Resident Assistant Information
Resident Assistants are undergraduate members of the Office of Housing and Residential Life staff who live in the residence halls and are responsible for the development of cohesive communities, safety and security of residents, and the enforcement of campus policies. The RA provides the opportunity for residents to get acquainted through planned activities, educational programs, and being knowledgeable of various services offered on campus.
Resident Assistants should demonstrate an understanding of the RA position, possess the ability to develop deep personal relationships, be open to new experiences, have the capacity to deal with change, possess leadership skills, communicate effectively, demonstrate a willingess to work with a diverse student population, be able to evaluate a situation objectively and deal with a wide range of emotions and behavior.
If you have additional questions please contact jmartin273@RADFORD.EDU. Use the links below to learn more about RAs and the application process.
In order to be considered for a Resident Assistant position, applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications:
- Applicants must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA by the start of Summer Session I and at commencement of the Resident Assistant duties. Thereafter, RAs must maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA to continue as a staff member. RAs that have a 2.5 or higher cumulative GPA must also not fall below a 2.5 semester GPA for two consecutive semesters or they will no longer be eligible for the RA position.
- Applicants must complete and pass the COED 450: Resident Assistant Training course during the first semester of employment.
- Applicants must be free of any current university judicial sanction.
- Applicants must have lived in a residence hall for at least one full semester by Jan. 1, 2020.
- Applicants must be full-time students.
For more information view the RA Job Description [PDF].
Information session attendance is strongly encouraged but not required. This is an opportunity to learn more about the requirements of the position and ask any questions.
The next upcoming information sessions are:
Nov 6 from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm in Heth 45
Nov 18 from 5:00 - 6:00 pm in Heth 44
The RA selection process is a multi-step process for new applicants and returning applicants. If you are not currently an RA, please review the information under new RA application and timeline. If you are currently a staff member with Residential Life, please review the returning RA application and timeline information.
Selection process for new RAs
- Application (including two recommendations and answers to short answer questions)
- Individual and group interviews
- Position offers are made after staff selection
Selection process for returning RAs
- Application (including recommendation from RD and answers to short answer questions)
- Creative Piece
- Portfolio presentation with selection panel
- Position offers are made after staff selection
If you have further questions please e-mail jmartin273@RADFORD.EDU
If you are not currently an RA, please review this information.
Recruitment and selection timeline
Spring 2020 applications are due by 11:59 P.M. on November 10, 2019. Applicants will then be contacted for interviews as positions become available or are anticipated to be available.
Fall 2020 applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on January 26, 2020. Applicants will then be contacted for interviews as it gets closer to the New RA interview dates.
The first stage of the selection process is filling out the RA application online. The application contains basic information about you and your experience. Applicants may need to create a username and password once you land on the application site in order to apply. In addition to the online application, each applicant will need to provide the following:
- Two recommendations
- Answers to short-answer questions
Applicants are encouraged to talk with current RAs and Resident Directors to learn more about the position.
If you are currently a staff member with Residential Life, please review this information.
Recruitment and selection timeline
Information regarding the timeline will be provided shortly.
The returning RA application for Fall 2020 will open soon!
The first stage of the selection process is filling out the RA returning staff application online. The application contains basic information about you and your experience. Applicants may have to create a username and password once you land on the application link. In addition to the online application, each applicant will need to provide the following:
- Recommendation from RD
- Answers to short answer questions
All returning staff members are required to complete a creative piece reflecting on themselves and their time as an RA. Each staff member will present their creative piece during their interview in February. Interviews will be with 1-2 members of the Housing Department.
- When does RA Training begin and how long is it?
RAs return to campus in early August and typically undergo approximately two full weeks (including weekends) of training prior to move-in. Training is extensive and there will be things planned all day during those two weeks. All meals are provided. January’s training is briefer, with RAs returning to campus a few days prior to move-in for refresher sessions and time to prepare the halls for opening.
- What are some of the responsibilities of the RA position?
