Resident Assistant Position Overview

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The RA is an undergraduate or graduate student leader who lives in the residence halls. The RA position is an integral position in the Department of Residence Services. RAs are responsible for carrying out the mission of the department by assisting with the development of community on their floors and within their hall(s). The RA position has a variety of responsibilities but to help you get an idea of what to expect we identified six roles that will help frame your view: role model, community leader, educator, administrator, helper, and team member.


A summary of each of these roles is listed below. While these roles do not define everything the position entails, they provide a good starting place to understand what it means to be a Resident Assistant. If you have further questions about the RA position itself, we encourage you to speak to a residence hall staff member




Role Model – Perhaps the most influential role you will have this year is that of role modeling. 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 promote characteristics and imitate 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 by fostering a dialogue between victim and offender that will provide the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability..


Community Leader – 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 sectiongetting to know every resident, assisting residents in building relationships, assessing the needs of the community, creating student involvement by fostering activities to address the needs, facilitating community and roommate agreements, coordinating community building efforts, promoting hall leadership opportunities, and fostering a strong academic climate.


Educator – We expect you to help engage students in learning by promoting their academic success. To accomplish this we expect you will model behaviors that foster community, reinforce responsible citizenship, and honor differences. Have a strong commitment to being an Ally and advocating for the rights of all individuals to create a safe, inclusive, and multicultural community.  In addition to modeling, the activities we endorse and promote demonstrate our commitment to these values. You will be expected to create community activities and to implement academic initiatives (i.e. community study groups, engaging students in conversations about academics, promotion of academic resources, and academically focused programming) throughout the year.