Residence Life and Dining Services
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RA FAQs
  1. What benefits do RAs get?
  2. When are staff meetings and why are they important?
  3. What is a one-on-one?
  4. Is the RA class required, and when does it meet?
  5. How much time will I spend a week as an RA?
  6. What does it mean to be “on duty?”
  7. Am I allowed to leave the hall at night or on weekends when I am not on duty?
  8. What University policies do I have to follow?
  9. What types of issues will I encounter as an RA?
  10. What are some reasons I may be released from my work contract?
  11. Am I required to keep a certain GPA to be a Resident Assistant?
  12. How many programs are RAs required to do each month?
  13. Can RAs collaborate with other RAs to do programs or do they have to be done individually?
  14. Can someone with little or no programming experience still be considered for an RA position?
  15. How do I know what programs and activities to plan for my residents?
  16. Can I be an officer in a campus organization, fraternity, or sorority and be an RA?
  17. What is my role with the Residence Hall Association?
  18. How much paperwork will I have to do?
  19. Can I hold another job in addition to being an RA?
  20. Who are the people I will be working with?
  21. Do RAs have to work every weekend and holidays?
  22. When do RAs get paid?
  1. All RAs will get a single room at no cost. They will also get a 60 block meal plan for the Fresh Food Company, and a stipend allowance  which is determined yearly.

  2. Staff meetings offer you the opportunity to interact with your fellow RA’s and Assistant Area Coordinator. The interaction is an essential part of strong teamwork in each building. Staff meetings are on Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. RAs are expected to keep this time free of academic. In addition, RAs must keep their Thursday from 3-5 p.m. open for in-service, training, and departmental meetings.

  3. One-on-ones are the times that your AAC sets aside to meet with you individually. These meetings offer a great opportunity for you to discuss your progress as an RA, to set personal goals, to discuss problems in your area, and to have fun getting to know your supervisor. Your AAC will set the expectation of time to allot for these meetings.

  4. All RAs are required to take the RA Class during their first semester of employment. RAs who are in the RA class are allowed to schedule 18 credits (including the RA class) during that semester without any approval by their Area Coordinator. Any other semester, if an RA would like to take more than 18 credits he or she must get it approved by their Area Coordinator.

    The RA Class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00pm-2:25pm


  5. On a philosophical level, you will be an RA 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Being a Resident Advisor means being a role model. It is important that you think about your behavior and understand what you do and why.

    On a more concrete level, RA’s spend an average of two hours per week in a staff meeting, can be on duty as often as one night per week and two weekend per month, and spend one hour per month together with Assistant Area Coordinator in individual meetings. The other time you spend on RA tasks such as programming, bulletin boards, door tags, helping and availability depends both on the needs of your residents and your own schedule.


  6. Being on-duty means that you are available to respond to issues in your specific building. The exact time of on-duty shifts is from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m each day.

    During your on-duty shift, you are expected to remain in the building at all times. The number of on-duty shifts per semester varies according to the size of your individual staff.


  7. We want RA’s to develop friendships and interests outside the RA position. Learning to balance availability to residents and personal interests is one of the challenges of this position. RA’s are required to live in the hall, which means that you must be a visible presence in the hall community. Absences must be communicated to and approved by the Assistant Area Coordinator in advance.

  8. As a University student, you are subject to all university and residence hall policies. And, as a role model, remember that it is difficult to be a credible leader if you do not practice what you ask other people to practice. If you are in violation of University or residence hall policies, you will be treated as any other student under those situations. In addition, your continued employment as an RA could be in serious question.

  9. There is not a specific list of issues that you will encounter. The specific issues depend on your community of residents. You may have a group of students who are particularly homesick or you may find that your residents are excited about being at U of M. You might encounter roommate conflicts, maintenance concerns, noise problems or even more serious issues such as suicide, eating disorders and alcoholism. It is important to remember that you have a variety of support systems available to you to address these issues.

  10. RA’s are expected to work for the entire academic year for which they are hired. You may be dismissed from employment if you violate a policy or law, are insubordinate, fail to fulfill the requirements of your position, transfer to another institution, drop below minimum hours, or withdraw from the University.

  11. Resident Advisors must have a 2.25 GPA to apply for the position and maintain a 2.25 GPA during employment. In the event that you are hired and fall below these requirements during the semester, you will be placed on academic probation.

  12. Each RA is required to do three programs each month. Programs are done based on the PAC Programming model. The PAC Programming Model requires one program each month for each of the following categories: Personal Development, Academic Development, and Community Development. RAs can do more than 3 programs throughout a month, but 3 is all that's required.

  13. RAs are able to work with any other RA to do their programs. They are also able to work with other student organizations as long as the programs fit into the PAC model. It is generally maintained that each RA does at least one program per month individually so that the Residents get a chance to interact individually with their RA.

  14. We are looking for bright and enthusastic people. If you do not have any programming experience that is not a problem. As long as you will work hard then you will be able to learn good programming methods from other staff members and through RA Training.

  15. Talk to your residents and find out what their interests and hobbies are. Find out what they would like to do and what information they need. Many of your residents have areas of expertise they might be willing to share with other students.

    Your fellow staff members and Assistant Area Coordinator can be excellent programming resources for you.


  16. Yes. You can be active in other campus organizations and still be an RA. Being an RA requires you to be available in the hall and to your residents whenever possible, so you will need to manage your time carefully. Your RA position must be your primary out-of-class commitment. You will fill out an additional commitment form and it must be approved by your AAC, AC and the Associate Director for Residence Life.

  17. As a spokesperson for your residents, it is important for you to have a working relationship with RHA. RHA can be an excellent source for programming resources. Your AAC will determine specific expectations regarding your involvement with your Residence Hall Association.

  18. At the beginning of your RA position, it may seem that there is an incredible amount of paperwork to do. There are forms regarding check- in and check-out. Every program requires paperwork, and other reports may be required on a regular basis. Your AAC will set these expectations. But most of the paperwork is done during and around check-in and check-out

  19. No. The RA position is a very demanding job. You may work addition hours at the front desk which is an excellent way to get to know your residents. We are concerned about your academic success as well as your success as a Resident Advisor and a well-rounded student. (Make sure you read the job description)

    1. Fellow RA’s are your primary support system. You will have anywhere from three to nine RA’s on your staff. In addition, RA’s in your specific campus area and across areas can be friends and resources for you.
    2. Assistant Area Coordinator are full time live in staff with at least a Bachelor degree and some have been RA’s before or have experience working with student groups. AACs are your direct supervisor.
    3. Area Coordinators are full time live in staff with at least a Master degree and with residence life experience. AC supervise AAC.
    4. Central Office Staff include the Associate Dean. Associate Director, Assistant Directors, support staff, and maintenance/facilities staff. These individuals administer the overall operation of the Residence Life & Dining Services and conduct long-range planning for the department.
    5. Campus and Community Resources are an important help to the RA. You will get to know the resources on campus and in the community that will assist the residents on your floor and assist you in your job.

  20. Duty schedules differ for each area, but generally an RA gets every third weekend completely off. During the other two weeks the RA will generally be on duty only two out of the four weekend nights (Thursday-Sunday).

    As far as holidays go, each area is different for holidays. All buildings are open during Thanksgiving and Fall Break therefore you could be asked to be on duty during these times.


  21. RAs are paid on a bi-weekly schedule.

RA Application Information
Timeline
Job Description
Frequently Asked Questions
Online Application
Other Employment Forms
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Residence Life and Dining Services | 011 Richardson Towers | Phone: 901/678-2295 | Fax: 901/678-5219 | Email: reslife@memphis.edu
Last Updated: 1/31/12