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Resident Assistant

Resident Assistant (RA) Position Description


Basic Function

This is a student position responsible for a floor, wing, or area of a residential community. The primary function of this position is to assist with personal and academic concerns of students and to facilitate any community conflicts that may arise. The RA serves as a facilitator and a role model to fellow college students to encourage a cooperative and inclusive living environment. The RA is a resource for campus and residential experience a valuable one for fellow students.


Graduate Resident Assistant and the Residence Hall Manager

General Position Responsibilities

While an inclusive list of responsibilities will be provided to each RA in their offer letter, some roles and responsibilities include:

  • Know, support, and advise the residents living in your residence hall
  • Act as a resource for residents and make referrals when appropriate
  • Plan, implement, and evaluate monthly programs for the residence hall
  • Complete required office hours
  • Complete a minimum of 16-20 front desk/mailroom hours each week
  • Attend weekly staff meetings and staff development activities
  • Conduct community rounds and participate in a duty rotation
  • Report any damages to the building or building facilities
  • Enforce policy within our residential hall (on and off duty)
  • Assist with semester opening/closing and additional duties as needed
  • Support the Office of Residence Life in its mission to quality, effective, clean, and safe living and learning communities.


Successful candidates for a Resident Assistant position with Howard University will be open-minded and enjoy working with diverse groups of people. Candidates will be organized, responsible, and able to make good ethical decisions. Candidates must demonstrate leadership, interpersonal skills, and a willingness to learn.

Minimum Requirements

A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 is required at the time of application and a 2.50 GPA each semester while employed. Grades will be checked at the end of the fall semester and again at the end of the spring semester to make sure that the standard academic minimum requirements are met.

Candidates must be in good disciplinary standing with the Office of Residence Life and the Office of Student Conduct. Candidates must not currently be serving a sanction of housing probation or higher.  Disciplinary records will be reviewed for each applicant. You must be enrolled full time at Howard University for the academic year of 2019-2020 in order to be a Resident Assistant. If selected for employment you must reside in on-campus housing. 


  • Learn administrative and time management skills.
  • Learn effective and appropriate communication skills.
  • Work with a group of dynamic and diverse peers and administrators.
  • Learn leadership and decision-making skills.
  • Meet new and exciting residents on your floor and in your building.
  • Learn confrontation techniques.
  • Get to plan fun and exciting events on campus and in the Natchitoches community.
  • Learn to work with a team to develop a sense of community.
  • Monthly Stipend.


Resident Assistants participate in mandatory training during the Fall, Spring, and Summer. In addition, RAs will be required to participate in workshops, in-service trainings, and leadership development programs.

RA Group Process

Qualified candidates with completed application packets will be invited to participate in the Resident Assistant Group Process. This process, which will involve active participation and group interaction, will allow the Office of Residence Life staff a chance to get to know participants in order to make sound hiring and placement decisions.

RA Individual Interviews

Qualified candidates who successfully pass the group process will be asked to return for a 30-minute individual interview. Final-placement decisions with regard to community and building are made after the completion of the application packet, group process, and individual interview. Participation in all aspects of the selection process does not guarantee a Resident Assistant position.

Info Session Dates

Attend an information session to learn more about the Resident Assistant position, hear from RAs, and ask any questions that you might have. Attendance at one session is mandatory or you will not be invited to participate in the Group Process. If you cannot make the meeting at the hosted location, please feel free to attend any of the other informational sessions listed.

  • February 25: Multipurpose Room (MPR) 7-8:00 P.M.
  • March 4: Multipurpose Room (MPR) 7-8:00 P.M.

Application Timeline


Group Process Interviews (one day only) - We will contact you to notify you of the group date and time.

Individual Interviews – If selected we will contact you to set up a date and time in advance.

March 29th: Offer Letters Sent

The offer letter is due three days after receiving the offer.



1. When does RA  training begin and how long is it?

RAs return to campus in late July/early August and typically undergo approximate two full weeks (including weekends) of training before move-in. Training is extensive and there will be things planned all day during those two weeks.

2. What are some of the responsibilities of the RA position?

RAs are responsible for staffing duty shifts (office hours) in every residence hall each night the buildings are open. This can include responding to emergencies and policy violations. Also, RAs build an inclusive community by getting to know their residents and presenting educational and social programs. RAs also attend meetings with their staff and building manager each week, or as directed by the manager.

3. What are some of the benefits and compensation?

RAs will receive a credit to his/her student account for their room for each semester of employment, along with a monthly stipend.

4. Do I get to choose which building I become an RA in?

No. If you are hired to be on staff, you will be placed in the best community that aligns with your strengths. Students who have pre-existing housing accommodations from the office of student support services will be accommodated.

5. What kind of training will I receive after being hired and why does it take so long?

Resident assistants are trained in a variety of different areas due to having to respond to an array of human behavior in the residence halls. Some of the topics include conflict mediation, fire safety, leadership development, sexual assault response, crisis response & intervention, and duty. During RA training, we try to cover many topics to ensure you are prepared to do your best. Topics that are missed are covered during in-service training sessions throughout the academic year. This is done to allow time for staff members to get to know each other and prepare for the large task of move-in.

6. Can I still be involved with other organizations while being an RA?

Yes, as long as the other organizations do not monopolize all of your time. RAs should prioritize their academic commitments firsts, then the RA position, and then everything else.

7. What kind of support structure and help with problems will I have after I am hired?

One of the best support systems in place will be the rest of your RA staff team. In addition, you have your supervisor, and graduate resident assistants, who will help you navigate difficult issues you may face. Communication is essential to success in this role. Remember that you are never alone and are a part of a team. There is no “i” in the team.

8. What kind of room/unit will I have, if I am selected as an RA?

The office of residence life & university housing will make the determination of the type of space, resident assistants will be assigned to.

9. Can I work another job while being an RA?

Due to the nature of this job and time expected to perform your roles and responsibilities, RA have to be mindful of the impact that outside employment may have not only as it involves their presence, availability, and visibility on the floor and in their community, but also time commitments their employer may have which could ultimately clash with expectations for this position. Please note, we still expect for academics to be the first priority, followed by the RA position, and then everything else.

10. How many meetings will I have each week?

Every week can be different in residence life. You may have a couple of roommate mediations or a program planning meeting with your staff. Your building manager will determine and discuss how often you will be advised to meet and expected to be available.

11. How often will I be on duty?

On most staff teams, you will be on duty once or twice per week. There is usually flexibility at the beginning of the semester when you create your duty schedule to plan around important events. Communication is key and essential to be successful.

12. Can I stay over break?

RAs will move in early and need to stay until residents have departed for each of the university breaks. Break housing, however, is limited and offered where applicable and will be communicated appropriately, when available.

13. I am excited to become an RA, but I’m nervous about writing people up and getting them into trouble. Are RAs required to complete write-ups?

RAs are responsible for assisting with policy enforcement and must address what they come across. You are simply documenting the actions that took place and providing that information to your GA/building manager accordingly. Students are able to make their own choices and when they violate policy, RAs are responsible for documenting those situations. RAs do not charge students with violating the student code of conduct. All incoming staff will receive training on confronting policy violations and will have the opportunity to practice those skills during RA training.


Hours of Operations
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Mon., Wed., Fri.
(Office Hours by Appointment: 3 to 5 p.m.)

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tues. and Thurs.

Residence Life & University Housing
2205 4th Street, NW 
Washington, D.C. 20059