Residence Life

RA Position

The primary goal of Housing & Residence Life is to foster an environment that supports and supplements the intellectual experience found in the classroom. The Resident Assistant (RA) is a paraprofessional in the Department of Housing & Residence Life with responsibility for assisting in the achievement of these goals. The RA position serves as a peer counselor, peer educator, and referrer to University resources. RAs are tasked with ensuring campus and departmental learning outcomes are realized in their respective communities through programming, one-on-one relationships, and creating a culture of student development. 


Applications Open for 2023-2024 Academic Year!!

23.24 RA Application

The application will close on Friday, February 17th.

Resident Assistant Job Description

An RA is a full-time student who lives in a residence hall and serves as part of a hall staff and area team (first-year or upper-division). It is expected that any person who applies for an RA position is sincerely interested in the welfare of students and Southwestern University, and consequently, is constructively supportive of both.

The RA position is supervised by a designated Residence Life Professional Staff member.

Position Responsibilities 

  • Community Building 
  • Work with residents to develop a community that facilitates respect and concern for others, openness, personal growth, and an atmosphere that is conducive to academic excellence;
  • Understand your role as a campus Peer Educator and associated learning outcomes should be realized in our residential settings;
  • Initiate weekly personalized interactions and conversations with assigned residents in order to become acquainted with them, their personal backgrounds, special interests and needs, and academic goals
  • Provide peer counseling (listening and referring) for residents and respond appropriately to emergency situations.  Provide support and assistance to other staff as necessary;
  • Plan and implement community-building programs and activities in accordance with direction by Residence Life Professional Staff and the Residential Experience; 
  • Contribute to and attend all official Residence Life and the Residential Experience hosted events; 
  • Conduct community or resident meetings on a monthly basis and/or as needed.
  • Community Management 
  • Serve “on-duty” as necessitated by the staff size and schedule; 
  • Walk the required number of rounds during each on-call night and call the Head RA on-duty at the beginning of each set of rounds;
    • Please note that you may be required to serve on duty during holidays and University breaks; 
  • Explain University and residential policies to residents. Address inappropriate behavior on the part of residents or guests. Consult with the Residence Life Professional Staff as necessary to support the implementation of community standards (quiet hours, visitation, etc.);
  • Become knowledgeable of referral resources available for students including Center for Academic Success, academic advisors,  Financial Aid Office, University Counselor, University Chaplain, Residence Life Office, University Health Service, Center for Career and Professional Development, Student Activities, etc.;
  • Work cooperatively with other staff in addressing hall and resident concerns.
  • Staff and Administrative 
  • Complete all tasks required by Residence Life Professional Staff or Head RA; 
  • Perform administrative tasks such as checking in and checking out residents and reporting maintenance needs to appropriate staff; be able to answer questions regarding the housing assignment process, school year closing procedure, etc.;
  • Assist in emergency situations such as fire alarm evacuation, inclement weather, power outages or other crises. In case of an emergency, all staff members are immediately on-call;
  • Work with residents and appropriate staff to submit work orders as needed; 
  • Complete resident welfare checks and incident reports as needed.
  • Staff Development
  • Attend and participate in Fall and Spring training.
  • Attend all department and area weekly meetings.

Position Qualifications

  • Possess the following skills and attributes: positive attitude, effective written and oral communication skills, ethical decision making, self-awareness, maturity, ability to take initiative, ability to take direction.
  • Time management skills.
  • Ability and desire to connect and interact with others. 
  • Ability to work in teams. 
  • Knowledge of campus resources.  
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing. 
  • Applicants must have and maintain a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.
  • RAs must carry a minimum of 12 credit hours.
  • It is preferred that RAs not hold any positions off campus that include significant time commitments such as student teaching and/or other internships or jobs.

It is recommended that applicants have lived in a residence hall for at least 2 full semesters prior to the first full semester of employment. Exceptions may be granted by the Vice President for Student Life.

Time Commitment 

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, should be accessible to students in the halls most evenings, and be prepared to complete tasks as requested by Residence Life Professional Staff. An RA should also expect to spend, on average, one night per week and one weekend per six weeks on duty. This varies according to staff size in each building or duty area . Please note that you may be required to serve on duty during holidays and University breaks.