What Is a College RA?


College residence halls have live-in staff members called residence assistants, community advisers, or residence aids. RAs are usually upperclassmen who have demonstrated leadership skills and patience.

Role Model

  • Residence halls choose students who are responsible, scholarly and involved on campus as resident assistants. They are in the building to help guide residents and to encourage them to get involved on campus.

Policy Enforcer

  • Resident assistants help to enforce university policies, such as those involving noise, alcohol and fire codes.

Administrative Assistant

  • In addition to working with students, RAs have to complete administrative tasks such as working at the information desk, checking students in and out and providing housing management with weekly reports about their floors.

Shoulder to Lean On

  • Each year incoming freshmen are overwhelmed with anxieties about their first year in college. Resident assistants are available to talk through problems and listen to concerns.

A Little Bit of Everything Else

  • An RA's job can be somewhat unpredictable. Although they complete thorough training, there will always be surprises. RAs may also be responsible for general building maintenance and cleanup, supervising a student group or government branch, and acting as an advocate for at-risk residents.

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