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 role models at UNC Chapel Hill. RAs serve traditional residence halls, suite style buildings, or apartment communities and may be asked to hold a collateral assignment (ex: Residential Learning Program, Community Government, Green Games, First Year Experience, DISCOVER MORE, Multicultural Advisor, 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 expected to reside in assigned room for a minimum of five nights per week, including two weekends per month, in addition to meeting the needs of Carolina Housing listed above. Any additional time away from the community must be requested and approved by the Community Director. RAs are required to serve scheduled weekday and weekend duty. The frequency of duty will vary from building to building depending on the size of the staff. RAs are required to attend all training activities while employed. 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


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


  • 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 on-call rotation that observes, addresses, and responds to the needs of the community as outlined by Carolina Housing (ex: community desk hours, rounds, duty phone calls, etc.)
  • Respond to emergencies in accordance with Carolina Housing 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 community initiatives (ex: Residential Learning Programs, Scholar in Residence, FYE, DM, 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


  • Plan and implement active and passive programs that align with the community program model
  • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility with 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 Carolina Housing 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 Carolina Housing, and complete the required background check to University satisfaction. Good disciplinary standing with Carolina Housing means having neither an active sanction of housing conduct probation or higher with Carolina Housing. 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 2, 2020. RAs must be present for training and opening August 2, 2020 - August 18, 2020. 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

Carolina Housing provides Resident Advisors (RAs) a compensation package that includes:

  • A stipend payment of $5,000 per academic year that will be divided into 10 payments and paid 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.
  • A single furnished room at a discounted rate not to exceed $711 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 increased compensation. This will be outlined in the Letter of Appointment.

* Carolina Housing encourages applicants and employees to consider if this compensation package will affect their financial aid package. Please contact Scholarships and Student Aid, 919-962-4170 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.


November 4, 2019: Application Opens

During November/December: Mandatory Information Sessions take place. All candidates must attend a mandatory information session and sign in to be eligible to apply.

December 4: RA Application Closes

January 6 & 7: First Round Interviews (by invitation only)

Late February: Offer Notification & Notification of Placement

* All dates are subject to change.

Mandatory Information Sessions

We understand you may have questions about the RA position that may 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 designated 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 hour session will include: clarification of the RA role, common questions about study abroad, compensation review, training dates and expectations, expectations regarding outside employment, and finally, what to expect from the selection process.

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

Information Session Dates:

Monday, November 4 from 8:00pm-9:00pm in the Teague Multipurpose Room

Wednesday, November 6 from 8:30pm-9:30pm in Union 2420

Friday, November 8 from 3:00pm-4:00pm in the Carmichael Fishbowl

Tuesday, November 12 from 12:00pm-1:00pm in Union 3206 A/B

Thursday, November 14 from 7:00pm-8:00pm in the Cobb Game Room

Monday, November 18 from 9:00pm-10:00pm in the Ram Village 1 Multipurpose Room

Wednesday, November 20 from 12:30pm-1:30pm in the Carmichael Makerspace

Tuesday, November 26 from 5:30pm-6:30pm in Upendo 1118

Monday, December 2 from 8:00pm-9:00pm in the Morrison Game Room

Tuesday, December 3 from 8:30pm-9:30pm in the Carmichael Makerspace

Wednesday, December 4 from 7:30pm-8:30pm in the Hinton James Old Well Room

*Please check website on the day of each session for any changes.

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.

If you are currently abroad, please contact Maureen Rodgers at to learn how you can “attend” an information session. Please plan to be back in Chapel Hill by January 6 & 7 for individual interviews.

If you are studying abroad in Spring 2020, submit your completed application and reference materials as well as communicate via email with Maureen Rodgers at by Wednesday, November 27, 2019. The selection committee will do their best to interview you during the Fall semester before you leave campus. Please plan to be flexible with your schedule as we accommodate early interviews.

Studying abroad next year

If you are planning to study abroad next academic year (2020-2021), we ask that you be mindful of the expectation that the RA position is an academic year commitment.  You are welcome to apply and indicate your intent to TRY to study abroad on your application. Please be aware that preference may be given to candidates who will be available for the Fall and Spring semester.

If you have questions, please contact Maureen Rodgers at

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.


  • 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


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

  • A stipend payment of $5,000 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.
  • RAs may have the opportunity to work specified break housing shifts at a rate of $50 per specified Break Housing Shift.
  • A single furnished room at a discounted rate not to exceed $710 per semester, unless housing shortages requires the assignment of a roommate.