Resident Advisor (RA) Job Description In Detail

Resident Advisor (RA) Job Description In Detail

Resident Advisors (RA) work to create an inclusive on-campus housing environment that promotes personal development, citizenship, involvement, and leadership through the practice of Community Immersion. RAs serve as a resource for students in their community and as a role model at UNC Chapel Hill. RAs are assigned to traditional residence halls, suite style complexes, or apartment buildings and may be asked to hold a collateral assignment (ex: Residential Learning Program, Community Government, Green Games, First Year Experience, DISCOVER MORE, Multicultural Advisor, Academic Peer Advocate, etc.). RAs are supervised by a Community Director (CD).

The RA role is not a traditional 8-5/M-F job. Actual hours of work vary based on the need of the department (ex: Halloween, popular sporting events, inclement weather, training, opening, closing, staff selection, unforeseen circumstances, etc.) and includes some evenings and weekends. RAs are required to attend all training activities while employed. RAs may request 12 nights away from their community each semester per approval of their supervisor.  RAs are expected to work all residence hall openings and closings, including Fall semester, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Semester, Spring Break and Spring Semester/Commencement closing.

Below are the details that encompass this critical position in Carolina Housing.

Critical Functions

Administration

  • Prepare, attend, and participate in all meetings (ex: staff, committees, 1:1, trainings, collaterals, etc.)
  • Time management (ex: attendance/timeliness for meetings, availability on floor, presence in community, etc.)
  • Complete all desk duties
  • Proficient and appropriate use of DHRE systems (ex: StarRez, eRezlife, Maxient, Advocate, etc.)
  • Submit paperwork on time and complete projects thoroughly
  • Conducts Health & Safety inspections and resident well-being checks, as directed by supervisor or duty staff

Communication

  • Excel in verbal and written communication
  • Demonstrate appropriate use of technology (ex: social networking, texting, etc)
  • Create and maintain a customer centered environment when working in the office
  • Educates residents on Housing procedures including but not limited to safety and security guidelines, Community Living Standards, recycling, mail and package distribution and assignments processes
  • Departmental Initiatives & Vision
  • Visible and approachable in the community 
  • Facilitate relationships among residents
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity (ex: language, awareness, programming, campus wide trainings/events, etc.)
  • Foster an inclusive hall environment
  • Serve as a positive role model for residents and fellow staff
  • Create and maintains positive working relationships with housing partners (ex: Housekeeping, Maintenance, and Public Safety )

Duty and Crisis

  • Serve in a Duty Rotation that observes, addresses, and responds to the needs of the community as outlined by DHRE (ex: community desk hours, rounds, duty phone calls, etc.)
  • Respond to emergencies in accordance with DHRE protocol and procedure
  • Serve as a Mandated Reporter (obligated to report all violations of the Community Living Standards, State and Federal law, as well as cases of sexual misconduct, sexual assault, and sexual harassment to supervisor)
  • Educate residents on University Honor Code, Community Living Standards, and University Alcohol Policy
  • Confront behaviors in violation of University Honor Code, Community Living Standards, and the University Alcohol Policy
  • Support fellow staff members
  • Manage and respond to facility related issues
  • Foster a sense of community by encouraging residents to respect the rights of others and empowering them to address issues in the community (ex: roommate disagreements, environment conducive to sleep/study, etc.)
  • Make appropriate referrals when necessary
  • Write incident reports in a timely manner that are clear, concise, accurate, and appropriately detailed
  • Follow up with students who are in crisis and/or have been confronted for policy violations 

Education and Leadership

  • Maintain a positive and team oriented attitude towards the community, staff, and department
  • Support hall initiatives (ex: Residential Learning Programs, Scholar in Residence, etc).
  • Serve as an academic role model and actively demonstrate interest in residents’ academic engagement
  • Participate in recognition/encouragement of staff and community members
  • Support Community Government programs and initiatives
  • Demonstrate effective and ethical decision making skills
  • Encourages student involvement and leadership development

Programming

  • Plan and implement active and passive programs that align with the community program model
  • Manage a programming budget
  • Assess resident’s programmatic needs and addresses them accordingly
  • Utilize campus resources in programming
  • Serve as a resource to the wing/floor/building

