The Resident Assistant (RA) position is a unique student leadership opportunity in which to get involved at the University of Southern California. RAs serve as resources, role models, and peer educators to residents. RAs work collaboratively as members of a residence hall staff including a Residential College/Community Coordinator (RCC) and Graduate Residential College/Community Coordinator (GRCC), to create a vital and engaged living-learning community. Together, the hall staff provides programs 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 meal package and either a furnished single room, one-bedroom apartment, or two-bedroom apartment. One-Bedroom Apartment RAs may be assigned a roommate, which would share the one-bedroom. Two-Bedroom Apartment RAs have a single bedroom in this shared living space and may share with two other students.
Role Model and Student Leader
RAs uphold, enforce, and adhere to all Housing and University policies outlined in the USC Housing contract and SCampus at all times. RAs honor and support the department’s commitment to creating inclusive communities outlined in the departmental Inclusion Statement. RAs uphold the University of Southern California’s mission as well as incorporate the departmental vision, mission, and values into their position. RAs serve as positive role models for all students by demonstrating appropriate and mature behavior both inside and outside the residence hall communities. RAs provide leadership to residents and help to create and maintain an accepting, respectful, and friendly atmosphere that stimulates student learning and development for everyone in the community. RAs enforce university policies, 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 must be familiar with the operations, programs, and services provided by Residential Education, the Division of Student Affairs, and other University offices. RAs establish rapport with residents on their floor or community through attentive listening, genuine care and support, awareness of student needs, and appropriate consultation and referral. RAs need to demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills. RAs must be available and able to respond to emergency situations that include psychological, physical, maintenance, and natural/environmental crises.
Community and Student Development
RAs promote community and student development on their floor through social and educational programming. The programmatic goal is to create a dynamic and healthy residential community that celebrates diversity and engages students in active learning. RAs are expected to plan and implement high-quality educational programs each semester and contribute to larger hall 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 name tags. RAs fulfill expectations provided in the program model that outlines the specific programming expectations for their residential communities.
Staff Member and Teamwork
As a member of Residential Education who serves on a residence hall staff, it is vital that each RA actively contributes to staff meetings, hall programs, area initiatives, and department-wide programs and processes. It is necessary to work closely with peer RAs, GRCCs, and RCCs to establish proper communication, consistency, efficiency, and support. To adequately balance academic demands with the duties and responsibilities of this position, RAs are expected to limit outside involvement (i.e. student organizations, employment, internships, etc.) to less than 10 hours per week all together.
There are departmental forms and reports aligned with various functions of the RA position that must be completed properly and by the assigned due dates. RAs are required to be on duty one or more nights per week, attend mandatory hall staff meetings every Wednesday from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, and complete weekly one-on-one meetings with the RA’s direct supervisor. RAs also assist the department in coordinating campus-wide processes such as RA selection and training, and residence hall opening and closing, to name a few. RAs disseminate information to their residents via verbal communication as well as through email, signs, and posters on behalf of the Office for Residential Education.