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2020-2021 Head Resident Position Description

Information on this page pertains to the 2020-2021 OHARE Student Staff Team.  

The Head Resident (HR) is a senior Resident Adviser for the Office of Housing and Residential Experience. HRs assume responsibility for fostering an environment where all students feel supported in the pursuit of their academic and personal development.  HRs work closely with Area Coordinators, Graduate Area Coordinators, Residential Faculty, and Campus Partners to envision and create a premier residential experience where students can learn and grow.  HRs host educational and social events, provide peer leadership to RAs, and serve as a resource to students in their areas.  Peer leadership is a critical and trusted part of a team – it is necessary to executive various responsibilities to ensure staff teams function efficiently and effectively.  The position requires dedication, flexibility, commitment, and enthusiasm.


  • Must be a full-time, degree-seeking student with at least second-year student status at Vanderbilt University at point of application deadline
  • Must have at least one semester of experience at Vanderbilt University
  • Must have at least one semester of Resident Adviser service at Vanderbilt University
  • Must have a cumulative 2.5 Grade Point Average (GPA) by end of Spring 2020
  • Must have a United States Bank Account for direct deposit enrollment as a Vanderbilt University requirement
  • Must be in good standing according to the Vanderbilt University Student Handbook
  • Maintain all qualifications throughout the employment period
  • Compliance with all aspects of the Head Resident position description

Mandatory Dates:

Fall 2020

  • Monday, August 10:  RA Training Begins via Zoom at 9 AM on August 10, 2020and continues through RA Training and Campus Move-In ending August 23, 2020.
  • Thursday, August 13:  OHARE Student Staff Move-In Begins at 9 AM
  • Friday, August 14:  Deadline for HRs to be on campus
  • Sunday, November 22:  Thanksgiving Break.  Break begins after closing the residence halls. Flight arrangements should occur only after 3 PM on the closing day.

Spring 2021

  • Wednesday, January 20: Student Staff can move back on campus, beginning at 9 AM CST.
  • Thursday, January 21: Student Staff Spring 2021 Training via Zoom begins at 9 AM CST through the evening.  We ask that staff be physically present in their communities by Thursday, January 21, 2021.
  • Friday, January 22 – Sunday, January 24: Student Staff will assist with the Spring 2021 Move-In Process throughout campus (similar to the Fall 2020 key distribution assistance), and staff living in first-year communities will host virtual first-floor meetings.
  • Sunday, May 16: Student Staff will assist in the final closure of the residence halls. The entirety of the end of the closing period is April 27-May 16, 2021.
  • 7 PM-9 PM time block on Tuesday evenings: All area staff meetings will take place within these times. This time block is also set aside to allow us to provide development opportunities throughout the Academic Year.


  • Contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine how the role may affect you specifically.
  • Student staff members will receive a single occupancy space within their assigned community. If you are assigned to a community that has suites or apartments this means a single occupancy space within those community types.
  • The rate of compensation is approximately $595 paid monthly at the end of each month worked for nine months beginning at the middle of August through the middle of May. Note that both August and May will each be half payments. Note that both August and May will each be partial month payments.”

*Any changes to Vanderbilt University campus operations may change compensation for this role.

Head Resident Recruitment Process Key Dates:

  • Application Opens: November 13
  • Application Closes: December 6
  • Video Individual Interview Submissions Period: December 9 – January 2
  • HR and RA Transfer Meet-and-Greet: January 4
  • HR Candidate In-Person Presentations: January 6 & 7
  • Notice of Job Status: Late January

Employment Responsibilities: 

General Administration

HRs will: (1) Submit timely and completed paperwork (programming reports, duty logs, incident reports, AnchorLink event submissions, etc.); (2) Attend staff meetings, in-services, and other departmental engagements as appropriate; (3) Maintain open communication with Area Coordinator (AC) and Graduate Area Coordinator (GAC); (4) Assist with the opening and closing of the residence halls at the beginning and end of each semester and break periods including Health and Safety inspections; (5) Follow P-Card policies and procedures as outlined by the Office of Housing and Residential Experience (OHARE); (6) Ethically use departmental funds, programming spaces, and programming supplies to support the mission of OHARE; (7) Ensure ethical and timely usage of OHARE and Vanderbilt technologies, systems, and processes including, but not limited to, Maxient, Building Duty Report, RoomPact, and The Housing Director (THD); (8) Appropriately manages the usage of access cards and keys as outlined by the Area Coordinator, Graduate Area Coordinator, and other Professionals on Duty.

