Resident Assistant (RA)

Job Description

Resident Assistant positions are available through the Department of Residence Life & Housing. Resident Assistants are student staff members who live in and lead the residential community on our campus. The position is multi-faceted and inevitably exerts considerable influence on the lives of our students.

I.  GOALS

Listed below are the major goals for the Resident Assistant and all Residence Life staff:

1. To provide an atmosphere within the residence halls which fosters the development of a community, based on consideration, respect and appreciation of all individuals

2. To assist students in their personal development and self-awareness

3. To foster an appreciation for the care of and respect for maintenance of the physical facilities to meet the health, safety and comfort needs of residents

4. To promote and develop an environment that is conducive to academic achievement and success

5. To develop student leadership skills

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II.  ROLES AND FUNCTIONS

1. TEACHER/PROGRAMMER

RAs plan activities to promote the personal development of residents according to the Residence Life curriculum. RAs must complete the requirements of the programming expectations and interact with residents in a manner that reflects an understanding of student development theory and the philosophy of Residence Life and Housing. RAs utilize campus and community resources for programs and actively participate in Hall Council and support its functions. In addition, RAs are also expected to facilitate community builders for their residents to enhance relationships.

2. COUNSELOR/HELPER

An RA utilizes communication and listening skills. RAs have an appreciation for diversity among residents while understanding the value of individual differences between people.  The staff must know how and when to make referrals, respond appropriately to emergency and crisis situations, and possess basic knowledge of human behavior. As helpers, RAs must have knowledge of specific student issues and problem areas (suicide, substance abuse, sexuality, conflict resolution, etc.).

3. RESOURCE PERSON

RAs transmit information regarding Residence Life, the residence halls, campus activities, campus services, and academic services to residents. In addition to information sharing, RAs also understand and can communicate college policies and procedures to their peers.

4. ADMINISTRATOR

RAs must submit information and paperwork in a timely and accurate manner.  An RA must perform administrative tasks related to the operation of the residence hall. These tasks include: completing room inspection and inventory forms, surveying residents, completing incident reports, opening and closing the building, completing maintenance work orders, and other administrative responsibilities as outlined by the Hall Director. In addition, RAs must meet on-call responsibilities and fulfill meeting obligations.

5. ROLE MODEL/STUDENT

RAs are members of the college staff, who must follow all rules and regulations of the college and those of the Department of Residence Life and Housing.  RAs establish an environment on the floor that is conducive to academic and personal growth and utilize study skills and time management techniques for personal success.

6. POLICY ENFORCER

RAs must promote a philosophy of self-responsibility, address self-defeating behaviors, and confront behaviors that are inconsiderate and detrimental to members of the community. Staff must communicate the rationale and philosophy of rules governing the residence halls. In addition, RAs must maintain relationships with students while consistently addressing inappropriate behavior(s) and referring individuals with recurring instances of policy violations to the Hall Director.

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III.  SPECIAL DUTIES

Resident Assistants are required to:

1. Return to campus on posted training dates for fall and spring semesters. They are expected to stay past the closing of the hall after the fall semester and 24 hours after spring semester closing. Also, RAs are required to stay past closing and arrive prior to opening during mid-semester break periods and vacations.

2. Perform on-call responsibilities as outlined by the respective Hall Director and notify the Hall Director of plans to be away from campus prior to departure. RAs are encouraged to spend one weekend per month away from campus.

3. Participate fully in fall and spring semester pre-service training programs, as well as in hall in-service and any other training programs. All RAs are required to attend, and participate in, two out-of-hall in-service training each semester of their employment.

4. Attend weekly staff meetings and meet individually with Hall Director upon request.

5. Conduct floor meetings.

6. Develop, over the first three weeks of the semester, a Community Living Agreement for the floor.

7. Complete community building and/or programming requirements as outlined.

8. Perform duties for Dining Services as outlined in "RSS Relationship to Dining Services." RAs are subject to the review of Dining Services personnel in the performance of their Dining Center duties.  The one-half of a full board plan is funded through Auxiliary Services.

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IV. SUPERVISION

Resident Assistants are responsible for duties assigned by the Director of Residence Life and Housing or his designees.

The Resident Assistant Job Description is the basis for the Resident Assistant performance review and evaluation. Any violation of the terms of this contract; federal, state, or local law; college policies and rules governing residence halls; and/or failure to fulfill required job responsibilities; including individual hall expectations, in an unsatisfactory manner may result in termination of the RA appointment.

V. PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT & other pertinent information

RA appointments are for an entire academic year. During the term of appointment, an RA cannot participate in any Student Teaching experience or full-time internship except in Lonis, Sheldon and The Village. All RA’s who wish to sign up for part-time internship must have prior approval from Renée Landers-Jennings, Associate Director of Residence Life and Housing. Fall semester graduates are not eligible for appointment except in Lonis or Sheldon Halls.