RAs are responsible for staffing duty shifts in every residence hall each night that the buildings are open. This can include responding to emergencies and policy violations. In addition, RAs build an inclusive community by getting to know their residents and presenting educational and social programs. RAs will also work to help address conflicts and assist students with other concerns like academic referrals, mental health, homesickness, and other college adjustment issues. RAs become aware of very sensitive personal information about students so it’s important that they follow our procedures for reporting and confidentiality. RAs also attend meetings with their staff and RD each week.
- What are some of the benefits and compensation?
RAs will receive a credit to his/her student account for room and board for each semester of employment.
- Do I get to choose which building I become an RA in?
No. If you are hired to be on staff, you will be placed in the best community and staff for your strengths. Students who have preexisting housing accommodations from the Center for Accessibility Services will be accommodated.
- How often will I need to go through training?
Our most extensive training session occurs in August. We also have a refresher training for a few days in January. Additionally, all residence life staff will attend one mandatory in-service per month which is typically offered more than once and lasts no more than two hours. New RAs will also take the RA Class, COED 450, during the fall semester.
- What kind of training will I receive after being hired and why does it take so long?
Resident Assistants are trained in a variety of different areas because they will have to respond to a variety of human behavior in the residence halls. Some of the topic areas include: conflict mediation, programming requirements, facilities and fire safety, leadership development, sexual assault response, safe zone training, talking with students who are considering suicide, crisis response, and duty. During training in August, we try to cover many topics and still allow enough time for staff members to get to know each other, do some team building, and prepare for the large task of move-in. Training consists of full days but
- Can I still be involved with other organizations while being an RA?
Yes, as long as the other organizations do not monopolize all of your time. RAs should prioritize their academic commitments first, then the RA position, then everything else.
- Can I still be hired even if I’m not artsy and crafty?
Absolutely! RAs come from all different majors and backgrounds. Bulletin boards, door decorations, and creative program advertisements are important parts of the job but there is more to creativity than just being crafty.
- What kind of support structure and help with problems will I have after I am hired?
One of the best support structures will be the rest of your RA staff team. Many RAs like to ask the other RAs on their staffs for advice. In addition, you have your supervisor, the Resident Director. RDs can help you navigate difficult issues on your floor; additionally, RDs have a duty rotation so you can call when something happens on duty that you need help with. Finally, your RD’s supervisor, the Area Director, can assist you along with all the staff in the central office.
- Will I have a roommate?
RA roommates are assigned depending based on our occupancy numbers for the fall semester. We use RA roommates to limit the number of tripled rooms on campus. RA roommates typically cannot be requested and are intended to be temporary. RA roommates are offered permanent spaces once all tripled students have been offered permanent space. We recommend planning to be assigned a roommate. Decisions about RA roommates are made in late July or early August.
- Can I work another job while being an RA?
As long as your RD approves it you can have outside employment. There are restrictions on the number of hours you can work and are not permitted to work overnight shifts. Additionally, there are limitations in terms of work study jobs or other on-campus employment. As with involvement in student organizations, we still expect for academics to be the first priority, followed by the RA position, followed by everything else including outside employment.
- How many meetings will I have each week?
Every week can be different in residence life. You may have a couple of roommate mediations or a program planning meeting with your staff. Each week you should be having a staff meeting and a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.
- How often am I on duty?
On most staff teams, you will be on duty once or twice per week. There is usually flexibility at the beginning of the semester when you create your duty schedule to plan around important events. Staff at the university operated apartments and staff in Muse hall typically have unique ways of scheduling duty.
- Can I stay over break?
RAs will move in early and need to stay until residents have left for each of the university breaks. Break Housing, however, is only available to students living in the university apartments at Calhoun or Davis (included with cost of housing) and Madison or Jefferson (additional fee per night to stay during breaks).
- I am excited to become an RA but I’m nervous about writing people up and getting them into trouble. Is there a way to not have to write people up?
RAs are responsible for assisting with policy enforcement and must address what they come across. Students are able to make their own choices and when they violate policy RAs are responsible for documenting those situations. RAs do not charge students with violating the Standards of Student Conduct. All incoming staff will receive training on confronting policy violations and will have the opportunity to practice those skills during August training.