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RA Position Description

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The Resident Assistant (RA) position is a unique student leadership opportunity at the University of Southern California. RAs serve as resources, role models, and peer educators to residents. RAs work collaboratively as members of a RA team including a Residential College/Community Coordinator (RCC) and, on some teams, a Graduate Residential College/Community Coordinator (GRCC) to create a vital and engaged living-learning community. Together, the RA team provides events and services that foster the holistic development of members within our USC residential community.  RAs are responsible for the effective functioning of the living environment in their respective residential areas.

The RA is a student leader within the Office for Residential Education and reports directly to a RCC or GRCC.  RAs must be full-time students who are comfortable with a community living experience. RAs must maintain a 2.5 cumulative and semester GPA (3.0 for graduate students) and be enrolled as a full-time student each semester unless approved in advance by their direct supervisor.  To classify as a full-time student, undergraduate students must have no more than 18 and no less than 12 credits per semester, while graduate students must maintain at least 6 units per semester.  RAs receive a USC Hospitality Residential Dining meal package and either a furnished single room, one-bedroom apartment, or two-bedroom apartment in USC Housing. Multi-bedroom Apartment RAs have a single bedroom in this shared living space and may share with two other roommates in the other bedroom(s). These RAs are provided a limited time period to request roommate(s) for these shared spaces.

Role Model and Student Leader

RAs uphold the University of Southern California’s mission as well as incorporate the departmental vision, mission, and values into their position. RAs honor and support the department’s commitment to creating inclusive communities outlined in the departmental Inclusion Statement.  RAs provide leadership to residents and help create and maintain an accepting, respectful, and friendly atmosphere that stimulates student learning and development.  RAs serve as positive role models for all students by demonstrating appropriate and mature behavior both inside and outside the residential communities.  RAs uphold, enforce, and adhere to all Housing and University policies outlined in the USC Housing contract and SCampus.  RAs confront student behavior and document student actions and/or situations, when necessary.

Student Resource and Interpersonal Relations

The RA is a primary resource for residents and should be familiar with the operations, events, and services provided by Residential Education, the Division of Student Affairs, and other University offices. RAs establish rapport with residents in their community through attentive listening, genuine care and support, awareness of student needs, and appropriate consultation and referral. RAs demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills. RAs are available and able, after proper training, to respond to emergencies that include psychological, physical, maintenance, and natural/environmental crises.

Community and Student Development

RAs promote community and student development through Trojan Talks and social/educational events.  The community engagement goal is to create a dynamic and healthy residential community that celebrates diversity and engages students in active learning.  RAs are expected to utilize prepared facilitation guides for much of our programming each semester and contribute to larger community and campus programming efforts that foster campus traditions.  RAs facilitate an open and welcoming community by providing well-presented and up-to-date bulletin boards and door decorations.


As a member of Residential Education, it is vital that each RA actively contributes in their RA team meetings, community events, area initiatives, and department-wide events and processes. It is necessary to collaborate with Faculty in Residence, peer RAs, GRCCs, and RCCs to establish proper communication, consistency, efficiency, and support. RAs are required to provide weekly emergency response, attend mandatory RA team meetings every Wednesday from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, and complete weekly one-on-one meetings with their RCC.

Administrative Responsibilities

RAs disseminate information to their residents via verbal communication as well as through email, signs, and flyers on behalf of the Office for Residential Education. RAs also assist the department in coordinating campus-wide processes such as resident move-in and move-out and welcome week events. There are departmental forms and reports aligned with various functions of the RA position that are required to be completed properly and by the assigned due dates.