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Resident Adviser Position Description

The Resident Adviser (RA) is a paraprofessional student staff member for the Office of Housing and Residential Experience. RAs assume responsibility for fostering an environment where all students feel supported in the pursuit of their academic and personal development. RAs work closely with our Area Coordinators, Head Residents, and Residential Faculty to create a premier environment where students can learn and grow. RAs accomplish this through our hallmark technique:  Meaningful Conversations.  RAs will engage in meaningful conversations with their residents, which are intentional opportunities to not only get to know their residents, but also develop specific experiences and activities for their residential populations. RAs host educational and social events, provide mentorship, and serve as a resource to students on their floors. 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 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 Resident Adviser position description

Mandatory Information Sessions:

In order to be considered you must have attended a Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 Info Session.

Resident Adviser Recruitment Process Key Dates:

  • Application Open: November 13
  • Application Close: January 9
  • Video Individual Interview Submissions Period: Mid-January
  • RA Recruitment Day: February 1
  • Notice of Job Status: Mid-February

Mandatory Dates:

  • Wednesday, August 12:  RA Training Begins via Zoom at 9 AM on August 12, 2020 and goes through Campus Move-In ending August 23, 2020.
  • Thursday, August 13:  OHARE Student Staff Move-In Begins at 9 AM
  • Friday, August 14:  Deadline for RAs 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.

Please note that Vanderbilt University has updated the undergraduate Fall 2020 academic calendar and edits to the presence of our student staff is updated above.  We will continue to hold the Spring 2021 dates below until the university provides an update regarding the undergraduate Spring 2021 academic calendar.

Winter Training and Spring Opening 5 PM on January 6, 2021: HRs and RAs must arrive to campus by for January Training to occur January 7-8, 2021.
OHARE Student Staff Selection Weekend February 5-6, 2021.  Specific details about duties and responsibilities will develop closer to the event
Spring Break Closing*** March 6-14, 2021. Break begins after closing the residence halls.
Closing and End of the Academic Year 12PM on May 16, 2021. HRs and RAs must stay and assist in the final closure of the residence halls. The entirety of the EOY closing period is April 27-May 16, 2020.
Regular Staff Meetings/Department Development Opportunities 7 PM-9 PM time block on Tuesday evenings. All staff meetings will take place within these times. This block of time is also set aside to allow us to provide development opportunities throughout the Academic Year.

***Alternative Break Participants must receive permission from their supervisor prior to making trip commitment.  Prior permission must be obtained in advance from your supervisor to deviate from any of the above


  • 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 $235 paid monthly at the end of each month for nine months beginning in early August through Commencement weekend in May.  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.

Employment Responsibilities: 

General Administration

RAs 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

RAs 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

RAs 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

RAs 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

RAs 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

RAs will (1) Participate in student staff meetings, training workshops, in-services, etc.; (2) Establish effective working relationships and collaborate with fellow student staff members, faculty members, supervisors, and others within and beyond OHARE; (3) Serve as a team player by compromising for the good of the student 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

RAs must not regularly exceed working 15 hours as an RA. This estimation can depend on what is happening on your floor during a given week.  Undergraduate RAs can work four additional hours on campus and Graduate RAs can work up to 14 additional hours on campus with approval from their supervisor.  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.

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.

A Candidate Information Packet will be provided following the information sessions regarding what you can expect throughout the Resident Adviser Recruitment Process.

Application period is now closed.
More opportunity information will be provided in October 2020.