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Carolina Housing

Resident Advisors - FAQ

Job Description

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.


Current Resident Advisor FAQ - COVID-19 Information

As an RA, am I considered a student or employee for healthcare coverage? What is available to me? Do I have additional resources available should I get COVID-19?

Part-time student employees are not eligible for health insurance through the University. All eligible students enrolled in the UNC System Colleges and Universities, including UNC-Chapel Hill, are required to have health insurance coverage. For more information about Health Insurance, please see https://campushealth.unc.edu/charges-insurance/mandatory-student-health-insurance

For information regarding resources available to UNC Students, please see https://campushealth.unc.edu/

Are RAs eligible for hazard pay or other benefits?

Carolina Housing will follow all future UNC System guidance on human resources policies that apply to student employees. At this time, the UNC System has not recommended any change to pay for student or full-time employees.

What is Carolina Housing's commitment to my agreement? For example, would I receive administrative leave pay if the university were to close again?

Carolina Housing will follow all future UNC System guidance on human resources policies that apply to student employees.

What will I be provided by Carolina Housing for Community Protective Equipment (CPE)?

We are currently working to procure Community Protective Equipment. We will provide face masks for all student employees and are installing plexiglass or other barriers as appropriate for physical distancing at community desks. We will provide gloves for certain tasks (i.e. handling of keys, enhancements, etc).

What are the CPE standards and how will the University/Housing staff enforce CPE standards?

The University is still working to finalize Community Protective Equipment Standards. You can find the most up-to -date standards at CarolinaTogether.unc.edu. We will discuss enforcement during student staff training. The goal is for this to be a community effort and education will be a critical focus.

Will I be trained on the new protocols regarding CPE standards?

Yes. We will train you in the expectations & Protocols related to Community Protective Equipment.

What will safety during check-in look like?

Below are some of the guidelines we will have for check in. You can also check out https://carolinatogether.unc.edu/housing-and-dining/. We are continuing to finalize these plans.

  • We will have portable plexiglass barriers at each check-in location.
  • Student staff will be expected to wear masks.
  • Student staff will have the option to wear gloves.
  • Hand sanitizer will be placed close to the check-in table.
  • Students and their move-in helpers will be expected to wear masks.
  • There will be a limit to how many move-in helpers each student can bring during check-in.
  • We will ask residents to sign up for a move-in shifts that have been extended over several days to reduce traffic during move-in.
  • Elevators will have capacity limits and no student staff will operate elevators during check-in.
  • Stairwells will be one-way where possible.
  • We are currently working on a communication plan to get this information out through our website, social media, mailers, and signage during move-in.

What will safety and cleaning in community spaces and common areas look like?

All spaces throughout the university will have increased cleaning in frequency of common “high touch” areas (including elevator buttons and exterior door handles) and restrooms throughout each day. Hand sanitizing stations will be located in buildings and common areas.

What will safety at the desk for staff look like?

Below are some of the guidelines we will have for community offices.

  • We will have portable plexiglass barriers at all front desks.
  • Student Staff will be expected to wear masks.
  • Student Staff will have the option to wear gloves.
  • Hand sanatizer will be placed in the lobby closest to the community desk.

Will enhancements still be available for resident check out? If so, what safety measures will be in place?

Enhancements are being organized into groups for a phased approach on priority items, such as mallets for opening or vacuum cleaners for daily use.  Protocols for returning and cleaning items are being developed.  Items that are harder to clean will not be checked out, such as board games.  Feedback on the process will be collected from hall staffs before decisions are made on whether to continue or expand enhancement check-outs.

How will the halls be cleaned prior to move in to ensure safety?

Except for Carmichael, Ram Village, and Parker, all rooms have been vacated since May 20th. Carolina Housing’s professional staff members completed walkthroughs of every residential room during the month of May and June. Before opening, Housekeeping will clean each residential room, lobby, and restroom.

How are rooms that are cleaned and ready secured?

Once a room is cleaned, the door is shut and locked.

What will happen with Carolina Housing employment if required to self-isolate or quarantine, and I'm unable to complete my job duties?

If an RA is required to self-isolate or quarantine, they will remain on staff and continue to receive the same pay other RAs.  