Qualifications & Eligibility

  • Students employed by Housing and Residential Education must be enrolled as full-time students, will not be employed on a permanent full-time basis, and will not occupy a classified position. Student staff is “at will” and not eligible for layoff priority employment or severance pay and may be terminated at any time without additional compensation. A lapse in student status occurs during breaks (winter and summer) when an employee is not enrolled in courses. A lapse resulting from course scheduling does not affect employment eligibility, though it will subject the employee to FICA tax deductions.
  • All employees must maintain good financial, disciplinary, and academic standings with the University.
  • All employees must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher at the time of appointment and throughout employment, be in good disciplinary standings with DHRE, and complete the required background check to University satisfaction. Good disciplinary standing with DHRE means having neither an active sanction of housing conduct probation or higher with the DHRE. This appointment may be rescinded if a criminal background check discloses information that affects this hiring decision.
  • RAs must maintain appropriate balance while in this position, meaning no more than 40 hours of involvement per week (including 20 hours for the RA position, academic credit hours, and other campus involvement). RAs may take no more than 18 credit hours per semester. RAs may not hold a second part-time job or unpaid opportunity (internship, assistantship, student teaching, etc) without written approval from both their supervisor and Assistant Director.  RAs will review outside commitments with their CD and determine if written request & approval is needed. RAs are encouraged to take part in their own development to ensure they are getting the most from the experience.
  • All applicants must attend a mandatory information session. Dates, times, and locations are listed under Mandatory Information Sessions.
  • Resident Advisors must report to campus on August 6, 2017. RAs must be present for training and opening August 6 - August 21, 2017. If you are a graduate student, be sure to check your academic calendar to ensure that you will be available for training and opening. These dates are mandatory. 
  • All RAs applying to return to the position must have the support of their Community Director.

Compensation Package

The Department of Housing and Residential Education provides Resident Advisor (RA) a compensation package that includes:

  • A stipend payment of $4,500 per academic year that will be divided into 10 payments and paid out monthly on the last business day of the month (except December). The stipend is prorated and the number of payments decreases if hire date is after August 1.
  • $200 per semester is transferred to the RA’s UNC OneCard meal flex account. This is taxable compensation. The amount is prorated if hired after the first day of classes or if employment ends before the last day of classes. If employment is discontinued early, the portion of meal plan money associated with days not worked is recovered by Housing and is not taxable compensation.
  • A single furnished room at a discounted rate not to exceed $710 per semester, unless housing shortages requires the assignment of a roommate.

* RAs assigned to communities that require staff to work during break periods may receive an increased compensation package. This will be outlined in the Letter of Appointment.

* The department of Housing and Residential Education encourages applicants and employees to consider if this compensation package will affect their financial aid package. Please contact Scholarships and Student Aid, 962-4170 for information on eligibility for aid and employment.

Selection Timeline

We conduct RA selection in the fall semester to hire the RAs for the following academic year. You can apply as early as fall semester of your first year.

  • Application opens: Middle of Fall Semester (Copy this address into your browser - uncch.erezlife.com)
  • Information sessions (mandatory): Fall Semester
  • Applications due: Late Fall Semester
  • Interview Days(by invite only): Early Spring Semester
  • Notification emails sent: February/March
  • Fall Training: Usually the first week of August - about 2 weeks before the halls open for move-in. Resident Advisors must report to campus and be present for training and opening. If you are a graduate student, be sure to check your academic calendar to ensure that you will be available for training and opening. These dates are mandatory.

TIMELINE FOR 2016-17

Beginning of November: Advertising campaign begins, info sessions begin

November 8: Application Opens

December 8: RA Application Closes

January 9-10: First Round Interviews

January 21-22: First Round Interviews (SNOW DATES)

Week of January 16: Notified of status

January 27: Spotlight Night (by Invitation Only)

January 28: Group Process Interviews (by Invitation Only)

Late February: Offer Notification & Notification of Placement

Mandatory Information Sessions

We understand you may have questions that are not be covered within the application or on this website. As a way to help you obtain all the information you will need, we have designed information sessions across campus. A brief presentation will be followed by a question and answer session hosted by a member of the hiring committee. Attendance at one of these sessions below is mandatory to proceed in the RA Selection process.

