What is a Resident Advisor?

A Resident Advisor or “RA” is usually a college upperclassman who educates, counsels, and provides resources for students living on their dorm room floor.  The RA’s goal is to create and maintain a healthy environment for students to grow academically and personally in their assigned living space.

A successful Resident Advisor focuses on the following 3 areas: student involvement, student interaction, and the student living environment.

Student Involvement

1. Available to students to answer questions or address concerns

2. Knowledgeable about students living on their floor or wing

3. Completes required administrative work

4. Ensures the living environment is conducive to studying (i.e. discourages really loud music or inappropriate parties)

5. Reports student issues (as appropriate)

6. Works designated hours at a community desk

7. Responds appropriately to crisis situations

Student Interaction

1. Posts flyers about campus events

2. Creates fun and informative bulletin boards

3. Attends events held by residents and supports residence hall activities

4. Mediates roommate conflicts

5. Knowledgeable about university resources (i.e. can tell you who to ask for what)

6. Actively engages with residents

7. Participates in campus-wide diversity programs

Student Living Environment

1. Confronts inappropriate behavior

2. Role models appropriate behavior

3. Understands university policies

4. Inspects common areas and follows up on facilities issues

5. Conducts safety and health inspections

6. Participates in dorm move-in and move-out day

7. Encourages student involvement with faculty and community leaders

Final Thoughts…

If you are a high school senior who will be moving on campus soon, the list above will give you an idea of what you should expect from your RA.  If you are a current college student, then you might want to consider becoming a resident advisor.  RA’s typically do not have to pay for on-campus housing.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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