If you’re a college student who’s looking for a job that pays and helps others, you may be interested to learn about the responsibilities of a resident assistant.
There are many other titles for this position, including community assistant, peer adviser, resident mentor, resident adviser or RA. A person in this role monitors the health and safety of a residential group, along with numerous other duties.
While they can work in a number of settings such as mental health facilities and nursing homes, the term most often conjures thoughts of college life. Resident advisers in college and university residence halls are the RAs that will be discussed in this article. Keep reading if you’d like to learn more about this job and its duties.
About Resident Assistants
A resident assistant is usually a student who is charged with being a leader and maintaining order for a group of student residents, usually on one floor or wing of a residence building. Payment is usually received in the form of free room and board. It can also include a monetary stipend. The RA is responsibility for the safety of residents, along with ensuring that rules are followed. The duties of resident assistants go far beyond these roles. They are charged with creating a sense of community among their students, presenting educational workshops, acting as counselor and serving as a resource regarding academic or campus-related questions. If you want to become a resident mentor, you’ll have to be able to demonstrate that you are a mature individual and to go through an extensive training in order to be able to handle the responsibilities involved in the job.
There is much administrative work involved in this job. You’ll need to keep documentation of any incidents that occur within your area and will meet regularly with the director of your hall to provide an overview of activities. The RA also takes care of the administrative details concerning such things as maintenance issues and room inventory.
As an RA, you become the face of the university or collage for those within your leadership. Your residents will come to you with questions regarding school policy. It will be your responsibility to hold a meeting at the beginning of each term to be sure everyone is aware of the hall rules. You will also need to enforce those rules and hand down appropriate consequences for breach of them, according to institutional policy. It’s important to remember that you must model appropriate behavior by following the rules at all times.
The floor or wing that you supervise is essentially a residential community. One of the responsibilities of a resident assistant is to encourage growth in your community. You will be charged with developing educational and interpersonal programming that informs the residents about academic topics and other subjects that are relevant to the life of college students such as understanding diversity, dealing with peer pressure and campus safety. A big part of building community is facilitating good relationships. Interceding in disagreements between residents and acting as a mediator will fall to you.
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what to expect as an RA. These are some of the most common and important responsibilities of a resident assistant.
See also: What is a Work-Study Program?