Resident Assistant Search & Selection Process Frequently Asked Questions
Description of Position:
Resident Assistants (RAs) are an integral part of the Department of Housing and Residence Life. They are constantly in direct contact with students. RAs are assigned to staff areas of 17-95 students in the apartments and 14-32 students in the residence halls. Their main responsibility is to act as facilitators for the residence life community and to enhance the social, educational, intellectual, and cultural development of each individual. The RA communicates to students the core values, philosophies, and policies of Housing and Residence Life and the University and represents Housing and Residence Life as a role model.
General Requirements of RAs:
- Must have a 2.5 (3.5 graduate) cumulative GPA to apply
- Must maintain a 2.5 (3.5 graduate) semester and cumulative GPA if selected
- Must enroll fulltime (12 credit hours undergraduate, 9 hour graduate) but may take no more than 18 hours in a given semester without prior approval from HRL
- May enroll in only ONE class beginning at or after 6:00PM
- Must be available 3:30pm-5:00pm on Thursdays each week to participate in staff meetings and departmental developments
- Must be available at least two weeks before classes begin for fall training and one week before classes begin for spring training
- Oct. 1: Applications Available
- Dec. 6: Applications Due by 4pm
- Jan. 17&18: Round One Interviews
- Jan. 23-Feb. 5: Round Two Interviews
- Feb. 10-Feb 21: Round Three Interviews
- Feb. 28: Candidates notified of status
- Mar. 23: Pre-Employment Training & Orientation
Interested in learning more about the Resident Assistant position? We will have five information sessions during the time that applications are available. Professional staff and current Resident Assistants will share information about the process and answer questions. Dates for the information sessions are:
Applications will be available beginning at 8am on Monday, October 1, 2012 and will close at 4pm on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. While available, the application can be found by following this link: 2014-2015 Resident Assistant Application.
Once an application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by our staff for errors, missing information, and eligibility. Applicants will be notified if their application has been approved or denied.
During the application process, applicants will provide the names and email addresses for two references with at least one reference being someone from USI (i.e. a professor, administrator, Area Coordinator, advisor, coach, etc.). References for candidates with approved applications will be contacted at the email address provided to assist our staff as we work to get to know each applicant.
All applications are for the 2013-2014 Academic Year. Candidates who are interested in potential mid-year positions must submit their application by Monday, November 2, 2012 for full consideration for those positions should any be available.
There are three rounds to the interview process. Round One Interviews will be facilitated in groups of up to 16 candidates and are open to all candidates who meet the minimum requirements for the Resident Assistant position. Round Two interviews are 15-20 minute individual interviews facilitated by the Area Coordinator, Graduate Assistant, and the Resident Assistants in the area in which the candidate lives and will be offered to candidates who successfully complete round one. Candidates who do not live on campus will also be assigned to interview with one of these groups. Round Three interviews are 30 minute individual interviews facilitated by Area Coordinator and Graduate Assistant staff outside of the area in which the candidate lives and will be offered to candidates who successfully complete both round one and round two.
How will I know when my interviews are?
Round One--Candidates with approved applications must RSVP and complete a preference request for Round One interviews. To RSVP, candidates must submit an application and join the Housing & Residence Life portal. Once staff have verified an application is on file, each candidate will be given access to select their preferences for different interview sessions. Confirmed session dates and times will be sent to applicants by Friday, December 20th on their USI email account.
Round Two--Candidates will be contacted via their USI email and/or preferred contact number to schedule this interview. Candidates must complete a round one interview to move on to this interview.
Round Three--Candidates will be contacted via their USI email and/or preferred contact number to schedule this interview. Candidates must complete a round two interview to move on to this interview.
- How Many Spots Are Available? Each year, the department hires approximately sixty RAs. This number includes both new and returning RAs. While we primarily hire RAs for the academic year, we sometimes have the opportunity to hire a handful of RAs throughout the year when other staff members resign for various reasons.
- What Is The Difference Between The Halls and The Apartments? There isn’t much of a difference, but the Halls are all freshman and the apartments are an assortment of grade levels, except for a few buildings that have all freshman.
- Can I Work Another Job? Yes, RAs are allowed to hold outside jobs. However, they are not allowed to work anymore than 10 hours per week. RAs are required to provide their outside work schedules to their supervisors.
- What if I have to student teach/go to clinicals/complete an internship/etc.? Candidates who are able to complete a full academic year contract and those without substantial academic and/or extracurricular commitments will be given preference over candidates unable to complete a full academic year contract and/or who have substantial academic and/or extracurricular commitments that would limit their availability to their residents and community.
- What Kind Of Training Will I Receive? Generally in the fall, training is the two weeks before school starts. During this time we help RA’s develop the basic skills needed to lead a group of residents through a successful experience in university housing. The training for the spring usually lasts three days the week before school starts. Every RA on staff must go through each training period.
- What Is On-Call? Each RA is required to work an On-Call shift every week and a couple of weekend On-Call shifts throughout the semester. During an On-Call shift, an RA has to do “rounds,” which just consists of walking through their area with other 1-3 other RAs to make sure that residents are safe. On-Call shift begin at 8pm and last until 8am. During this time, RAs must stay in their assigned area.
- What Is a Desk Shift? All RAs will work at least one desk shift each week and a couple of weekend shifts each semester. The RAs in the apartments will work at the desk in the Residence Life Community Center and the RAs in the residence halls will work at the desk in the lobby of their residence hall.
- What is a “Closed Weekend”? A “Closed Weekend” is a weekend in which all staff is expected to be on campus. There are only a couple of weekends like this each semester, and they generally occur near the beginning and end of each semester.
- Am I Allowed To Go Home? Each RA is required to be on campus two out of every four weekends a month and is required to notify their supervisor of when they will be gone. Supervisors understand individual circumstances that may require flexibility.
- What Is A Collateral? A collateral is just a housing term referring to various departmental projects and initiatives RAs have the opportunity to assist with. Each RA has at least one area that they will focus on each year.
- What Is Programming, and How Much Of It Are RAs Required To Do? One of the many roles of the RA is to assist in developing community amongst their residents. Programming is just a term used to describe the events put on by housing and the RAs. RAs are required to plan, assist with, and attend various activities for students living in their communities to help develop community and provide resources for residents. Some examples of these programs are: housing wide programs, academic programs, educational programs, social programs, community service programs, multicultural programs, school-spirit programs, etc. RAs will also create opportunities for resident involvement in welcome week and homecoming activities. RAs are expected to create programmatic opportunities based around resident interest and the needs evident in their community.
Mock Weekly Schedule:
*Blue items refer to items that pertain to the RA job. This schedule is adapted from an actual Resident Assistant's schedule.