Community Development

HRs will: (1) Develop a sense of community among residents through involvement and developing relationships on their floor/section; (2) Create a friendly, respectful, and inclusive environment with residents on the floor/section; (3) Establish relationships with all residents on their floor/section and demonstrate availability and approachability to residents; (4) Maintain awareness of community needs including resident’s challenges, connections and behavioral patterns; (5) Assess the interests and needs of residents through Meaningful Conversations and community development initiatives; (6) Ensure resources and opportunities from campus partners are accessible to residents; (7) Complete all requirements for their Community Development Plan; (8) Establish positive relationships and actively engages non-residential and residential faculty in the community.

Accountability and Student Care

HRs will (1) Provide support to residents who experience challenges which include, but not limited to, roommate conflicts, self-discovery, and personal awareness; (2) Refer students to the appropriate campus resources for assistance; (3) Confront inappropriate behavior in an objective, consistent, and respectful manner while providing rationale for policies; (4) Appropriately document policy violations in Maxient within the appropriate timeframe; (5) Conduct student follow-up in a timely manner and provide thorough notes to supervisor team.

Event Management

HRs will (1) Assess the interests and needs of residents to plan and implement community events; (2) Responsible for making resources and opportunities from other offices on campus accessible to students; (3) Encourage students to get involved on campus; (4) Complete all requirements of the Community Development Plan for the residential area; (5) Input accurate programming information to AnchorLink and other area-specific systems appropriately. (6) Submits P-Card requests promptly and returns P-Card to the Program Manager within the specified timeframe.

Duty Responsibilities

HRs will (1) Pick up the duty phone and texts the Area Coordinator on Call (ACOD) or Graduate Area Coordinator (GACOD) by 5 PM on duty days; (2) Complete duty rounds of the building to promote the safety and security of the community as assigned; (3) Address behaviors and manages/refers issues; (4) Cover weeknight and weekend duty according to arrangements set by area; (5) Complete duty rounds of the community and submit duty logs on time; (6) Participate in Holiday Duty Rotations which includes: Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, and Spring Break; (7) Coordinate holiday travel plans after speaking with their Area Coordinator regarding holiday duty coverage.

Staff Development

HRs will (1) Participate in staff meetings, training workshops, in-services, etc.; (2) Establish effective working relationships and collaborate with fellow staff members, faculty members, supervisors, and others within and beyond OHARE; (3) Serve as a team player by compromising for the good of the staff and developing positive working relationships; (4) Give and receive constructive feedback regarding job performance; (5) Take initiative to further one’s own personal and professional development.

Time Commitment

HRs must not regularly exceed working 19 hours as an HR.  This estimation can depend on what is happening on your floor during a given week.  Undergraduate HRs cannot work any additional hours on campus. Graduate HRs can work up to nine additional hours on campus.  Student staff members should properly balance the responsibilities of this position as well as their academics.  Extra-curricular or off-campus activities should not interfere with a student staff member’s ability to complete job responsibilities. Student staff members should communicate with their supervisor if situations arise that would conflict with the completion of these duties.

Head Resident Responsibilities

HRs will (1) Exhibit a willingness to work harmoniously with others; (2) Advocate on behalf of teammates and appropriately address peer concerns; (3) Communicate team triumphs and concerns to the Area Coordinator and Graduate Area Coordinator; (4) Provide timely updates on the completion of tasks as outlined by the supervisor; (5) Provide appropriate and exceptional peer leadership by sharing skills and knowledge; and (6) Value the opinions and ideas of team members by fostering a collaborative environment.

Other Duties as Assigned

All student staff members are expected to adhere to other duties in line with the requirements and responsibilities of their position. This also includes the OHARE Student Staff Member Expectations Agreement in addition to area-specific expectations of the Area Coordinator and Graduate Area Coordinator Supervisory Team.


Email Assistant Director for Selection and Training, Michael Jones, at  Please allow for 48 business hours for a response.

Please check out the Candidate Packet for more information regarding what you can expect throughout the Head Resident Recruitment Process.