VI. QUALIFICATIONS

Resident Assistants must be full-time students at SUNY Oswego during the period of employment, have lived on a college campus for a minimum of one semester, and must have attained sophomore status by the time of appointment.

To be eligible for appointment, the cumulative G.P.A. must be a 2.40 or above and the previous semester's grade point average must be a minimum of 2.00. Neither summer school nor winter session will be an option to improve the cumulative G.P.A. for those who do not meet the minimum requirement. These academic standards must be maintained during each semester of employment to be in good staff academic standing. However, RAs who, after at least one semester of employment, have a semester G.P.A. of 2.00 or greater AND a cumulative G.P.A. between 2.20 - 2.39 or a semester G.P.A. between 1.71 - 1.99 AND a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.40 or greater will be placed on "Staff Academic Probation." All RAs placed on "Staff Academic Probation" must participate in the Residence Life and Housing H.E.L.P. (Helping Employees Learning Performance) Program. If the RA does not wish to participate, or does not complete the H.E.L.P. Program, the RA will not be permitted to continue as a RA.

VII. COMPENSATION

Compensation is a single room waiver and one-half of a full board plan for each academic year of service. The Department of Residence Life and Housing provides installation and monthly service fees for RA room telephones, voice mail, and Resnet. Consequently, RAs are expected to have a working room telephone, with college voice mail setup, as a condition of employment.

VIII. HALL ASSIGNMENT/RELOCATION

Residence Life and Housing reserves the right to assign or relocate RAs based on department needs.

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Important information you should know:

RA Grade Requirements: RAs must maintain a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 2.40 and must have a minimum G.P.A of 2.00 during each semester of employment to be in good staff academic standing. Neither summer school nor winter session is an option to improve the cumulative G.P.A. for those who do not meet grade requirements.

RAs who, after at least one semester of employment, have a semester G.P.A. of 2.00 or greater
AND a cumulative G.P.A. between 2.20 - 2.39 or a semester G.P.A. between 1.71 - 1.99 AND a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.40 or greater will be placed on "Staff Academic Probation." All RAs/RMs placed on "Staff Academic Probation" must participate in the Residence Life and Housing H.E.L.P. (Helping Employees Learning Performance) Program. If the RA does not wish to participate or does not complete the H.E.L.P. program, the RA will not be permitted to continue as a RA.

Pledging: Pledging RSS will not be permitted to join a Greek or social/service organization during the fall semester, nor during their first semester of employment. RAs wishing to join a Greek Honor Society or social/service organization in the spring semester must submit a written request for approval to their Residence Hall Director and Renee Landers-Jennings, Associate Director of Residence Life and Housing for RSS Programs prior to the start of the semester.

Staff Expectations: RSS are essential to the success of our residence life program and in-appropriate staff behavior undermines the efforts of all staff to provide a quality and positive residence life experience.

Role modeling is a significant component of the RSS position. Student staff is expected to comply with College policies, federal, state and local laws while on or off campus. This is particularly true when alcohol and drugs are involved but not limited to. Also, student staff is expected to uphold the College policies on campus by confronting those who are violating these policies. It is very difficult for student staff to enforce rules that they, themselves do not observe. Staff who violate rules lose credibility and respect of the residents and compromise other staff members. Essentially, staff that engage in these behaviors cannot effectively fulfill their job responsibilities. It is difficult to keep a person in the position who has violated College policy.

Staff members who are of legal drinking age and under the influence of alcohol must be aware of the impact their behavior has on residents. Student staff members who are underage and decide to drink alcohol or violate other College policies, federal, state and local laws jeopardize their staff positions. When an incident is brought to our attention, we will investigate the circumstances and the status of the staff member's employment will be reviewed. Our department assumes that staff is aware that their actions, especially violations related to alcohol or drugs, will likely result in termination from their position.

Involvement: RAs are encouraged to be active in clubs or organizations or hold significant leadership positions outside of the building with the approval of the hall director, area Community Development Specialist, and final approval from Renee Landers-Jennings, Associate Director of Residence Life and Housing. An RA may not hold employment other than the Resident Assistant assignment, or become involved in an outside activity for no more than 10 hours per week. Resident Assistants are expected to devote a considerable amount of time and energy to this position. It is expected that, with the exception of academic pursuits, Resident Assistants will place their duties ahead of other personal and professional commitments.

Judicial Disciplinary Probation: RAs will not be hired or begin employment if they are on disciplinary probation or have disciplinary charges pending.

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rev. 10/16/13