RA Position Description

The following is the Resident Assistant position description for the current academic year. Updates, if any, will be communicated to candidates during the selection process.


The Resident Assistant (RA) is responsible for supervising a group of 15-35 residents. RAs are actively involved in assisting their residents with personal and academic problems, implementing social and educational activities, developing a sense of community, helping maintain a comfortable living environment, and performing various administrative functions.  The RA is the focal point for the day-to-day operation of their living unit.

RAs must possess the personal characteristics of warmth, patience, enthusiasm, openness to new experiences, the ability to relate well with all types of people, and react with emotional stability in stressful situations.  They must also be able to evaluate situations objectively.


The Residence Hall Directors, in coordination with the Director of Residential Life, have primary hiring and supervision responsibility.


  • Applicants must have completed at least 12 credits at IW and have a 2.5 cumulative GPA (a 2.5 minimum GPA for any one semester will result in job probation or termination).
  • Conduct records will be screened. Candidates who have been suspended from the University or dismissed from the halls previously are not eligible for employment. Applicants who have been, or currently are, on probation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Enrolled as a full-time student.
  • Must be able to commit to the entire academic year as an on-campus students, student teachers will not be considered


  1. August – May  (tentatively,  August 7, 2017- May 13, 2018)
  2. Be in-residence and participate in all training and operational activities that commence prior to the opening of the halls, both semesters, and continue through the last day of finals in the spring commencement.
  3. Assist with check-in and check-out at vacation periods and the beginning and ending of each semester.

– RA contracts are made on an academic year basis; however, evaluation of the RA by supervisors will be conducted periodically and affect a RA’s continued employment.


  1. Serve as positive role models and follow all IW rules as well as state and federal laws. This expectation applies both on and off campus.
  2. Community placement is determined by needs. Changes in placement during the year may occur.
  3. Off campus employment is permitted only with advance permission limited to 15 hrs. per week.
  4. The residence hall directors and/or the Director of Residential Life give time off with advance permission. Christmas & Spring Breaks are typically RA vacation periods. In exchange, RAs are expected to remain in the building and on duty during high traffic times (Homecoming, Fall Break, weekend before finals, graduation weekend and other times as designated).
  5. Devote round the clock waking hours coverage immediately after RAs last final until the building is closed at the end of each semester
  6. Extra-curricular activities are permitted if they do not create a conflict of interest and time with the RA position. Limitations on excessive activities may be imposed to maintain effective academic and staff work. RAs may not hold an executive position in hall council or any organization with potential to create conflict of interest.
  7. Violation of any IW Code of Conduct, rule, policy or these responsibilities and terms will be grounds for immediate dismissal.


  1. Serve as a positive role model and conduct one’s self in accordance with the rules and regulations of IW as well as state and federal laws.
  2. Develop an awareness of attitudes and feelings of individuals and groups living in the hall.
  3. Know the names and other information about residents of his/her floor and to assist them in developing academically, personally, spiritually, and socially.
  4. Develop programs and activities to fulfill the University’s vision of learning in community.  Involve residents in program planning and encourage attendance at programs.
  5. Assist in New Student Orientation and other campus-wide Student Development activities as called upon.
  6. Serve as a knowledgeable resource person.
  7. Recognize problems, actual or potential, and take appropriate action including referral to the Head RA, Residence Hall Director(s) or Student Development regarding residents whose problems appear to be more serious.
  8. Be available to students during hours when most residents are in the hall and make arrangements to see individuals periodically in an informal manner.
  9. Know, understand, support and educate residents about residence hall and University rules.
  10. Confront inappropriate student behavior in a positive, educational, and professional manner.
  11. Keep Head RA, Residence Hall Director and Student Development informed of violations, unmet student needs, problem areas and the progress of the hall.
  12. Ensure the safety, welfare, and health of residents by instruction and implementation of fire, accident and emergency procedures.
  13. Maintain a safe, orderly and quiet residence hall environment that is supportive of academic success.
  14. Investigate and report common area damage.
  15. Conduct room and common area inventories; assist in checking students in and out of rooms.
  16. Distribute and collect information.  Post signs, create bulletin boards and door decorations.
  17. Provide duty and back-up duty coverage on specified nights and weekends.
  18. Attend staff and other meetings as called by the Residence Hall Director and/or Student Development.
  19. Be an active member of Hall Council and assist in advising Hall Council as directed.
  20. Be supportive of other RAs and other IW personnel.
  21. Maintain the strictest confidentiality.
  22. Keep keys and other issued supplies secure from loss, theft and damage.
  23. Complete a desk shift as part of on-call responsibilities as assigned by the Head RA.
  24. Other duties as assigned


As employees of the Office of Student Development, RAs are expected to obey all Iowa State laws regarding alcohol and controlled substances. Any evidence of drinking or possession of alcohol by an underage RA or use of or possession of controlled substances or drug paraphernalia by a RA may result in dismissal from the position. Illegal drug use or intoxication or consumption of alcohol on duty will be grounds for immediate dismissal.


In return for services rendered, during employment period a Resident Advisor will receive a double room as a single with air-conditioning.