Each session will include: clarifying the RA role, going over common questions about study abroad, compensation, training, the policy on outside employment, and finally, what to expect from the selection process.

Again, attendance at one of these sessions below is mandatory, so plan accordingly.

Information Session Dates:

Information sessions will be held on the following dates. Please note, location and time may change so please check back for updated information before attending. Be sure to sign in at the session.

  •  Tue., Nov. 1st     Union 2420      12:30PM-1:30PM
  •  Thu., Nov. 3rd     Carmichael Ballroom       3:30PM-4:30PM
  •  Mon., Nov. 7th     Ehaus Classroom      5:00PM-6:00PM
  •  Wed., Nov. 9th     Granville South Tower Basement/Study Lounge      8:00PM-9:00PM
  •  Sun., Nov.13th     Upendo 1118      4:00PM-5:00PM
  •  Wed., Nov. 16th   Union 2420     12:00PM-1:00PM
  •  Fri., Nov. 18th      Hinton James Study Lounge Wing B       9:00PM-10:00PM
  •  Mon., Nov. 21st    Cobb Game Room      9:00PM-10:00PM
  •  Mon., Dec.5th       Union 2420     5:00PM-6:00PM
  •   Tue., Dec. 6th      Hinton-James Study Lounge Wing B      7:00PM-8:00PM
  •  Wed., Dec. 7th     Union 2420      1:00PM-2:00PM 

EDUC 318: Peer Leadership in the University Environment

Resident Advisors are encouraged to take Education 318 to enhance their skills as an RA. A description of the class is below.

EDUC 318:  Peer Leadership in the University Environment (2 credits)

Peer Leadership in the University Environment will define leadership within a local and global context.  This course is designed to be an exploration of how values, beliefs, and social identities intersect to influence one's leadership philosophy. Students will develop their leadership identity not only through self-awareness, but through enhanced intercultural competence in an effort to collaborate and promote social change in the community. Through ongoing analytical reflection, students will develop a personal definition of leadership informed by different foundational leadership models. Students will integrate and apply their learning by engaging in a capstone research experience; thereby, transforming leadership philosophy into practice and actualizing positive social change in the University community. This course is open to any UNC student and is not a requirement of the Resident Advisor position.

Course Learning Outcomes:

As a result of completing this course successfully, students will:

  1. Employ research skills to identify a significant challenge facing the university, local, and/ or global community in order to develop and implement tangible solutions for positive change.
  2. Practice information literacy when selecting resources to support arguments developed in their assignments. 
  3. dentify, analyze, and evaluate how foundational models of leadership and social identities inform their leadership identity development.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to work effectively individually or collaboratively through the completion of course assignments.
  5. Incorporate intercultural knowledge and skills when leading and collaborating with peers and stakeholders. 

The main element and largest grading component of this course is the capstone research project. In small groups, students will develop a research project based on an issue they want to see improved at UNC.

Study Abroad and the RA Position

Studying abroad this year

If you are studying abroad this year, you may not be able to fully participate in the RA selection experience, but you are still welcome to apply. Please submit your completed application and references as soon as possible, and the selection committee will do their best to interview you during the fall semester before you leave campus. If we are unable to schedule your interview in the fall, we will communicate with you via email and set up a phone interview.  You will not be penalized in the spring selection process for being abroad.

Candidates who are selected to participate in Interview Weekend will be provided with a packet of activities (in lieu of being able to participate in Interview Weekend) to complete via email. It will be each individual's responsibility to complete the activities and submit them to the RA Selection Committee via email. All communication will be made via email during your study abroad experience, except for the scheduled phone interview. The Department of Housing will call you for that interview.

The most important thing for candidates who will be abroad is that they should indicate their status on the application. Please include the most thorough and accurate information possible, so that we can contact you. We also encourage you to turn in your application early to allow time for the additional communication steps.

Studying abroad next year

If you are planning to study abroad next academic year, we ask that you be mindful of the expectation that the RA position is an academic year commitment.  If your plans to study abroad are nearly solidified, please do not apply.  If there is a great chance you will not be selected for your study abroad program, feel free to apply and indicate your intent to TRY to study abroad on your application. 

If you have questions, please contact LaVel Heintz at allave@email.unc.edu.

