The Resident Assistant is responsible to the Hall Director of the building to which assigned, and to the Director of Housing and Residence Life.
The Resident Assistant is assigned to a floor section and is responsible, with the other residence hall staff, for fostering a cooperative and considerate educational community environment which contributes to the academic and personal growth and success of each resident.
The Resident Assistant position carries diverse and sometimes ambiguous responsibilities. The position requires a high level commitment of both time and effort. Few faculty or administrators will have the opportunity to know as many students as well as the student staff. The professional staffs of the university rely heavily on the Resident Assistant's knowledge in order to address student needs. The Resident Assistant serves as the liaison between student and staff of the university.
Resident Assistants enhance each resident student's experience by providing information, direction, guidance, friendship, and support. Such interactions occur within the context of creating community. There are informal day-to-day contacts with residents as well as formal floor meetings and programs.
Resident Assistants are required to interact with a wide variety of persons inside and outside the university setting. It is therefore essential that they be able to communicate openly and honestly. Trust and support are two basic ingredients to a healthy community. These ingredients can develop only when community members are willing to share and to listen, particularly at those times when differences, disagreements, and frustrations occur. The Resident Assistant often has the opportunity to use these "teachable moments." Such moments are the prime opportunities for residents to experience personal growth. The quality of effort extended by the Resident Assistant while functioning as a resource person to the resident has a direct bearing on the quality of life experienced by all members of the community.
The responsibilities of the Resident Assistant are broadly defined so as to assume a degree of responsibility for the entire residence life program. The Resident Assistant's responsibilities may extend over the 24 hours, and seven days a week. They tend to fall into three main areas:
A. Community Development Responsibilities
A sense of community occurs when the members of a living unit respect each other's needs and rights. The Resident Assistant's role is to actively aid and advise residents in achieving a successful academic experience, developing individual responsibility, self-regulation, personal growth, and social awareness, as well as to develop personal relationships to individually support and assist other residents. The Resident Assistant is a partner in the educational process who actively reaches out to students, facilitates learning activities, challenges assumptions, and takes risks. To facilitate community development that fosters individual growth and learning, the Resident Assistant will:
- Be regularly available for and capable of assisting students with their concerns related to their university experience. This responsibility involves spending a majority of the time, particularly evenings, on the floor stopping by individual rooms and keeping an open door policy.
- Be knowledgeable about campus and community resources and function as a source of information, making referrals as necessary.
- Transmit, by example and leadership, a positive attitude toward academic and intellectual pursuits and insures that students develop a floor atmosphere conducive to academic success.
- Work cooperatively with residents to insure an environment that values individual differences and respects the rights and opinions of all residents through open communication, appropriately confronting each other with concerns and issues.
- Mediate roommate conflicts as necessary.
- Inform and educate residents about their rights and responsibilities as students, residence hall and university policies and procedures, and expectations of standards of conduct for ENMU students.
- Respond to student behavior which violates university and residence hall policies, procedures, and/or expectations, approaching discipline in an educational and developmental manner.
- Keep residents informed of important dates and activities by maintaining a neat, up-to-date bulletin board.
- Encourage residents' participation in university related activities and events, i.e., RHA, athletics, intramurals, performing arts, ASAB, etc. Where appropriate, participate as a group.
- Know residents well enough to know when a resident is experiencing difficulty, i.e., eating, drinking, or study habits, etc., and follow-up appropriately.
- Be supportive of and encourage residents in developing an active hall government with a diverse program of cultural, social, recreational, and community activities.
- Complete a minimum number of points in the Housing and Residence Life Office Community Development Program. Each Hall director will design the specifics for their Community Development Program that each RA in that building must meet (activities, meetings, personal connections and bulletin boards are examples of things which can be done to acquire points).
B. Staff Responsibilities
As a member of the Housing and Residence Life Staff, a Resident Assistant is part of the Student Affairs Division of ENMU. Each formally reports to the Hall Director of his/her assigned hall. In addition to this formal channel, a positive informal relationship is essential to an effective staff team. Thus, communication both with supervisors and co-workers, is a basic expectation and responsibility for the Resident Assistant. Components of this include:
- 1. Attend and actively participate in the all staff Pre-fall training, Weekly Fall and Spring RA Class, staff meetings, and staff retreats. Retreats will occur in January as an all staff event and with individual building staff.
