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Resident Advisor Essay Scholarships

Being a Resident Assistant (RA) is an incredibly rewarding experience for the right person, but it isn’t for everyone. After all, an RA has quite a bit of responsibility for a college student. Most college students would rather have the freedom to hang with friends whenever they want, to go home when they want, or to study as often and as much as they want. Some, however, for a reason they cannot always articulate, find the life of an RA to be wonderful and exciting! For someone destined for the position, it’s a fantastic lifestyle!

If you’ve got a good grasp on your studies, you’re an outgoing person, and you love taking on responsibility, this might be a good fit for you. Check out these three reasons you might want to make the decision to be a resident assistant!

You Enjoy Leadership Roles

As an RA, you’ll be seen as a role model. Your residence hall, as well as other residence halls, Residence Life staff, and perhaps even some professors will recognize you as such. You don’t mind being in the spotlight every hour of every day. You don’t mind being talked about. You don’t mind attending a party knowing you’ll need to be responsible about alcohol (read: abide by drinking laws and/or rules). You enjoy taking charge. You like having people come to you for help despite the hour. Most of all, you know that developing leadership roles is important when it comes to finding a job down the road, and you like the idea of bolstering your resume or having something to talk about in an interview. If this sounds like you, you might enjoy spending a few years of college as a resident assistant!

You’re a Team Player

Resident Assistants have a team of other resident assistants they’ll need to put their trust in. As an RA, you’ll be faced with a variety of situations in which you’ll need another member of your staff to help you. You may have to break up a loud party, or check in on two roommates arguing, or negotiate with people under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It’s important that you get along with your staff, and that you use them to assist you when it’s appropriate. Being an RA isn’t about doing it all yourself. It’s about working together as a team to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who lives in your residence hall!

You Can Handle Yourself in Emergency Situations

While most of being an RA is doing rounds of the building, conversing with your residents, and doing basic office work, there will be times you’ll come face to face with a serious situation. You might have a resident dealing with difficult personal issues, or discover a resident in need of immediate medical attention . While you’ll be given basic training in handling these situations, it’s still important that you’re a person who feels in control during an emergency. If you’re comfortable making a 911 call, or stepping in to provide immediate assistance to a resident in need, you’ll be able to handle whatever incident is thrown at you!


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This entry was posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 at 3:00 pm and is filed under College Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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Should I go through the 2018-2019 return housing application process if I’m applying to be a Resident Assistant?

You should plan for fall housing without considering the Resident Assistant position in your plans. If you would like to live on campus next year even if you are not selected for an RA position, please go through the 2018-2019 return housing application process. If you are offered and accept an RA position, any payments you made in conjunction with your fall housing application (e.g., Application Fee and/or Confirmation Rent Payment) will be refunded to you. If you plan to live on campus only if you're a Resident Assistant, it is not necessary to complete the 2018-2019 return housing application process. If you are not selected for an RA position, and you did not go through and complete the return housing application process, you will be ineligible to return to campus housing next year. Resident Assistant selection will be completed in late March, giving candidates time to plan for fall housing accordingly.

If I’m accepted can I get an extension on my decision timeline or defer my acceptance to another semester/year?

No. Due to our staffing needs and out of respect to other candidates also in the process, we do not allow candidates to receive an extension on their decision timeline or to defer their acceptance to another semester/year. If you choose to decline your position, we encourage you to consider applying again next year.

If I’m not accepted, can I apply again?

Absolutely! We encourage you to continue to stay active and involved at the University, and consider applying again next year.


Can I hold another position on/off-campus if I am a Resident Assistant?

The Resident Assistant position is designed to be a 15-20-hour per week, live-in leadership position and is expected to be your number one priority after academics. We understand that our RAs are student leaders who are already very involved within the community and it is possible for you to hold additional commitments while being an RA. However, if selected, it is important for you to speak with your Community Director about any other responsibilities you have beyond the RA position as soon as possible. RAs cannot work, under any circumstance, over 15 hours a week at any other combination of on-campus jobs per university policy. Overall, you are not allowed to hold additional positions that require more than 20 hours of your time per week, whether it's one job or a combination of leadership positions.

Will my profile in an online community or social networking site affect whether or not I will be hired?

If you are hired for the RA position you are expected to be a positive role model for all communities that you’re involved in. It is up to you to take a look at your profile pictures, comments, groups, etc. and decide if that is the best reflection of yourself. Understand that these images and associations may influence your Community Director and your future resident’s opinions of you before they even meet you in person.

