Understanding the Role of an RA
Thank you for your interest in applying for a Resident Adviser (RA) position at Clark University. We believe that being a Resident Adviser is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that Clark can offer you. The information contained in this packet will allow you to think critically about the Resident Adviser position and prepare for the application process. If you should have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email Jessica Donovan, Assistant Director of Residential Life; call us at 508-793-7453; stop by our office; or talk to your Hall Director or Area Coordinator. Before you read further, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the RA Job Description.
RA Selection Timeline
- Tuesday, January 15th, 2013: Applications available online
- January 14th-18th, 2013: Current Resident Advisers will be tabling from 11:00AM to 1:00PM and from 5:00 to 7:00PM in the University Center to provide interested candidates information about the position
- January 21st-24th, 2013: RA Info Sessions
- Monday, January 21st at 8:00PM: Johnson Sanford Center 2nd floor new addition lounge
- Tuesday, January 22nd at 8:30PM: Bullock Hall
- Wednesday, January 23rd at 4:00PM: Grace Conference Room - University Center
- Wednesday, January 23rd at 8:00PM: Wright Hall
- Thursday, January 24th at 7:00PM: Resource Room - Dana Commons
- Thursday, January 31st, 2013: Deadline to submit completed RA Application by 5pm.
- Saturday, February 2nd, 2013: Group Process (10:00AM to Noon OR 1:00PM to 3:00PM). Please keep 10:00AM to 3:00PM open on your schedule. You will be notified of your Group Process session time via email by 5:00PM on Friday, February 1st.
- Wednesday, February 6th, 2013: Candidates will be notified via email if they have advanced to the interview round and provided with instructions on how to schedule their interview.
- February 11-22, 2013: Individual candidate interviews.
- Friday, March 1st, 2013: Decision letters will be emailed to candidates.
- Monday, March 11th, 2013: Position Agreements submitted online by 5:00PM.
RA Fall Training 2013/Winter Training 2014
Resident Advisers who are hired for the 2013 Fall Semester are required to return to campus for Fall Training on Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 prior to 5:00PM. RAs are also required to return to campus by Thursday, January 9, 2014 by 5:00PM for Winter Training. Please consider these dates as firm and make travel arrangements accordingly.
Things to Consider When Applying:
Prior to beginning the application process, we encourage you to take a couple of minutes to look over the questions below and complete a quick self-assessment. As you enter the process to become an RA, it is important to know where you stand on certain issues.
- Are you able to handle problems without over-reacting or making inappropriate compromises?
- Do you need to be the center of attention? Do you need to be constantly showered with compliments, praise, and reward? Can you let someone else take center stage?
- How do you handle stress, tension and anxiety?
- How well can you adjust to the lifestyle of an RA?
- Are you able to balance the role of the RA with the other components of your life?
- Are you oversensitive to and critical of the shortcomings of others?
- Are you able to learn from your experiences?
- Are you able to fulfill your responsibilities and still be honest with yourself, your values, your philosophies and your commitments?
- Are you able to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses?
- Can you relate to and advise other students without becoming personally and emotionally involved? Even when these students are close friends?
- Are you mature enough to accept that you cannot be all things to all people?
- Are you able to accept behaviors of individuals and not pass judgment?
- Are you able to accept direction and advice from a supervisor?
- Are you able to professionally disagree with a colleague?
- Do you have the self-confidence to be assertive without becoming aggressive?
The RA position requires a significant time commitment. For this reason, RAs:
- May not hold an executive position on Student Council unless special permission is granted
- May not serve on the Orientation staff.
- Must discuss outside employment or internships with their supervisor prior to accepting the position.
- May not leave campus overnight more than two weekends per month.
- Must be available for duty over Thanksgiving Break/Spring Break.
- Must attend weekly staff meetings and in-services from 2-4pm every Wednesday. Nothing else may be scheduled during these times. Meetings are mandatory.
Important Tools That You Will Develop as an RA:
Running Effective Meetings
Active Listening Skills
Public Speaking Skills
Program Planning Skills
Long Range Planning Skills
Customer Service Skills
Safety and security
Crisis Intervention Skills
Exposure to Diversity
To be considered an eligible candidate for an RA position, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Full-time, registered student in the University’s Undergraduate Academic Program.
- In good academic standing (not on academic probation) with minimum semester and cumulative GPAs of 2.5 or greater.
- Will have completed a minimum of two full semesters of undergraduate coursework (at least one being at Clark) by the start of the Fall 2013 semester.
- In good disciplinary standing (not currently on disciplinary probation).
Resident Advisers receive a room waiver for the room cost of their room and board package. The room cost covers all utilities such as cable, internet, heat and water, and local telephone service. A stipend of $400 per semester for new staff members will be paid biweekly or at the end of each semester. RAs do not receive meal plan compensation. Please note that this compensation is considered a financial resource and financial aid candidates selected as RA’s may have an adjustment made in the self help category of their aid packet. It is strongly recommended that you make an appointment with your financial aid counselor to discuss how this position would affect your financial aid package. Financial status is not considered as a factor in the selection of Resident Advisers.
Residential Housing Initiatives to Consider When Applying to be an RA:
- All Female Housing: An option for female Resident Advisers is the all-female residence hall, Dodd Hall. This community provides female students with the comfort of living among only female residents in a supportive community.
- First Year Experience: The goal of the First Year Experience program at Clark University is to provide first year students with a supportive and caring environment to assist them in their transition to college life. The Resident Adviser plays an integral part of the First Year Experience. Applicants applying to work as FYE RAs will agree to remain alcohol and smoke free when in the residence hall.
- Upper-Class Experience: The goal of the Upper-Class Experience is to help upper-class students continue to develop as people. The Resident Adviser helps to do this by programming to enhance the student’s personal skills and knowledge of themselves and their identity, engage them on a deeper level in the Clark and global community and explore opportunities for career development. RLH understands that student’s in the upper-class area are already acclimated to the campus but strives to create an atmosphere of learning and community. Upper-class housing which is comprised of apartments (Blackstone and the RLH Houses), suites (Maywood) and some halls mixed with suites and traditional doubles and singles (Dana and Hughes Halls).
- Wellness Housing: An additional option for Resident Advisers in the upcoming semester is the Wellness Housing option. Applicants looking to promote this substance free housing environment will agree to live substance free when in the residence hall. The successful candidate for these positions will demonstrate an interest in the promotion of healthy behaviors and a lifestyle centered on wellness.