Graduate Assistant Position Description

Overview of the Office of Residence Life

Miami University’s Office of Residence Life works to establish an educational living and learning environment for approximately 8,000 students residing in 40 residence halls and apartments, each of which houses between 80 and 450 students.

Overview of the Position

The Graduate Assistant reports to a Resident Director or Area Coordinator and works collaborative with their supervisor to shape the environment and experiences of residential students by providing services and programs.

All positions within the Office of Residence Life begin with mandatory training in mid-July each year. This is a fulltime training which runs through August. All assistantships require some scheduled night and weekend obligations. These obligations can be associated with major office events, including, but not limited to: move-in weekends and hall closing days. As with any live-in position, staff members are also responsible for handling crises as they occur. These assistantships will average 20-25 hours per week over the course of the academic year.

Basic Qualifications

This position requires a Bachelor's degree in any field. Enrollment in any graduate program at Miami University for the period of the assistantship is necessary.

Preferred Qualifications

Previous experience with residence life, orientation, second year programs, and/or counseling is preferred.

Job Responsibilities

Listed below are both specific job duties of the Graduate Assistant position as well as minimum professional standards expected of all Residence Life employees. These responsibilities encompass student and community development initiatives, both proactive and reactive, that directly influence the success of our residential students. They also detail administrative responsibilities, foundational to this success. Finally, they delineate behaviors that connote professionalism and a commitment to the values of the Office of Residence Life.

Community Development

  • Cultivate a positive and engaging living environment that enables students to build relationships and to foster a sense of belonging
  • Maintain high visibility and availability, including attending community events, and regularly touring the community and interacting with residents
  • Know the residents order to provide personal, social, academic, and occupational support and referral
  • Utilize institutional data to assess and respond to student needs
  • Collaborate with faculty and staff to implement residential learning opportunities
  • Serve as the financial, programmatic, and leadership adviser to the Community Leadership Team


  • Supervise and train up to 14 resident assistants (RA) in conjunction with a full-time Resident Director or Area Coordinator
  • Host weekly staff meetings to communicate upcoming events, discuss community concerns, and facilitate professional development experiences related to the goals of Residence Life
  • Conduct bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with RAs
  • Ensure RAs are appropriately confronting and documenting behavioral issues and concerns
  • Provide regular formal and information feedback regarding job performance
  • Ensure that RA duty procedures are followed
  • Oversee implementation of programs and strategies that enable student achievement of learning

Student Conduct and Crisis Management

  • Review all incident reports and police reports (if available) for incidents that take place in the community and/or involve residents living in the community.
  • Respond to residents in need, referring to other professionals, when appropriate
  • Provide leadership during times of crisis in and adjacent to the community
  • Assist in emergency situations as needed
  • Implement Miami University and Office of Residence Life objectives, policies, rules, and procedures
  • Provide programs and other proactive educational interventions to enhance good decision making by residents

Professional Development & Administration

  • Report, track, and follow up on maintenance issues with appropriate building managers, housekeeping staff, and physical facilities employees
  • Administer student check-in, check-out, and room changes; assist with room condition and damage billing processes
  • Participate in departmental and divisional professional development activities
  • Participate in the recruitment, selection, and training of staff members for the Office of Residence Life

Overarching Staff Expectations

  • Serve as a role model for all hall staff and residents in personal and professional behaviors
  • Practice ethical stewardship of university resources
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity by promoting and attending campus & community multicultural events, facilitating professional development with RA staff, presenting on diversity, or implementing strategies.
  • Demonstrate a consistent willingness to work with individuals from different race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, ideology, religion, and national origin backgrounds.
  • Create and maintain positive professional relationships within the department and across the university
  • Fulfill other general duties assigned by the Office of Residence Life, Division of Student Life and/or Miami University

Application Information

For candidates applying to the Student Affairs in Higher Education [SAHE] program:

Consideration for the academic program and graduate assistantships is done simultaneously through one application. Applications to the SAHE program include an assistantship preference sheet, which includes Residence Life assistantships. Candidates interested in Residence Life assistantships should mark this interest on the preference sheet. The Department of Educational Leadership will forward candidates' resumes, letters of recommendation, and personal statements to The Office of Residence Life for review. Please visit the Student Affairs in Higher Education Program website for more details.

For candidates applying to any other Graduate Degree program:

While students in the SAHE program are given priority for assistantship opportunities, periodically graduate students enrolled in other academic programs are offered assistantships within the Office of Residence Life. For more information about ssistantship opportunities, please contact Tresa Barlage Zianno at

Statement of Non-Discrimination

Miami University is an EOE/AA employer with smoke- and tobacco-free campuses.

Miami University is committed to providing equal opportunity and an educational and work environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or veteran status. Miami shall adhere to all applicable state and federal equal opportunity/affirmative action statutes and regulations.

The university is dedicated to ensuring access and equal opportunity in its educational programs, related activities, and employment. Retaliation against an individual who has raised claims of illegal discrimination or cooperated with an investigation of such claims is prohibited.

Students and employees should bring questions or concerns to the attention of the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, Hanna House, (513) 529-7157 (V/TTY) and (513) 529-7158 (fax). Students and employees with disabilities may contact the Office of Disability Resources, Shriver Center 304, (513) 529-1541 (V/TTY) and (513) 529-8595 (fax).

Employment will require a criminal background check according to University guidelines.

Institutional Diversity Website

If you have any questions, please contact Tresa Barlage Zianno at

Smoke Free Campus Statement

All campuses of Miami University are smoke- and tobacco-free.

Right to Know - Consumer Information

Miami’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report with information on campus crime, fires, and safety may be found at: Campus Safety Annual Report. Hard copy available upon request.

More Information

For more information regarding the Office of Residence Life, Miami University and the Oxford community, please visit: