The role of the Resident Assistant is very important to the quality of residential life at the University of South Florida. The RA position is divided into six important roles: Community Developer, Resource & Educator, Facility Manager, Policy Enforcer, Emergency Responder, and Administrator. As a Resident Assistant, you would be responsible for the following:
- Address the needs of the community to create opportunities for educational and personal development
- Develop a community that encourages interaction and involvement among floor/hall members
- Facilitate the creation of community standards
- Regularly update residents of important policies and campus information
Resource & Educator
- Assist residents as a peer helper to enhance students’ academic and personal success
- Connect residents to other campus opportunities to ensure they have the ultimate USF experience
- Connect residents to other campus offices, such as Advocacy, Counseling Center, Career Center, and more
- Work as a liaison between housing, facilities, and your community to ensure our communities are a place where students are proud to live
- Educate students on their individual responsibilities to maintain a positive living environment
- Educate residents on University and Housing policies to make the community safe and comfortable
- Work with residents to help them understand how their actions and decisions impact the larger community
- Serve as the primary responder to address issues/concerns within your hall or area
- Be visible and available to community members on a regular basis and when completing duty rounds
- Use time management skills to effectively plan administrative tasks for the community (i.e., roommate agreements, room condition reports, etc.)
- Facilitate surveys and evaluations to continue to improve the residential experience
- Be one of the first staff members to welcome residents to the community by assisting with check-ins; complete check-outs for departing members of your floor or building
The newly established Residential Curriculum is a guiding force in the Resident Assistant position. View it as your roadmap to developing your community, with an emphasis on meaningful one-on-one conversations with your residents, as well as programming and connecting residents to campus resources. The Residential Curriculum utilizes the four key areas below as guidelines for developing intentional learning with the residence halls:
Taking responsibility for one’s own learning by identifying and utilizing resources that contribute to one’s educational experience, goals, and campus engagement.
Developing personal awareness to guide cross-cultural interactions and a sense of responsibility to effect positive change with regard to local and global communities.
Engaging in communication skills that promote meaningful relationship and ownership of community.
Pursuit of the development of the whole person, including physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and financial well-being.
What does RA mean?
RA stands for Resident Assistant.
What is the compensation?
RAs are compensated with housing in the area of the assignment provided. They are also given a meal plan, with the option to upgrade (at cost to the RA).
What is the RA Meet-and-Greet event on November 19?
This is an opportunity for potential applicants to meet current RAs and members of the Residential Life & Education staff. It is an informal setting (so please dress comfortably), and come with any questions you might have about the position. Light refreshments will be provided. Applicants are not required to attend this event.
What are the RA Selection Workshops being offered January 13-16, 2014?
Applicants who have successfully met the minimum application qualifications will be invited to attend one of four workshops being offered. The workshops will help applicants gain an understanding of the role of an RA and answer any questions they may have. Applicants may be asked to participate in small group activities to further explore the expectations Housing & Residential Education has of Resident Assistants. While attendance at the workshops is not mandatory, it is one of the preferred qualifications.
I've never lived in a residence hall. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply. Please refer to the “Qualifications” section for more information.
How will the Resident Assistant position affect my financial aid?
The Resident Assistant position may affect your financial aid or scholarship award. However, to determine how that will affect your individual circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 813-974-4700.
Do I already need to know how to confront people or deal with emergencies?
Prior experience in this area is not a requirement to be a Resident Assistant. All staff members receive training before the academic year on many situations that might arise in our residential communities.
If I have been documented through the university conduct process, can I still be a Resident Assistant?
Students must be in good conduct standing with the university. In addition, you must not have any incomplete sanctions with the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities at the time of application or during your candidacy. If offered the position, RAs must always be in good conduct standing with the university starting at the time they accept the offer.
Do I have to be involved in my hall council or other clubs in order to be selected?
Involvement in clubs and organizations is not a prerequisite for the RA position, but is a preferred qualification that is considered in the selection process (Please refer to the “Qualifications” section of the website for more information). Being involved in the residence hall community can provide candidates with insight into the role of the RA and the dynamics of a residence hall community. Additionally, student leadership experience on campus or in other organizations can provide candidates with insight into effective steps in planning events, managing time and working within a team, all of which are important aspects of being an RA.
What does the interview process entail?
The interview consists of two portions: an individual interview and a group process. The individual interview will allow you to talk one-on-one with a member of our Residential Life & Education team and current RA for about a half hour. The second component of the interview is a group process. The group process will help you engage with other candidates and will be facilitated by Residential Life & Education staff and RAs. The group process allows for individual reflection time before the activity begins. In addition, you’ll have the chance to learn more about the Resident Assistant experience, with time set aside for questions you may have for us.
How should I dress for the interview?
There is no “dress code” for interviews. Candidates are encouraged to wear outfits that make them feel comfortable and confident. You can always consult the Career Services website for tips on interviewing: www.usf.edu/career-services.
How are RA selection decisions made?
All components of a candidate’s application – including responses in their online application and their performance in their group and individual interviews – are taken into consideration when selecting RAs. Residential Life & Education staff members review all files and hire individuals who will bring various strengths to their community and staff teams. RAs will be notified of their status in the selection process on March 5, 2014.
I was offered an “Alternate Position.” What does this mean?
The RA process is a highly competitive position. Being an “alternate” means that, while we were not able to offer you an open position at the time of selection, if any positions become open throughout the academic year, we first select candidates who are alternates.
Can I choose the building I want to be a Resident Assistant in?
When you apply, you are applying for the position and not for a specific residence hall. Hall placement is determined by the Residential Life & Education staff and is based on the needs of the building and the candidate’s skill set.
When does Resident Assistant training begin in the fall?
Resident Assistants will move into the halls in early August, and training will begin shortly thereafter. RAs are expected to be at all training sessions and to assist with opening the residence halls for our incoming students. Please see the RA Position Description on the main page of the website for specific training dates.
What is RA Training like?
Our extensive training program will challenge you and teach you what you need to know to excel in the position. Training is required for student staff, so you should plan accordingly as you consider applying. Resident Assistants are trained in the areas of:
- Diversity/Multicultural Awareness
- Communication/Listening Skills
- Time Management
- Counseling/Conflict Mediation
- Leadership Styles
- Ethical Decision Making and Problem Solving
- Programming and Community Building
If I have a conflict, can I miss training or be late for it?
No. Attending Resident Assistant training in its entirety and fully participating in opening the halls is required to hold the position. Training lasts up until the first day of classes and covers a breadth of information ranging from programming and confrontation, to community building and social justice. The time invested is critical to prepare Resident Assistants on how to serve as resources for their residents.
Can I hold a job on/off campus if I am a Resident Assistant?
Resident Assistants who desire to hold a job, in addition to their RA position, must have prior approval from their supervisor. Please see the RA Position Description on the main page of the website for specific information on employment and extracurricular involvement.
How often can I be away from the residence halls if I am offered the position?
Please consult the RA Position Description on the main page of the website to understand the departmental expectations regarding vacations and time away.
Who should I contact if I have further questions?
You can email us at RASelect@usf.edu.