position of Resident Assistant is one of the most important, influential, and rewarding leadership opportunities available to for students. In addition to the information listed below, your supervisor will provide further, specific expectations for you community during Spring Orientation in April and Resident Assistant Training in August.

Calendar of Major Dates

In general, Resident Assistants must have no other commitments during residence hall and apartment opening and closing, training throughout the year and certain university events. The major dates are listed below. Required dates are communicated when events and initiatives are confirmed.

  • April, 2018 - Spring Orientation Day: All RAs meet with individual hall teams; time to be confirmed by facilitator.
  • RA Move-In: RAs may begin to arrive after 5 pm on Friday, August 12, 2018. RAs must arrive by 5 pm, August 12, 2018; Meal plans begin August 12, 2018 for dinner. RAs should communicate with their hall's professional staff prior to arrival to arrange a check in time.
  • August 12 – 26, 2018 – Resident Assistant Fall Training & Opening for First Year and Upper Class (UC) students: Training starts August 12, 2018 at 5 pm. RAs can expect full days of training including evening commitments. 
  • Thursday, August 23 – Sunday August 26, 2018 – Welcome Week, Welcome Back and Residential Community Kick-Offs: All communities, commitments vary.
  • Friday, August 24, 2018 – Convocation events or UC Early Arrival Check-In: All RAs will participate in at least one of these events.
  • Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - Thanksgiving Closing: All communities; professional staff will decide on presence-return by November 25, 2018
  • Friday, December 14, 2018 - Winter Break Closing: All Resident Assistants must be present to close.
  • Friday, January 25, 2019 – All RAs return to Campus for Spring Semester Training: Arrive between noon and 5 pm or in consultation with your professional staff.
  • Friday, March 25, 2019 - Spring Break Closing: All communities; professional staff will decide on presence - return by March 31, 2019
  • Friday, May 13-18, 2019 – Residence Hall Closing: All RAs must be present to close.
  • Sunday, May 19, 2019 – RA Service Ends

Basic Requirements

Service Period: The service period is Sunday, August 12, 2018 through Sunday, May 19, 2019.

Conflicts: Resident Assistants agree to be present during the entire service period. RAs must speak to their professional staff as soon as a conflict becomes apparent, including, but not limited to, student teaching, internship, study abroad or graduation.  

Academic Good Standing: Resident Assistants must maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA at all times.  If one’s cumulative GPA falls below a 2.5 prior to beginning their period of service, this offer is automatically rescinded.  If one’s cumulative GPA falls below a 2.5 during the period of service, then the Resident Assistant will be dismissed from their position.

Behavioral Good Standing: Resident Assistants must maintain “good conduct standing” (not be on probation or have any outstanding sanctions) with Miami University as reported through the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution.

Other Commitment Policy: Resident Assistants must submit a written request to their professional staff to hold more than 10 hours per week combined of outside leadership/membership positions. Resident Assistants are not allowed to hold any executive board position on the Residence Hall Association.

Employment Policy: Due to Affordable Care Act restraints, Resident Assistants are not permitted to hold paid employment with the University while they are serving as Resident Assistants. Employment outside of the University is permitted following a consultation with the professional staff.

International Students: International students must also fill out an additional form related to the acquisition of a social security number.

Official Communication: Resident Assistants must use the VOIP phone/voicemail (provided by the university) and university email to facilitate communication. Voicemail and email should be checked daily.

Special Engagements

Break Closing Requirement: The residence halls close and re-open three times during each semester (Thanksgiving, Spring and Winter Break). Some portion of each team will be required to be present in the building when the building closes and re-opens during these times. Professional staff will determine the needs of the residence hall and set expectations of the Resident Assistants for these closings and openings. In some communities, all Resident Assistants may be asked to stay to open and close.

Time Away: We recognize that a Resident Assistant may need time away from campus for activities and personal reasons. With this in mind, we expect our Resident Assistants to be available on weekends. In consultation, and with permission from your professional staff member, RAs will be permitted to be away from campus two weekends per month. The expectation is that 50% of the RA team is available in the building over each weekend. Certain weekends may require a higher presence of Resident Assistants in the hall and professional staff will communicate that need when it arises. 

Other Engagements and Expectations

Training for Resident Assistants is comprehensive and varied. Additional training occurs all year long. 

  • Educational Leadership 301 – Student Development in the Residence Halls Course Requirement: All RAs, in the first semester of service, must enroll in and successfully complete this course with a grade of “C” or better to remain a Resident Assistant. Assistant Director of Residence Life, Joe Hawkins, will contact RAs to force-add the class.
  • Continued Training: Resident Assistants are developing students and it is the responsibility of the Office of Residence Life to provide opportunities for growth, reflection and learning. This is done through our Fall and Spring trainings, in-service opportunities, in-hall training, RA selection processes, and participation in EDL301.
  • Professional Staff Expectations: Resident Assistants will receive a list of community specific expectations from their professional staff during training including, but not limited to duty, presence in community, Residential Curriculum strategy implementation, role modeling, etc. Resident Assistants understand that they are also held accountable to these expectations as part of their continued service as a Resident Assistant.

Stipend

  • The stipend for the RA position is being reviewed and is subject to change. 
  • Resident Assistants receive a stipend that varies based on the number of years with the Office of Residence Life. The minimum starting RA stipends will be $8864 (as of fall 2017).
  • RAs receive 1/10 of their stipend per month.
  • RAs also receive free voicemail.
  • Meals are provided during fall training.
  • RAs live in a room by themselves. Resident Assistants are responsible for paying housing fees equivalent to a student who lives in a double room (the lowest housing fee offered) for that housing type and a meal plan of their choice. Not all Resident Assistants are placed in double-as-a-single rooms. Resident Assistant rooms vary in size and configuration. Placement is determined by the professional staff member, in conjunction with the Office of Residence Life, based on programmatic needs of the residence hall and skills of the individual.