RA Position DescriptionThe following is the resident assistant position description for the 2014-2015 academic year. You can also download the updated RA position description (PDF) if you prefer. Current RAs looking for the 2013-2014 position description should consult their RA manual.
The Resident Assistant at Cornell lives in the residence hall and serves as a leader, helper and resource person for students. The RA serves as a critical link between the students on his/her floor, the Assistant Director and the Residence Life Office. The position requires being a representative of the College and a representative of student issues in the hall and across campus.
Term of employment
August 2014 - May 2015
Principal duties and responsibilities
Serves as a resource to residents
- Knows and interacts with all students on the floor
- Communicates and promotes the mission and policies of the Residence Life Office, Division of Student Affairs and Cornell College
- Knows, abides by and enforces all rules, regulations and policies of the residence halls and of Cornell (including The Compass, the Residence Life Handbook and the Residence Hall Agreement)
- Creates an environment where the needs and concerns of diverse populations of students are appreciated
- Promotes an environment that is conducive to academic and social development
- Supports hall council activities and events
- Promotes and supports Cornell College events and activities
Provides initial support to residents
- Assists student with academic, personal and social concerns, making timely referrals as necessary
- Mediates roommate conflicts
- Responds to crisis situations
- Works with Facility Services and/or CampusSafety staff to resolve maintenance issues and safety concerns
Required skills, knowledge and abilities
The ideal RA will be able to take initiative and think critically and creatively to solve problems and to make decisions. He or she will be able to communicate with and relate to a diverse group of students to understand their individual needs and to help those students establish strong social networks as well as connect with the appropriate academic, social and health-related resources on campus. The ideal RA must be able to work successfully on a team as needed, must be self-motivated to work independently as needed and must be flexible in living and working in constantly changing and unpredictable environment.
Because of the nature of the RA role, we recognize that not all candidates will possess all of these skills at the time of application. As such, we look for candidates who demonstrate a commitment to learning and openness to receiving training and feedback from their supervisor and/or peers.
Refer to our list of important dates for specific obligations.
- Participates in all trainings, staff meetings, committee assignments, openings and closings during the year
- Helps with major on-campus events (examples include New Student Orientation and Commencement)
- Serves in a regular duty rotation (including Homecoming, Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks and block breaks)
- Has limited opportunity for additional employment on or off campus
- Is not away from campus for more than one block without prior approval from Residence Life
Because of the nature of the position, the RA is expected to be a presence in their community, especially early in the semester, a time critical for the development of a strong residential community. Individuals who have significant time commitments that prevent them from participating fully in fall training, from being a strong presence in their communities early in the semester or from assisting during opening and/or closing are expected to discuss those time commitments prior to accepting the position. Such time commitments include but are not limited to student teaching, off-campus study opportunities and athletics.
- Achieved sophomore status or the equivalent of two semesters of academic work by August 2014
- Achieved a cumulative 2.5 GPA (both during the application process and throughout employment)
- Be in good conduct standing with the College and be able to pass a criminal background check
In addition to a significant learning experience for students, RAs receive a room credit award of $2,375 toward a single room billed at a double room rate. This room credit is applied in conjunction with other financial assistance that candidates may be receiving (candidates are encouraged to meet with a member of the Financial Assistance staff to determine the impact, if any, on their financial aid).
Once the academic year has begun, a resident assistant who chooses not to continue in the position or who has his or her RA contract terminated for any reason will be required to move from his or her room, floor and possibly the hall in which he or she was employed as an RA. Should this happen, Residence Life will notify Financial Assistance and the student's aid will be adjusted accordingly.