- Attend and actively participate in weekly staff meetings as required by the Hall Director.
- Develop positive and productive working relationships with all housing and residence life staff, and promote a consistent, high level of performance and support from and with all staff.
- Participate in the evaluation process for all staff.
- Participate in the recruitment, selection, and training of new staff members.
- Maintain student and information confidences.
- Demonstrate respect and support for university policy, professional staff, support staff, hall government, and fellow staff members.
Resident Assistants assist the professional staff in administrative functions in a prompt and thorough manner. These tasks are essential to the smooth and effective operation of the residence life program. Such tasks include, but are not limited to:
- 1. Assist with daily operational procedures: check-ins, check-outs, damage assessment, room changes, lock-outs, identifying and reporting maintenance and safety concerns, etc.
- Respond to emergency and crisis situations as covered in training, reporting occurrences immediately to the Hall Director or first available senior staff member.
- Work at the residence hall desk as assigned by the Hall Director.
- Assume "on duty" responsibilities as outlined in training and determined by the Hall Director.
- Inform residents of the fire evacuation, dangerous weather procedures, and other hall safety procedures and monitor the condition of fire safety equipment in the hall.
- Interpret, enforce, and support university policies with residents.
- Gather facts and document all incidents impacting the smooth operation of the residence hall/life program, including reporting all policy violations to the Hall Director.
- Attempt to identify persons responsible for damage in and around the hall.
- Follow up on resident concerns and requests for information.
- Complete and submit in a timely and accurate fashion, all paperwork regarding hall operation, as requested.
- Responsible for distribution of information and materials to residents.
- Follow established procedures for use of keys.
- Cooperate with and support the ongoing work of the Housing Office, Food Service, custodial and maintenance personnel, other Student Affairs departments, and other university departments.
- Perform other administrative tasks as requested by supervisor.
TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT:
- Must be and remain in good academic standing. The Resident Assistant must be enrolled full-time, and may take up to 16 hours per semester. Prior to and during the period of their employment, Resident Assistants must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above. Resident Assistants whose GPA falls below the stated minimum may be placed on probationary status for one semester in order to achieve the required minimum, or released at the end of the semester.
- Must hold at least sophomore status, having completed 30 hours or more, and have lived in a residence hall setting for at least one academic year.
- Must be willing to live in the hall and on the floor assigned to by the Housing Office.
- Are employed for an academic year beginning with the first day of fall training and concluding the Sunday after graduation. Resident Assistants are expected to remain in the halls until the day a vacation period officially begins and to return to the hall prior to their opening, unless otherwise authorized by the Hall Director and/or Director of Housing.
- Must be able and willing to commit a significant portion of their time and energies to the responsibilities of the position. It is essential that the Resident Assistant is available to the residents of the floor section in the hall during evening hours.
- Must receive prior approval from the Hall Director before committing to involvement in activities, which may interfere with your performance, including any employment, extra course load, or extra-curricular activities. Resident Assistants must manage their time commitments to avoid unnecessary conflicts between position responsibilities, academic expectations and extra-curricular activities.
- Are encouraged to leave the hall one weekend per month. Time away must be coordinated with other residence life staff and the Hall Director. At least one-half of the building staff must be in the building each weekend.
- May be employed outside the residence hall for ten (10) hours per week if off-campus, and for 15 hours per week if on campus. Off campus employment must be approved in advance by the Director of Housing and Residence Life. Working at the Hall's front desk is an option and would be encouraged as suitable employment after approval has been given.
- Must carry out all duties and responsibilities as outlined by the job description and as may be assigned by the Housing and Residence Life staff.
- Must be familiar with and adhere to all university and residence hall policies as stated in the housing contract, residence life handbook, and Eastern Essentials student handbook.
- Acts as a positive role model for all students, maintaining individual integrity and good character, and showing sound judgment on and off campus.
- Receive the following remuneration: for the first two semesters of employment - single room, local telephone and basic cable service, meal plan, and $250 per semester. In the third or more semester of employment - all of the above plus an additional $125.00 per semester.