View Text Only Version

Residence Life and Housing Services

Resident Assistant

Contact Residence Life and Housing Services  

Residence Life and Housing Services

Phone: 610-436-3307 or 610-436-3306
RESNET (in room computer access): 610-436-2660 or

Office Hours:
Monday to Friday 8:00am-4:30pm
Summer Hours (Mid-May through Mid August) 8:00am-4:00pm

202 Lawrence Center
West Chester, PA 19383

When contacting us, please provide the following information:

  • Student's Name
  • WCU ID
  • Return phone # and/or email address
  • Hall/Room Assignment
  • Brief synopsis of question or concern

Having this information can allow us to attempt to answer your question expeditiously.

About Us & Staff

Resident Assistant

Resident Assistant applications are no longer being accepted for Spring 2019 and the 2019-2020 Academic Year.  

Job Description & Expectations

Resident Assistant Job Description

The Resident Assistant (RA) is a paraprofessional, undergraduate student staff member of the Residence Life and Housing Services Program. The RA plays a vital role in facilitating an atmosphere of community upon a specific floor, wing, or apartment building. Through instructional, on-going training programs, the RA is exposed to educational experiences which assist in fostering an environment which is conducive to the academic, social, and personal development of each resident.

The Resident Assistant is considered a Campus Security Authority (CSA). A Campus Security Authority is defined by the Clery Act as an official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings. An official is defined as any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution (2011 Clery Act Handbook).

This leadership position provides the Resident Assistant with unique opportunities to further develop personal awareness and interpersonal communication skills vital for success in all facets of life. Resident Assistants are expected to be role models by behaving in a mature and responsible manner, using good judgment, and abiding by local and institutional policies. The use of electronic media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. should be managed in order to maintain the proper image of a Residence Life and Housing Services staff member.


  1. Must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student of West Chester University.
  2. Students who are graduating in December or will be involved in student teaching or a significant internship or clinical in the fall or spring are not eligible for a Resident Assistant position.
  3. At the time of application, Resident Assistant candidates must possess a 2.50 cumulative grade point average or earn by the end of the fall semester. Once hired for the position, Resident Assistants must maintain a minimum of a 2.50 cumulative grade point average. Should the cumulative GPA fall below a 2.5, the position will be terminated. Only during your first semester as an RA, if the cumulative GPA falls between a 2.45 and 2.50, you will have one semester to raise it back to a 2.50.


  1. Resident Assistants will receive a stipend each semester broken into equal installments according to the payroll schedule. Resident Assistants are not paid for holiday breaks.
  2. Occupancy of a single bedroom is provided at no charge for the duration of the academic year. Staff members living in USH properties, South Campus Apartments, and College Arms will be sharing a suite or apartment with a roommate(s).


