Job Description

Resident Assistants are an integral part of the Housing and Residence Life Office. As key members of our paraprofessional staff, they have direct contact with the resident students.

The primary roles of the Resident Assistant are to facilitate the personal development of residents; develop a community and environment conducive to academic pursuit and personal development; and assume duties in the operational management of the residence hall. Additionally, Resident Assistants support and encourage student learning in the residence halls. These aspects of the position include specific responsibilities, outlined below, which can be described as developmental, educational, and administrative in nature.

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Developmental Responsibilities

Educational Responsibilities

Administrative Responsibilities

General Responsibilities and Other Requirements

Contract Period




Peer Counselor

  1. Mediates roommate and floor interpersonal conflicts
  2. Establishes personal contact and develops relationships with floor residents
  3. Responds to personal, psychological, and medical situations


  1. Is familiar with the primary functions and procedures of major College offices and acts as a resource to refer students to those offices. Offices that RAs will be familiar with include:
    • Housing and Residence Life
    • Student Life
    • Dean of Students
    • Police Department
    • Student Accounts
    • Student Services
    • Writing and Academic Resource Center
    • Athletics
    • Academic Advising
    • Counseling and Psychological Services
    • Spiritual Life
    • Center for Health and Wellness
    • Registrar’s Office
    • Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  2. Spends ample quality time on floor and in residence hall
  3. Is accessible to residents of floor/hall
  4. Makes contact with all residents on his/her floor on a regular basis

Staff Team Member

  1. Participates in all required training programs including summer, winter, and spring training periods and monthly in-services
  2. Attends all meetings as called by the Residence Director, Assistant Director of Residence Life and/or the Associate Dean of Housing and Residence Life
  3. Assists in the selection of new staff members (both paraprofessional and professional)
  4. Participates in staff and hall evaluation procedures
  5. Communicates with Residence Director on a regular basis regarding floor situations, concerns, and activities
  6. Develops and maintains an open working relationship with all members of the Housing and Residence Life Staff



  1. Designs and implements community development/educational programs that facilitate student learning
  2. Designs, monitors, and updates an educational bulletin board and posting board on each of his/her assigned floors on a monthly basis
  3. Assists in the development of an active hall council
  4. Implements programs for residents that emphasize community principles, personal development, and intellectual development as directed within the department's programming model
  5. Attends hall meetings and supports hall functions
  6. Attends residence hall programs as directed



  1. Assists in: hall openings and closings, room changes, maintenance requests, room damage assessment, emergency procedures, room selection, evaluations, and other operational procedures as assigned by the Residence Director
  2. Performs Welcome Desk Assistant duties, according to the Welcome Desk Assistant Job Description, for 4 hours each week. RAs will be compensated for hours worked in this capacity.
  3. Supports functions of the Welcome Desk
  4. Calls meetings in response to administrative policy, programming, and community concerns
  5. Rotate duty shifts with staff members to maintain hall/campus coverage during the hours from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. daily (10:00 am on weekends and holidays) as well as the hours of 10:00 am until 8:00 pm on weekends and holidays. Complete rounds of the hall during evening duty shifts as directed.  Assumes responsibility in response to emergency situations.

Policy Enforcer

  1. Acts as a role model
  2. Abides by personally, and enforces College and Housing policies as stated in the Housing Contract, Student Handbook , and other official College publications and postings
  3. Educates students about College and Residence Hall Policies and Procedures
  4. Enforces policies and follows up on violations according to established Residence Life and College procedures

General Responsibilities and Other Requirements

In addition to the aforementioned responsibilities, all Resident Assistants are also expected to respond to other Residence Life–related responsibilities as assigned.

The responsibilities of the RA require that he/she limit his/her outside commitments. RA job requirements are expected to be a staff member's primary responsibility after academic requirements. Outside employment may only be considered in unusual circumstances and after extensive communication and written plans have been developed between the RA and his/her Residence Director. Also, extracurricular activities may not limit the RA's availability to satisfactorily perform the position's responsibilities.

Contract Period


  • RA assignments are made for only one academic year, and are subject to continuous evaluation throughout the year.
  • All residence halls are closed during Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring breaks (with the exception of the Little Building), and all RAs must remain on campus until the halls officially close and closing procedures are completed. RAs must return in time to be present for the official re-opening of the halls.
  • RAs are required to: arrive two weeks prior to the opening of the halls for fall training; return to campus several days early in January for spring training; and remain on campus until closing procedures are completed the day after Commencement.

Time Off

Since much of an RA's work will take place during the evening hours, RAs will be expected to be in their halls most evenings. All overnight and weekend absences must be cleared with the Residence Director. No extended absences will be approved unless they are for medical reasons.

Holiday Breaks

Students who receive approval from the Office of Housing and Residence Ife to remain on campus during the Thanksgiving and/or Spring Breaks will reside in one residence hall (usually the Little Building). RA coverage is needed during these periods and all RAs are eligible for duty.


Resident Assistants are provided with a single room and the flex meal plan. All RAs will receive credit in full for room and board for each semester of their employment.


Resident Assistants must meet the following qualifications to be considered for the position:

  1. Must be a full-time, matriculated Emerson (undergraduate or graduate) student (minimum of 12 credit hours each semester), of at least sophomore academic standing, who has completed at least one semester at Emerson College OR a graduate student who has completed at least one semester at Emerson College.
  2. Resident Assistant must have and maintain a GPA of 2.7 or above.

Additional factors that will be considered include: good citizenship, maturity, sensitivity to differences in cultural backgrounds and lifestyles, programming experience, responsibility, initiative, time availability, academic standing, past work experience, and the ability to work as a team member.

All RAs must be in good academic, social, and financial standing with the College. In addition, an RA must have a proven track record of maintaining his/her academic, social, and financial obligations to the College, and is required to continue meeting these obligations to the College in a timely manner during his/her tenure as a Resident Assistant.