Resident Advisor Job Description

Resident Advisors are students who serve as role models and help residents plan and facilitate activities and programs. RAs report to and are directly supervised by Area Directors and Student Affairs Associates. RAs are expected to frequently interact with their residents; therefore, they must have strong interpersonal skills and an ability to connect students to resources. RAs also play a major role in community leadership, the implementation of the resident-driven programming, upholding community living standards, and managing student concerns and crises. RAs must be excellent academic and social role models for the residents on their floor and in their community.


Minimum Qualifications for Selection

  1. Current, full-time undergraduate student with overall minimum 2.50 GPA or current, full-time graduate student with overall minimum 3.00 GPA at the time of employment and throughout the period of employment.
  2. At least two semesters of residence hall living at any University by the time employment begins.
  3. Good conduct standing with the University.
  4. Leadership as evident by previous leadership experiences, references, and skills and leadership potential as perceived by the evaluators in the selection process.
  5. High level of maturity exhibited in sound judgment, emotional stability, flexibility, and willingness to accept responsibility.
  6. Strong interpersonal skills through proven ability to interact effectively with others and as perceived throughout the interview process.



A. STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS: Resident Advisors strive to help each resident develop fully as a person, a student, and an active member of the University through their multiple roles as advisor, friend, administrator, and disciplinarian. Resident Advisors demonstrate respect for the health, safety, welfare, and rights of everyone living in the residence halls.

  • Learn the name of each student assigned to their floor/area of responsibility by the end of the second week of classes;
  • Learn something about each resident’s personal background, special interests, and academic goals;
  • Help students with personal, vocational, social, academic, and general concerns;
  • Associate with all residents of the floor and assess the needs of small groups which might otherwise be underrepresented;
  • Set a good example by exhibiting good academic and study habits and proper personal conduct; and
  • Maintain the confidentiality of information when ethical and appropriate to do so.

B. TIME COMMITMENT: The Resident Advisor position is considered to be the RAs principal non-academic activity. Extracurricular activities or additional employment should not conflict with time needed to perform effectively as an RA through the entire year. Any additional employment or time-intensive extracurricular activities must be approved by your supervisor. Employment that would call into question the ability of the RA to serve as a role model for other students will not be approved. The RA is expected to:

  • Be available and visible to students on the floor four (4) nights per week (including either a Friday or Saturday night);
  • Be on duty on a rotational basis (approximately once a week);
  • Work four (4) hours per week at the area desk;
  • Meet on a weekly basis with their staff team;
  • Meet once every other week individually with their Area Director, Student Affairs Associate or Senior Resident Advisor; and
  • Complete all required training sessions presented by the department.

C. ADVISING AND COUNSELING: The Resident Advisor should be aware of students in need of personal help and provide appropriate consultation and referral. While the RA is expected to maintain the confidentiality of information from other residents and uninvolved parties, the RA should recognize that important information will sometimes need to be shared with the appropriate professionals in order to assist the resident. When faced with such concerns, the RA is expected to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to listen to others and to reflect attitudes of caring and support;
  • Discuss all situations of a referral nature with the Area Director and/or the appropriate central staff member;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of referral options within the University (e.g. Student Health Center, Educational Resources and Counseling, Career Services, Academic Departments) and be able to explain these options to residents seeking help whenever appropriate, the RA should utilize the professional staff as a referral option;
  • Be prepared to advise residents and to refer them to the appropriate office when necessary; and
  • Recognize the limits of his/her training and experience as a counselor.

D. PROGRAMMING: The Resident Advisor is expected to promote an atmosphere for individual and group development by initiating, advising, and implementing programs in the residence hall. In providing a learning atmosphere, the RA is expected to:

  • Encourage student interactions with faculty, administrators, and other members of the University community by initiating programs involving these groups;
  • Encourage residents to participate in and contribute to hall programs;
  • Determine the types of programs that the residents need; and
  • Meet all programming requirements established by the department.

E. UNIVERSITY POLICIES: The Resident Advisor is expected to support and enforce University policies and regulations. The RA serves as a role model for others. The RA must assume responsibility for creating an environment in which optimum personal and social growth may occur. The RA is expected to:

  • Encourage by example the principles of individual responsibility and respect for others;
  • Explain, support, and follow the regulations and policies outlined in the Residence Hall Contract and the Code of Student Conduct;
  • Meet the employment and behavioral expectations established in this position description, the Student Staff Agreement, and any additional performance and behavioral expectations provided by the department;
  • Respond in a positive and helpful manner when confronted with behavior or infractions that disrupt the environment and discuss all violations and infractions with the AD;
  • Report any potential violations of University policy.

F. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS: Fire, blackouts, hurricanes, student disturbances, and individual crisis demanding medical attention, hospitalizations or the need for public safety are examples of emergencies that confront the Resident Advisor. In order to respond rationally and appropriately in an emergency, the RA is expected to:

  • Be familiar with instructions provided during RA Training;
  • Periodically assist in conducting a scheduled fire drill;
  • Report all individual and/or hall emergencies to the Student Affairs Professional On Call and to the AD/SAA; and
  • Assist Housing and Residence Life staff, as directed, in implementing emergency procedures.

G. MANAGEMENT: The Resident Advisor assists in the management functions of the hall, and is expected to report damages or repair needs to the Facilities Services Housing Maintenance Department.