  1. Employment begins at a time designated by the Director of Residence Life and officially ends in the spring semester with the close of the residence halls. This is a one year appointment only, with a mid-semester review.
  2. Resident Assistants are REQUIRED to attend ALL training sessions. Fall training is in August, spring training is in January. Not attending will result in termination of position. Please schedule winter and summer classes accordingly as you are still obligated to attend all training sessions regardless of your class schedule.
  3. Resident Assistants are required to assist with semester opening and closing responsibilities.
  4. The Resident Assistant is responsible to and receives direct supervision from the Resident Director (if assigned to a high-rise building) or the Graduate Hall Director (if assigned to any building other than a high-rise). From this point on, the Resident Director/Graduate Hall Director will be referred to as a supervisor. Indirect supervision is provided by the Graduate Assistant, if applicable.
  5. The Resident Assistant position is expected to be a major priority, second only to course work. Outside employment requires advance approval by the Resident Director/Graduate Hall Director and may not exceed 10 hours per week including weekends. Requests for outside employment must be submitted in writing. Approval of submitted requests will be based on job performance. If job performance falls below expectations, then your supervisor has the right to rescind the original offer of outside employment.
  6. Attendance at all weekly staff meetings, workshops, and/or training programs as specified by the Director of Residence Life or Resident Director/Graduate Hall Director is mandatory.
  7. Each Resident Assistant is responsible, in an individual and/or team relationship, for the overall operation of a floor, wing, or apartment building(s) and is expected to make contributions to the entire building or complex. He/she is expected to be available to students during the majority of the day outside academic responsibilities and sleeping hours.
  8. The Resident Assistant is required to hold three office hours per weekday between the hours of 12:00pm and 10:00pm. The RA is responsible for reading the Desk Assistant (DA) Manual and following procedures and policies outlined in the DA manual. Staff members will receive direct supervision from the Graduate Assistant (if applicable) regarding this area of their position.
  9. The Resident Assistant is to be on duty in the residence hall on assigned evenings from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Resident Assistants will be on-call in the apartment complexes from 8:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m. (Please note: Saturday and Sunday mornings the RA will be on-call until the desk opens). College Arms is on duty from 4:30 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. the next morning. The weekend shift begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. Monday morning. The RA must remain in the building/complex and be ready to respond to any emergency situation that may arise. RA's in the residence halls must do rounds with another RA. You never go on rounds alone. You are always together.
  10. All Resident Assistants are required to open and close the residential area for Thanksgiving, Winter Break, and Spring Break.
  11. The RA should sleep in their assigned room unless given prior approval from the supervisor of the building or complex. All RAs must abide by the guest policy regardless of a single room.
  12. The Resident Assistant is permitted to be away from campus two weekends per month. The Resident Assistant must notify the supervisor whenever leaving campus overnight. Unless given permission by the supervisor, Resident Assistants are required to return the residential area by 2:00am unless using their weekend away. At least one half of the total building staff must remain on campus on any given weekend.
  13. The Resident Assistant must demonstrate the ability to be a consistent and positive role model. The Resident Assistant is expected to abide by local, state, and federal laws, as well as all University rules and regulations. Any Resident Assistant found responsible for violating any aspect of the Student Code of Conduct or any policy stated in The Guide to Residential Living may be relieved of all job responsibilities, privileges and remuneration, and may be required to relocate to another building or off campus.
  14. Maintain a positive and open attitude when interacting with staff members, supervisors, and residents residing in or visiting the building or apartment complex.
  15. The Resident Assistant is to establish and maintain a close relationship with each student of the floor, wing, or apartment building. The Resident Assistant is to advise students within the limits of their capabilities on academic, social and personal matters. The Resident Assistant should be aware of student problems and concerns including adjustment, homesickness, roommate conflicts, etc. and will refer students who need assistance to the appropriate campus agencies.
  16. The Resident Assistant will work to create an atmosphere that is conducive to study.
  17. The Resident Assistant will be familiar with University and departmental policies and be able to communicate them to students. The Resident Assistant will enforce policies and provide proper documentation as prescribed by the Office of Judicial Affairs and Student Assistance. In the case of long absences, sickness, accidents, and/or unusual behavior on the part of students, the Resident Assistant is expected to report the situation immediately to their supervisor.
  18. The Resident Assistant will encourage and support resident participation in the residential area's Residence Hall Association and keep close contact with the area representatives.
  19. The Resident Assistant will act as a liaison between students on the floor/wing or in the apartment building and the area supervisor.
  20. The Resident Assistant will assist with staff selection via RA interest sessions and will help identify and potential resident assistant candidates within the residence area and encourage them to apply for the position or get involved within the residential area.
  21. Resident Assistants are required to actively participate in the planning, execution and evaluation of educational and social events (each semester) under the supervision of the Resident Director/Graduate Hall Director. Please refer to the current event planning model for specific requirements. All Resident Assistants assigned to North Campus are required to hold a floor social event once per week during the first six weeks of the semester.
  22. The Resident Assistant is expected to prepare necessary weekly reports, logs, and evaluations including the maintenance of accurate student room inventory and damage records.
  23. The Resident Assistant in university owned housing will conduct Health and Safety Inspections on a monthly basis under the direction of the supervisor and prepare the appropriate reports.
  24. When entering a resident's room for any reason, you MUST have another staff member with you at all times. This includes closing room checks. The only exception would be your weekly connections that you do with your residents.
  25. The Resident Assistant is required to perform other duties as assigned by his/her supervisor

