What qualities make a successful RA?
Common characteristics include: personal warmth, social maturity, a sincere desire to assist in students’ personal development and transition to college, openness to new experiences, willingness to be challenged, capacity to deal with change, ability to manage personal emotions, ability to deal with a wide range of human emotions and work with a variety of personalities and lifestyles without judgment. RAs should also possess patience, a sense of humor, strong communication skills and the ability to complete paperwork in a timely manner.
Because the position is a commitment of time, emotion, talent and energy, an RA should have a demonstrated ability to balance his/her own pressures of academic and personal responsibilities. Successful RAs are willing and able to live within both university and residence life policies.
How much time will I spend a week as an RA?
Theoretically, to the residents you serve, you will be a resident assistant 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This position is a lifestyle choice because being an RA means being a role model. It is important to understand that residents will always see you in the RA role, and therefore the standard placed on you is higher than that of an average student.
Concretely, the RA position is listed as 15 hours per week. The RA position is very time-intensive during the first month of school and tapers in workload as the academic year progresses. Much of the 15 hours is spent on your own. Routinely, the RA position has a certain set of hours during the week that will include: a 1-2 hour staff meeting, being on-duty with a co-RA, a 30-minute weekly individual meeting with your supervisor, and 6 hours each semester working the front desk. RAs also spend time on such tasks as programming, floor meetings, door decorations and may be required to be available during important campus weekends (CU Registration, Homecoming, commencement, etc.)
What is programming?
Dual roles of the RA are to build a community and to help students develop in emotional, social and cognitive realms. This is often done through intentional programming. The RA is responsible for developing social activities for the floor/hall as well as programs that would foster growth in other areas from which their residents may benefit (i.e. “Study Skills,” “Dating Etiquette 101,” “Budget Tips,” etc.). Training is provided for all RAs.
What does it mean to be on duty?
On duty RAs serve as the first level of response for situations occurring within the residence halls. Being on duty means that you are available to respond to issues in the building(s) and complete walks with a co-RA addressing policy violations, facility concerns, etc. Duty shifts are 8 p.m. – 8 a.m. Monday-Friday and 8 p.m. – 8 a.m. on weekends. The number of duty shifts per semester varies depending upon the size of your staff.
What are some reasons I may be released from the RA position?
You may be dismissed from employment if you fail to fulfill the requirements of the position, violate a policy or law, are insubordinate, are no longer a student at Clarke or fail to maintain the minimum semester GPA requirement.