Perhaps the most influential role of a Resident Assistant (RA) is that of being a role model. As the RA in a given community you carry all of the benefits and responsibilities of being a leader among your peers. We believe that the influence from one’s peer group is greater than from anyone else; thus we are committed to having students serve in this role. Given this leadership role it is critical that you espouse characteristics and emulate behaviors that are in alignment with the mission of the department. Modeling also includes upholding and personally adhering to all of the policies, procedures, and community standards set forth for the residential communities.
RAs are responsible for supporting and developing relationships that help students form connections with each other and the university. In order to facilitate community, it is critical that you are visible and available to your floor and hall communities. Some areas you will be responsible for as a community leader include knowing all members of the floor section, facilitating community and roommate agreements, coordinating community building efforts, promoting hall leadership opportunities, and fostering a strong academic climate.
We expect you to help engage students in learning in areas related to the values and priorities of the departmental mission. One of the most powerful tools we have to accomplish this task is through modeling behaviors that foster community, reinforce responsible citizenship, and honor differences. In addition to modeling, the activities we endorse and promote demonstrate our commitment to these values. With this in mind you will be asked to create community activities and experiences as well as to participate in staff initiatives related to these areas throughout the year.
In order to pull everything together, RAs are expected to be competent administrators. This area includes being present and engaged in all training, meetings, and community events. It also encompasses being timely, completing paperwork, being available when needed, and following policies and procedures. Competency in this role is essential in accomplishing the expectations across all roles. It is important to acknowledge that this role is often the easiest to measure and will often serves as a gauge for whether or not other roles are being fulfilled.
As a RA, you will constantly be in situations where students will need your assistance. More often than not your role in these situations will be to get the student connected to resources on campus. It is for this reason that we will spend a lot of time and attention ensuring that you are well versed about the resources available to students across campus. It is also important that you communicate issues and concerns to your supervisors so they can intervene when necessary and offer additional resources/support.
RAs are members of many communities. As members of these communities, it is our expectation that you recognize you are part of a team and contribute accordingly. As a team member, we expect that you will contribute positively and constructively in all settings, demonstrate care and understanding of staff colleagues, work collaboratively with others, and seek to understand and support departmental decisions. While it is expected that you will not always agree, it is necessary to channel dissention appropriately.