Resident Assistant Job Expectations


  1. Attitude is EVERYTHING! It is imperative that the Resident Assistant take control of their reactions in all situations. During FISH! Training everyone learned the concept of 'Choosing Your Attitude!' Should a Resident Assistant choose an attitude that is negatively affecting the community, fellow staff members and their supervisors, job action will be taken and documented.
  2. Resident Assistants are paraprofessionals with the office of Residence Life and Housing Services, who are both directly and indirectly responsible for numerous tasks, projects, and programs that are intended to be responsive to the needs and interests of students. You will, through various methods, have impact upon individual students, student groups, colleagues and other members of the University community. You should demonstrate and improve upon the characteristics and skills that will earn you the respect of the Residence Life and Housing Services Program and the Division of Student Affairs. You should approach all disciplinary matters from an educational and developmental perspective.
  3. As a Resident Assistant, you serve as a role model for all the students in your area. You should become familiar with all aspects of, and abide by, the Student Code of Conduct, The Guide to Residential Living, and The WCU Civility Statement. You should be conscious of being a student, attending classes, and maintaining satisfactory grades. Your behavior and attitude should reflect your position as a role model at all times.
  4. As a staff member of the University, you should channel your questions, concerns, or problems regarding the University or your position appropriately. Directing concerns through your supervisor will go a long way in presenting the position in a positive manner. You should make a conscious effort throughout the year to bring not only problems, but also possible solutions to your supervisor.
  5. Academics are a priority. However, your academic pursuit CANNOT thwart the mission of the department. This includes ALL THINGS that would interfere MANDATORY TRAININGS and the position in general.


  1. Communication with your supervisor should occur frequently. You should plan to see him/her daily.
  2. You should get to know all staff members on both a personal and professional level and determine how appropriate communication will occur between staff members. You should be open to offering and receiving constructive feedback. Any conflict, whether interpersonal or professional, should be dealt with in a professional manner during the weekly staff meetings or in private one-on-one meetings. All staff matters are staff matters; they are not to be discussed with students or other building/complex staff. If something is bothering you about how you, your colleagues, or your RD/GHD are working together (or anything else), you should discuss this concern early, openly, honestly, and privately.
  3. You should work to develop an effective relationship with the Graduate Assistant, Desk Assistant Staff, Residence Hall Association, Public Safety Officers, and maintenance/housekeeping staffs. Any issues with these individuals should be channeled through your supervisor. Always be mindful of the University and community members with whom you interact. Please remember that you are a reflection of your building or complex, staff, and the Residence Life and Housing Services Program.
  4. You should check and empty your mailbox at least 1-2 times daily. WCU email should be checked 4-5 times daily. You are required to respond within two hours of reading the email.
  5. We are all judged by the quality of our written output. Care should be taken in writing reports and other materials shared with others.
  6. You should contact your supervisor about emergency and critical situations occurring in your hall or complex immediately (day or night). It is better to over inform your supervisor than not to provide enough information in a timely manner. (If your supervisor is not available during normal business hours, please contact the Central Office Staff; if after-hours please contact the RD on-call.) If an incident report is not warranted, then you are required to complete an information report.
  7. You should give your supervisor any incident reports that you complete immediately following the incident. You are expected to complete the reports and any additional documentation in an objective, professional and legible manner.


  1. Any incident, disciplinary problem, or disciplinary sanction regarding a student is not to be discussed with any student, or in any area where the discussion may be overheard (i.e., dining hall, RA room with door open, Front Desk, etc.).
  2. Any confidential information covered during staff meetings will not be discussed with any other person. Any discussions within the staff, or between a student and staff member, are not to be discussed with any other person except your supervisor.
  3. Frequently, incidents of a confidential nature may occur. You are expected to understand that decisions made by those of higher authority than yourself are made with as much information as possible - some of which you may not be in the position to know. The supervisor of the area will make the determination if the information will be shared or not. You should consult your supervisor directly if you have questions or if residents approach you in regards to an incident.
  4. Resident Assistants should not give out the personal phone numbers of the staff or supervisors.


  1. As a Resident Assistant, you are assigned a single room. This room is your "HOME"! It is also a reflection of you, so please work to keep it in a neat and orderly fashion. Your room will be inspected during the Health & Safety inspection period of your residence hall. Allow people to feel free to come in to see you, but also set some guidelines for the residents to allow you "private time" in your room or apartment.
  2. All staff members are to use the designated staff office and the front desk in a professional manner. Each staff member is responsible for keeping it in a clean, neat, and in orderly fashion. The files in the office are confidential and should be treated accordingly.
  3. The InspiRAM Room should be kept clean at all times. An I.D. is required to check out the InspiRAM room key and each staff member is responsible for keeping it in a clean, neat, and in orderly fashion.


  1. You are responsible for all manuals, keys, supplies and equipment checked out to you. Please take care of this equipment, and return any materials checked out to you at the end of the year. The supply budget is limited. Use your supplies with discretion. If you need more supplies, please see your supervisor.


  1. You should plan to be around as much as possible. This includes nights when you are not on-duty. Email your office hours and contact information to your assigned area/residents that may need to get in touch with you. Try to respond to them as quickly as possible.
  2. There will be times when all the Resident Assistant staff will have to make special efforts to be available.


