Resident Assistant Job Description

The Resident Assistant (RA) is a crucial member in the Office of Residence Life, as (s)he maintains the closest and most enduring contact with the residents. The position holds significant responsibilities, including promoting individual resident growth and encouraging a sense of community that begins with one-to-one relationships and extends to the wing/floor, the larger residence hall, and the University. RAs also play a major role in the implementation of programs and policies, which promote the goals of the Office of Residence Life. RAs are expected to take a sincere interest in the welfare of his/her fellow students, as well as the Office of Residence Life and support both constructively.

Specific Responsibilities

Each Resident Assistant working for the Office of Residence Life is expected to conduct him/herself maturely and to be attuned to the goals and objectives of the Residence Life program. The primary goal is the development of the environment conducive to the academic and personal growth of students living in the residence halls.

The following summary outlines specific expectations for which RAs are responsible:

I. Role Model

The Office of Residence Life relies on the RAs to fulfill a unique and critical responsibility; that of a role model to residents and all students. RAs are very visible leaders on campus, and as a result, their behavior is often in the public eye. It is expected that RAs be strong models in both academic and personal behavior for the residents of their wing/floor and the residence halls.

  • RAs are expected to abide by all city, state, and federal laws, and the Marquette University Code of Conduct.
  • RAs are required to have a 2.5 cumulative and semester grade point average at the time of the application and start of employment. Once employment has begun, all RAs are expected to remain in good academic standing with the university (2.0 GPA). Staff members who fall below 2.0 for two consecutive semesters may be subject to job dismissal for academic reasons.

II. Relationships with Students

RAs should strive to help each resident develop fully as a person, student, and a member of the University community. In their multiple roles as friend, advisor, administrator, and policy enforcer, RAs should demonstrate concern for the health, safety, welfare, and rights of everyone living in the residence halls. Specifically, RAs are expected to:

  • Show and express interest in each student assigned to the wing/floor by conducting a one on one meeting with each resident to learn more about them and connect them with the great campus community. The RA should spend sufficient time on the wing/floor assessing the needs, concerns, and attitudes of all residents by holding weekly office hours.
  • Recognize their counseling skills and limitations and consult the Hall Director about all problems on the wing/floor. Maintain appropriate confidentiality with the residents while working in coordination with the Hall Director.
  • Know the procedures for utilizing the services provided by University referral agencies such as the Counseling Center, Student Development, Marquette Medical Clinic, and Public Safety.
  • Create inclusive communities that make all students feel like they belong. The RA should provide leadership in promoting awareness and education around topics of diversity and social justice.

III. Student Conduct

RAs are responsible for facilitating mature behavior to the extent that an atmosphere conducive to study is maintained and physical facilities are protected for student use. RAs are responsible for following and enforcing University and departmental policies consistently throughout the residence hall. Equally important is the need to impress upon residents that they are responsible for their own actions. Under no condition should RAs tolerate immature behavior or improper conduct. Specifically, RAs are expected to:

  • Know the existing policies and procedures for handling violations of university and residence hall
    regulations, especially involving drugs and alcohol, theft, noise, and visitation violations.
  • Consult with the Hall Director regarding appropriate methods to deal with problems they encounter.
  • Respond to behavior problems and emergencies quickly, calmly, consistently, and effectively.
  • Recognize the importance of making decisions that are consistent with the procedures set forth by the Office of Residence Life and the University Code of Conduct.
  • Confront inappropriate behavior that may denigrate, discriminate against, or harass individuals or groups on the basis of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, ability, etc.
  • Recognize, appreciate, and celebrate positive behavior that encourages an educational environment supportive of student learning.

IV. Community Development and Hall Council

Since resident participation in informal and planned events enhances the residence hall living environment, RAs are responsible for actively developing and assisting Hall Council and the Hall Director in implementing hall activities. Specifically, RAs are expected to:

  • Actively participate in the planning and implementation of programs each semester.
  • Encourage residents to participate and contribute to hall activities and events.
  • Identify and involve potential student leaders in hall programming and get them connected to others who have the same interests.
  • Demonstrate support of the hall council by attending council meetings and encouraging active participation from the floor/wing representative(s).

V. Administration

The smooth operation of a residence hall is dependent upon the cooperation and support of all staff members. RAs will be called upon to perform administrative tasks that are important to the operation of the hall. Specifically, RAs are expected to:

  • Complete all assigned administrative tasks thoroughly, accurately, and on time (i.e. weekly reports, roommate agreements, resident check-in, and monthly checks).
  • Post all current notices and postings from the Office of Residence Life, Hall Director(s), campus offices, and other authorized student organizations.
  • Maintain open and frequent communication with the Facilities Manager about the condition of hall facilities.
  • Assist the Custodial and Maintenance staff in identifying facilities in need of repair or specific custodial attention.
  • Offer suggestions for the improvement of the position, the hall, and the Residence Life program.

VI. Communication

RAs play a crucial part in setting the tone for how the residence halls are perceived by students. RAs represent the University and the Office of Residence Life to students, parents, and the general public. In addition, RAs are expected to effectively facilitate various floor/wing meetings, roommate agreement discussions, as well as mediate conflict, and serve as a university resource.

V. Professional Development

To be well-equipped for the various requirements of this position, RAs are expected to:

  • Participate in all spring (April), fall (August), and winter (January) training sessions.
  • Participate in and initiate in-service training programs.
  • Attend weekly staff meetings and/or other meetings deemed appropriate by the RHD.
  • Consult with the RHD in regular one on one meetings to discuss performance and personal concerns.
  • Participate on committees and assist the Office of Residence Life in the creation and review of equitable policies and procedures.
  • Participate in and complete EDUC 1500: Principles of Peer Facilitation among College Students during the first semester of hire to the RA position