What will the process look like if a student needs an isolation or quarantine space, and how are RAs involved?

The RAs will not be involved in this process. Residents may reach out to you, but your involvement will be limited to reporting student health concerns through our Advocate Care Reporting system as trained. You will have no responsibility from Carolina Housing to help with students once they are relocated to isolation or quarantine buildings. For Parker and Manning West RAs, we are relocating the community offices and key boxes. You will not enter Parker or Craige North.

I plan to take classes remotely this fall. Can I defer my position to spring or fall 2021? Would I be eligible for administrative leave?

You cannot defer your position because we cannot hold a vacant spot during the Fall. This would mean residents would not have an RA in the Fall. You can decline your position and be moved to the alternate pool. Please email your CD if you would like to do this.

Will there be a FAQ page available for RAs where questions/answers will be added?

We are happy to post these on our website if that is helpful. See this page.

Will students be restricted from leaving campus or traveling?

Not at this time. Carolina Housing will follow all University Guidelines regarding travel. We will not create any additional guidelines for student staff.

What would happen if a "second wave" of COVID-19 occurred and in-person operations closed?

System and university guidance will be provided in such a situation.  Numerous factors related to the time of the semester and number of students on campus will determine the process.

How can we attend to resident needs while balancing privacy as well as personal safety and distancing?

This is a critical question. We will be asking you to do as many things via technology as possible, however, there will be times where in-person service is required. We will ask you to rely on our protocols and your training to determine which approach is needed for a situation. As always, you will be supported by your Community Director and the Community Director On Call to help with creating this balance.

What will Health and Safety inspections look like for entering into student rooms?

Routine Health and Safety Inspections have been suspended until further notice.  When they resume, amended protocols and training will be provided.

What will programming look like, and what will the expectations be?

We are still in the process of determining exact programming requirements; however, programming will be achieved through a combination of virtual, passive, and small group formats.  We are adhering to University guidance that non-classroom gatherings may not exceed groups of 10 people with space for social distancing and the requirement of masks being worn.

What does the RA role look like now that community and interpersonal interactions have changed? What aspects will be done virtually vs. in person?

Virtual/online follow-up with residents will be the preferred method.  This includes intentional interactions.  If a situation requires face-to-face contact then guidelines for privacy, social distancing, and mask wearing will be provided.  If an RA and resident are both comfortable meeting face-to-face while wearing masks and social distancing then they may do so even if the situation could be handled virtually.

Will we have bulletin boards?

Yes. With the altered training schedule, we will provide you with 3-4 templates that you can utilize for your first boards.

Are we permitted to return earlier than July 24 to self-quarantine? Will we be allowed or required to self-quarantine upon return to campus?

Student employees who have been directed by public health officials to self-quarantine or self-isolate should not return to campus until cleared by health officials.  If a student employee is directed by health officials to be quarantined or isolated after arriving on campus they may be housed in one of the residence halls that has been set aside for this purpose.

Can RAs stagger arrival times?

During the spring move-out process, Carolina Housing received positive feedback on the limit of 50 students moving out per appointment time in each community.  The number of student staff per community is low enough that it is not necessary to schedule staggered times.

If, after I am provided with my room assignment, I no longer wish to be an RA, what will that process look like?

Please reach out to your Community Director to express your concerns. If after talking to your CD, you no longer want to be an RA, you can send them a resignation email.

Can RAs to share a suite in communities with shared bathrooms to limit the number of people RAs are exposed to?

No. RAs are assigned within the communities in which they serve to provide visibility and availability to their residents.  

What does the schedule for training and opening look like? Will there be any time off?

From July 27th - 31st training is scheduled from 9am to 7:30pm with meal breaks scheduled.  After training, staff will complete any remaining opening preparation work and work shifts for check-ins for early arrivals from July 31st - August 2nd and for regular check-ins from August 3rd - 10th.  While there is not designated time off, there will be blocks of time after July 31st when staff may not be working based on the shifts for which they have signed up.

What will in-person vs. virtual training for staff look like?