  1. You are responsible for the keys that are given to you. DO NOT lose them. Individuals will be billed the cost for all lost keys and any lock changes as indicated on the Employee Key Agreement. Keys other than your room/apartment key(s) should be used in job related functions only.
  2. Always return the master key immediately after receiving permission to use it.
  3. You should never key into a resident's room unless you gain permission from your supervisor or the RD On-Call. Keying into a resident's room requires that at least one other staff member is present at the time the room is opened and entered.
  4. Never let anyone but the assigned residents of a room into their room. If special circumstances arise, contact your supervisor or the RD On-Call.


  1. You are responsible for the bulletin boards on your floor/building. Each of the bulletin boards in your area should be changed at least twice per semester. Positing areas should be updated by taking down old information and non-approved postings.


  1. When officers are called in to confront a situation, make every attempt to contact your supervisor and/or the RD on-call (if needed) to relay pertinent details of the incident.
  2. When an officer is on the scene, the officer is in charge. Please assist the officer to resolve the situation in the best possible way as directed by the officer. Never interfere with the officer's activities or withhold evidence or information. Any issues with which the officer handled the situation should be reported to your supervisor.


  1. You will be expected to plan your events around students' needs and concerns while keeping the current event planning model in mind. Please respond to all situations with "community development" in mind.
  2. You are expected to meet and greet students as they are moving onto your floor or into your building. Be conscious of your first impression of others. Each staff member should know the room numbers, names, and something about each member of their floor by the sixth week of the semester.
  3. You are expected to be an active member of your floor/wing or apartment building. This means attending and participating in as many activities possible.
  4. You should be conscious of acknowledging residents in your area as frequently as possible including posting birthdays, and recognizing individual, academic or other achievements, etc.
  5. You should be aware of and work toward providing the residents of your floor/building with the best living environment you can. This can be accomplished by communicating needs and holding people accountable for their negative actions, which detract from a constructive living environment.


  1. You will have the opportunity to meet informally with your supervisor throughout the semester to receive and provide constructive feedback and evaluations.
  2. Formal evaluation meetings will be held mid-year and at the end of the spring semester.
  3. Residents will have the opportunity to evaluate you once each semester.


  1. In the event of a work injury, it is your responsibility to immediately report the injury to your employer/supervisor. More information can be found on the WCU Human Resources website.


You are not eligible for unemployment. You do not pay into this option, therefore you cannot withdraw when you leave the RA position. More information can be found on the WCU Human Resources website.

Resident Assistant Summer/Winter Training Expectations

  1. Be on time- this means in your training seat 10 minutes before the actual start time. So- if training STARTS at 9:00 a.m., your arrival times should be 8:50 a.m.
  2. Be attentive at ALL times - No sleeping at any time. Please do not give the perception that you are interested in being at training. No slouching at any time.
  3. Dress appropriately- Please be sure that you are dressed for training. Look presentable, not as if you have rolled out of bed (no sweatpants, hats, short shorts or skirts, etc.).
  4. Sit with your staff- This way, supervisors are able to locate their staff quickly if need be.
  5. No cell phones on in the room- You may not check your cell phone, play with your cell phone, text, etc. during training. Training is a time for you to absorb as much information as possible. If you are going to carry your cell phone in training, the phone needs to be off totally, or on silent- NOT vibrate.
  6. Be present- pay attention to the presenter, take notes if needed. Please do not rest your head, slouch, nap, etc.
  7. Training Materials- it is important to keep all training materials together, as well as have your schedule handy at all times.
  8. Pay attention- many questions get asked at training because individuals are not paying attention. Asking for clarification is one thing, but asking a question that has already been answered is not appropriate.
  9. No side conversations- it is rude for the presenter to see group of people giggling, laughing, talking, etc. Please pay attention.
  10. Guests- there are no guests permitted during training, this can include other Resident Assistants in different residence halls.
  11. Leaving Campus- If you need to leave campus, please let your supervisor know. You should not be leaving campus before training is over. This will include in-hall training.
  12. Hall Preparation- Throughout training there will be a variety of tasks that need to be completed in order to ensure that our buildings are ready on opening day. These tasks will vary and will be assigned to you by your direct supervisor. It is an expectation that you complete all tasks that are assigned to you and then assist others so that we can ensure ALL necessary tasks are completed on schedule.
Back to top of page.