RAs in Residential Learning Programs

Within the Department of Housing and Residential Education, a variety of Residential Learning Program housing options are offered for students who want unique, more inclusive residential learning experiences.

If you are interested in working as an RA in conjunction with one of these programs, please indicate that throughout your application process. You can read more about our Residential Learning Programs here

Residential Learning Program Resident Advisor Job Description

The primary role and responsibility of the RLP RA is shared oversight of the operation of their assigned RLP. In order to achieve success in the position, the following section outlines the major job functions of the RLP RA; however, it is not an all inclusive list.  In addition to the job duties listed below, the RLP RA will perform any other duties assigned.  The RLP RA position reports to the Community Director (CD) of their respective RLP. RLP RAs cannot serve as Multicultural Advisors.

Administration

  • Serve on the advisory council
  • Work with the CD to develop an agenda and co-facilitate RLP
  • Create/maintain an operations binder (electronic and/or paper). The binder should include flyers, community plan, organizational structure, budgets, correspondence, photos, and other supporting materials
  • Complete an End of the Year report to be passed on to the next RLP RA
  • Attend weekly or bi-weekly 1 on 1s with your CD
  • Participate in the recruitment events (Spotlight Night) for RLP RAs
  • Host in-community hours (amount to be determined with your CD)

Program Development

  • Collaborate with the CD to develop learning outcomes and meaningful programs based on the learning community mission and goals
  • Work with the CD to plan and implement community programs and activities
  • Coordinate and advise in-community programming committees and peer leaders
  • Assist with developing and implementing community assessments 

Other RLP RA Responsibilities

  • Be a role model in the community
  • Monitor program participation and work with the CD to address members falling below the minimum level of participation
  • Actively participate and support community programs and activities
  • Represent the RLP across campus
  • Work cooperatively with residence hall student staff; including Resident Advisors, Community Managers, Office Assistants, Resident Advisor Mentors, and Community Government on programs housed within the same community

Compensation

The Department of Housing and Residential Education provides RLP Resident Advisor (RA) a compensation package that includes:

  • A stipend payment of $4,500 per academic year that will be divided into 10 equal payments and paid out monthly on the last business day of the month (except December). The stipend is prorated and the number of payments decreases if hire date is after August 1.
  • $400 per semester is transferred to the RA’s UNC OneCard expense account. This is taxable compensation. The amount is prorated if hired after the first day of classes or if employment ends before the last day of classes. If employment is discontinued early, the portion of meal plan money associated with days not worked is recovered by Housing and is not taxable compensation.
  • A single furnished room at a discounted rate not to exceed $710 per semester, unless housing shortages requires the assignment of a roommate.

Tips

The selection process to become an RA is one of the greatest experiences to have before entering a search for a job after college.  You are evaluated on your ability to work with a team, problem-solving skills and prior experience. 

Below are some tips to help you succeed through our process as well as what the formal Spring process will entail.  RAs hired through Mid-Year selection will typically only experience an interview with a CD and a current RA.

  • Dress:  Presentation of yourself is sometimes half the battle of getting any desired outcome.  It is recommended that candidates attend any interview with the intention to "dress to impress."  What this means may look different to each candidate, but above all, make sure that no matter what you're wearing, we still get a glimpse of the REAL you.
  • Preparation:  The first step to a successful interview is preparing yourself for what is to come and understanding the organization you're interviewing with.  A great resource is your current RA or another trusted member of the Housing staff. They can give you their perspective on what happens in the daily life of an RA.  
  • Another great resource is the About section on this website.  The section outlines our values, our mission and our philosophy about residence life at UNC. Reading through this material and being able to draw connections about how you would fit in that picture as an RA will make you a stronger candidate. 
  • University Career Services (https://careers.unc.edu/) is also another strong source for tips for your interview.
  • What are we looking for?  In any interview it is important to give examples of your experience, thoughts, values, or projections of behavior.  Focus on your STRENGTHS, but recognize your weaknesses and how you are working on improving them.  Be sure to be honest about who you are and what you believe in. Getting coached on what to say or do is helpful, but unless you're being true to yourself, we'll notice the act.

We are not looking for the perfect leader in every candidate but rather the potential and desire for greatness.  This may be your first leadership experience, but that doesn't mean you won't make a great RA!