Virtual trainings will be held via synchronous Zoom meetings or asynchronous pre-recorded sessions for any topic that such a format is possible.  In person training will occur for sessions that cannot be conducted virtually and still be effective, such as Behind Closed Doors.  In person training will follow guidelines of groups no larger than 10 people, wearing masks, and maintaining social distancing as much as possible.

One of my biggest concerns is the elimination of one on one contact. My residents that had problems last year were mostly roommate related and they felt unsafe in their own space to bring it up at fear of the roommate hearing. If there are roommate conflicts how do we address them safely in a private environment? Can they come in our room? Will there be a space we could turn to for conflict management without using the suites?

As you know, every student need is different. There may be student needs that can be addressed virtually. However, if in-person assistance is needed, we will ask that everyone use appropriate CPE measures. This always includes wearing a mask and may include reserving a larger space in the community to allow 6 foot distancing.

In terms of interacting with residents, could there be a rule or requirement that when interacting with RA's, residents must be wearing a mask or would that be up to every individual resident/RA to enforce?

Residents will be asked to wear a mask when interacting with staff members. If a resident is not wearing a masks, staff can ask them to put a mask on. If that is not possible, staff can ask the student to create physical distancing.

While we will follow University guidance on mask requirements, we are still working through accountability. We want staff to be able to ask residents to put a mask on, but we also do not want to place the accountability fully on the shoulders of our staff. Your first response will always be to ask them politely to put a mask on. If they refuse, you will have the ability to remove yourself from the situation and call a CD.

I have finals (SSII) or an internship/work that conflicts with training.

All student staff who submitted a request to attend training late received an answer on the morning of 6/10/20. If you submitted a request and did not receive an answer, please contact your Community Director as soon as possible. We have currently approved 96% of requests and have approved 100% of requests who had conflicts due to the training schedule change.

Am I able to provide a preference for reassignment?

Now that we have the results from the form you all completed, we have a better idea of our need for reassignments. With such a high return rate, we are expecting very few relocations. As of now, these will be restricted to relocating some RAs originally placed in Parker Community and Manning West Community.   The RAs in Parker and Manning West will receive a separate email asking about their preferences.

Will there be student staff in Craige North or Parker Halls?

In response to the Chancellor’s Roadmap for Fall 2020, they have been selected as buildings to be held in the event that the University needs isolation or quarantine spaces for students. We will not place RAs in Craige North or Parker.

If I require any accommodations to do the RA job, how and where can I request this accommodation?

Please visit the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Website at https://eoc.unc.edu/what-we-do/accommodations/. You will see a button at the top right to "Request Accommodations."

Can I reconsider my employment if conditions or my comfort working change?

We recognize that your decision to serve as an RA may change as this ongoing situation unfolds.  We will respect the decision of any Carolina Housing student staff member who change their mind and elects to resign at any time.

Can RAs have a copy of a revised LOA/Agreement?

You will find the general Resident Advisor Letter of Agreement attached along with our Ethical Principles. Please be aware that this is our standard RA Letter of Agreement. Granville, Ram Village, RLP RAs, and LT all receive LOAs with variations specific to those positions. If this applies to you, the appropriate documents will be sent to you with your hire paperwork and you will have one week to review, sign and return your Letter of Agreement along with your other hiring paperwork.

Is RA pay included in financial aid estimations? What is my stipend/pay for the upcoming year?

You may find stipend information here: https://housing.unc.edu/about-us/employment-opportunities/student-positions. We always recommend that you contact Scholarship and Student Aid with any financial aid questions, https://studentaid.unc.edu as the impact of the stipend is specific to each student’s aid package.

Are we meeting with our Community Director before we get to campus? What about spring meetings?

Yes. We are currently planning virtual “spring meetings” for mid to late June. You will receive an email from your CD in the coming weeks.

Will RAs share rooms or suites with others? Will RAs share floors with other RAs?

RAs will reside in a single occupancy rooms. Some of these rooms will be in suites or apartments with residents. Our staffing structure in each community is unique. Some RAs will have their own floors and some may share floors. 

Will Winter Break Housing still be available?

We currently expect to offer limited Winter Break Housing to those with hardships.  Details will be made available at a later date.

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