Become an RA - Resident Advisor
The Resident Advisor is responsible for assisting the Residential Life Coordinator (RLC) in developing, maintaining, and coordinating an atmosphere, which will provide a positive intellectual and social living environment for students. Resident Advisors are directly responsible to their RLC and function as a member of the California State University, Sacramento Residential Life staff.
A Resident Advisor should possess personal qualities which aid in effectively relating to students. These qualities should include maturity, integrity, and sensitivity to name a few.
The behavior a Resident Advisor models is the behavior that residents/students will assume is appropriate. Resident Advisors are expected to live by the rules and regulations set by Sacramento State and Housing and Residential Life.
As a Sacramento State Resident Advisor, you will be expected to conduct yourself as a leader and role model both on and off campus.
As a Resident Advisor, residents will assume you possess qualities of experience and maturity which qualify you as a leader. They will look to you for guidance, direction, and advice. As a leader, you will be in a position to encourage and develop leadership in others. As a Resident Advisor you will have the opportunity to teach and learn through facilitating floor meetings, planning activities, and addressing community problems/issues. There will be opportunity to explore and challenge values -- yours as well as the residents. You will have opportunity to create formalized learning situations by way of organizing programs and using campus resource personnel.
As a Resident Advisor, you are in a unique and important position. As a member of the Residential Life staff, you will be expected to pass onto residents, information concerning the Residential Life policies, procedures, and relevant campus information. You will be expected to communicate, interpret, and uphold policies and procedures in conjunction with the other staff members. A part of your responsibility is to be aware of your residents' different needs and direct them to the different services and alternatives available. You are also responsible to know to which agencies referrals can be made such as Psychological Services, Student Health Center, Financial Aid, and Academic Advising.
An important component in the Resident Advisor's job is to establish a positive, interactive relationship and be available to residents in your community. This may be accomplished by learning the student’s names and familiarizing yourself with their attitudes and behavior patterns. By the RA using good listening skills, learning student names and developing effective relationships with residents, the RA will be better able to understand the individual from their own framework.
A part of your function in working with residents in the hall is to help them assume responsibility for their behavior. How effective you are depends to a large extent on the type of atmosphere you have helped to create. If students develop a sense of group responsibility and cohesiveness, they will be able to carry out a program of self-discipline and you will have helped in the development of a responsible community in which everyone contributes.
How well you function in confrontations is dependent upon how well you function in the other aspects of your position -- particularly role-modeling. If you have established a relationship of trust and fairness with your residents, you will find the job of confrontation much easier. In those instances when you must confront undesirable behavior, be firm, be consistent, and follow up appropriately later. Never be unnecessarily confrontational or verbally/physically aggressive. Confrontations may involve dealing with either discipline or crisis. Your role in both cases will be to assess the situation, take the necessary steps to resolve issues, and be able to help residents find additional resources.
As a Resident Advisor there are certain administrative duties which you must perform. This aspect of your job is the easiest to define, because it includes the mechanical and procedural duties which you must perform in order that the hall can operate efficiently. These duties include, but are not limited to, working desk duty, keeping records, checking students in and out of the hall, writing incident reports, and serving on committees. It is expected that you will be punctual, accurate, and responsible in handling these tasks.
You will be expected to communicate effectively with all members of the Residential Life community. Additionally, you should support all other staff members’ efforts and Residential Life programs (this includes committees, projects, and meetings as assigned). You may be asked to assist with University and Residential Life public relations by explaining programs and duties to visitors, guests, parents, faculty, etc. In addition, you should also maintain open communication with your staff team and keep your Res. Life Coordinator informed of student activities and/or problems. You also are responsible for maintaining good relationships with other University personnel.
Periods of Employment
Resident Advisor duties generally commence during mid-August for training prior to the arrival of residents. There is no duty during the winter and spring breaks. During winter and spring breaks there may be options for staying in Sierra Hall. Sierra Hall Resident Advisors will receive priority since Sierra hall is the hall open during breaks. American River Courtyard will be opened during designated breaks and American River Courtyard RAs get priority to staff the building during that time period. Winter duty commences the day prior to winter intersession classes. Spring duty generally commences the weekend prior to the return of the residents. Remuneration is paid room and board. Employment is contingent upon the occupancy of the complex.