  • Address all facility concerns seen while on duty and while walking throughout the residential area.
  • Educate residents on proper use of Service wave for reporting facility concerns.
  • Follow up with facility issues by alerting the AD or SAA know of all unresolved issues.

H. ADMINISTRATIVE: The resident Advisor is expected to complete the following duties for greater efficiency and communication:

  • Evaluate programs, personal performance, policies, staff relations, etc.;
  • Assist in room assignment and occupancy reports;
  • Communicate the procedures and policies of the Department of Housing and Residence Life to residents;
  • Document and report all alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct and/or Community Living Standards;
  • Assist with the staff selection process;
  • Assist with check-in and check-out procedures for residents; and
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Terms of Employment

A. PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT: The period of employment extends approximately nine months beginning RA Fall Training and ending after all tasks have been completed following the closing of the halls (generally 24 to 48 hours after the last halls officially close). All Resident Advisors are required to assist in the opening and closing of the halls for each academic term and for vacation periods. This requires returning to campus approximately seven to twelve days before students return for Fall semester and remaining after the residents leave for vacation. RAs will be expected to provide staff supervision when the halls remain open for Thanksgiving, Spring break, and semester breaks. RAs assigned to Aron must share duty responsibilities during the University Winter break period. RAs are also expected to remain in town and rotate duty responsibilities during Fall Break and Mardi Gras week.

The official period of employment begins for the mid August 2013 (specific dates coming soon!) and ends with the closing of the residence halls in December and for the spring semester begins mid January and ends after graduation in May 2014 with the completion of all closing duties. RAs may have either Fall, Thanksgiving OR Spring Break off, but only after the approval of the Area Director in the fall. Staff members are responsible for making travel arrangements that comply with these stated employment dates.

B. WORK/COURSE LOADS: It is fully understood that student life work in residence halls is not easily translated into hours worked per day or week because of the nature of the work. An RA can expect to be on duty on a regular basis and should be accessible to students in the halls most evenings. Undergraduate RAs should carry a minimum of twelve (12) hours and no more than seventeen (17) hours per semester. Graduate RAs must be enrolled as full time students. Any exceptions must have the written approval of the Area Director. An academic load of less than seventeen (17) hours is recommended for the first semester of employment. Student teaching or interning must be approved by the AD. No student teaching or interning will be permitted during the first semester of employment or during the fall semester.

C. TIME OFF: Resident Advisors are permitted one weekend off (away from campus) per month. The time must be arranged for in advance with the Area Director. Restrictions will be made on special weekends. A weekend off is defined as extending from Friday noon to 10:00pm on Sunday. No more than half of the staff in any hall will be permitted to leave for any given weekend. If you choose to be gone one night of a weekend, this counts as half your weekend off.

D. REMUNERATION: A private room is provided for each Resident Advisor with a monetary payment. The monetary payment for a first year advisor is a maximum of $1,100 for one academic year. In order to receive this payment each Resident Advisor must work a required 4 hours at their residence hall front desk each week. Payments are made biweekly. Resident Advisors also receive a meal plan. This remuneration may affect your financial aid package. Please consult your financial aid counselor for details. The monetary payment will be paid half each semester in bi-weekly installments.Failure to work the required 4 hours per week will result in a reduction of the payment and disciplinary action.

E. CONTINUATION OF EMPLOYMENT: Employment is for one academic year (or part thereof) only. Continuation of employment depends upon successful completion of tasks, positive evaluation by the AD and SAA and exhibition of growth and continued enthusiasm for the position. Resident Advisors must complete the appropriate application if they would like to be considered for re-employment.

I. Employment Conditions: The Resident Advisor must be a sophomore or above in class standing and be enrolled in good standing at Tulane University. The Resident Advisor must be willing to commit to the Resident Advisor position as his/her primary non-academic activity. A 2.50 semester as well as a 2.50 cumulative GPA must be maintained for undergraduate students and a 3.00 semester and 3.00 cumulative GPA must be maintained for graduate students. Resident Advisors are appointed for one academic year and are considered on probation during the first semester of service.

II. Responsibilities: The Resident Advisor is responsible for upholding the Tulane Code of Student Conduct, the HRL Community Living Standards, and the policies set forth in the Residence Hall Contract, and for performing all duties outlined in the Resident Advisor job description.

III. Terms of Release: Tulane University is an at-will employer and your employment may be terminated for any reason, including, but not limited to failure to perform job responsibilities, failure to show continued growth and enthusiasm for the position, failure to comply with and/or support University and residence hall policies and/or failure to maintain the required semester and/or cumulative GPA.

IV. Financial Aid: The terms and conditions in this job description are subject to review by the Office of Financial Aid if the Resident Advisor receives additional financial aid. Resident Advisors are required to report all forms of financial aid to ensure that they do not exceed their need factor.

V. Housing Contract: The Resident Advisor is responsible for upholding the terms and conditions of the Tulane University Returning Student Housing Contract. All terms and conditions of the Returning Student Housing Contract, including but not limited to those regarding cancellations, penalties, assignments and housing rules and regulations, are hereby incorporated into your Resident Advisor job description.

The intent of this job description is to provide a representative summary of the major duties and responsibilities performed by incumbents of this job. Incumbents may be requested to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description. Revised 12/11

Housing and Residence Life, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 (504) 865-5724