If I have been documented for an incident, can I still be a Resident Assistant?

That depends. Students must be in good conduct standing with the Dean of Students Office and Housing & Residential Life in order to become a Resident Assistant. Good conduct standing means: you are not currently on deferred eviction status or evicted from Housing & Residential Life or currently suspended, expelled, on interim suspension, or university probation from the University. In addition, you must not have any incomplete sanctions with the Dean of Students office.

I’ve never lived in a residence hall. Can I still apply?

Housing & Residential Life values a wide range of experiences in our student leaders and that includes students who have only lived off campus. So yes, please still apply!

What if I don’t have the required GPA?

You must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, and 2.5 semester GPA in order to qualify for the RA position. This GPA requirement exists because the Resident Assistant position is time-intensive position and time management is essential to maintaining good grades. Another reason is that a Resident Assistant serves as an academic role model for their students, peers and the department of Housing & Residential Life, therefore maintaining good grades is essential.

Do I already need to know how to confront people or deal with emergencies?

No, prior experience is not a requirement to be a Resident Assistant. All staff members receive comprehensive training prior to the academic year on many situations that might arise. Furthermore, throughout the academic year, Resident Assistants are provided ongoing training and support by their Community Director and the department.

I am an international student, can I still apply?

Any full-time student who is permitted to work in the United States is eligible to apply. If you are unsure of your work eligibility, please check with the Office of International Student Programs.

I am a graduate student, can I still apply?

Yes. While the RA position is staffed in undergraduate residence halls, full-time graduate students are still eligible to apply. If you are interested in the Graduate Resident Assistant position for La Aldea Graduate Housing, contact La Aldea staff at laaldea@email.arizona.edu.

What qualities do strong candidates possess?

We look for well-rounded candidates to become RAs. While we look for no specific qualities, we encourage you to be authentic and bring your true self to the process. 

Interview Process and Timeline

What does the interview process entail?

The interview is a one-hour-long, in-person, process that will allow you to demonstrate your strengths in a variety of context. The individual interview will allow you to talk one-on-one with a Community Director(s) and current RA(s). If invited to continue in the process, you will be asked to attend a group process. The group process will help get you engaged with other candidates and will be facilitated by Community Directors and RAs. In addition, you’ll have the chance to learn more about the Resident Assistant experience, with time set aside for questions you may have for us.

If I will not be available during the stated interview times should I apply?

If you will not be available to interview during the defined interview time frame, you will not be considered for a position and, therefore, should not apply. Given the size and nature of the process, we do not have the ability to make accommodations for individuals who will not be able to attend the interview during the defined interview time frame. If you are studying abroad during the spring semester, please select a time on the application and email res-raselection@email.arizona.edu as soon as possible to determine if we are able to setup an interview.

What should I wear to the interview?

The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you present yourself – which includes your attire and how you carry yourself. That’s why it’s always important to dress appropriately for a job interview even if the work environment is casual. We encourage you to wear something that will allow you to be comfortable, look professional and presentable, and give you confidence as you demonstrate your skills to the interviewers.

Benefits and Compensation

Will being an RA affect my financial aid?

The Resident Assistant position can affect your financial aid or scholarship award. To determine how that will affect your situation specifically, please contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at (520) 621-1858.

What is the compensation for being an RA?

All Resident Assistants receive a free room and $1,000 per semester on their meal plan. 

Assignments and Placement

Can I choose the building I want to be Resident Assistant in?

If you are hired for the Resident Assistant position you are hired for the department, not for a specific building. While it is possible for you to voice your areas of interest in the application, those preferences are not guaranteed to be met. Resident Assistants are placed in buildings due to qualities that would make them successful in that environment.

As a Resident Assistant, will I have a roommate, and if so, for how long?

The University attempts to provide housing for as many students as possible, requiring the use of all available spaces. Resident Assistants in single occupancy rooms will not have a roommate. Resident Assistants assigned to established double occupancy rooms will, most likely, have a temporary roommate. Half of the Resident Assistant’s double room will be used to house students until permanent accommodations become available for the temporary roommate. The Resident Assistant will be provided single occupancy of that room only after all other students have been accommodated. The length of time this process takes varies from year to year but all steps are taken to minimize the overall impact of the temporary housing process on our Resident Assistants.

What is the process to be a Resident Assistant in La Aldea, the 12-month graduate housing hall?

La Aldea has seven Graduate Resident Assistants (CRAs), who work 12 months of the year, primarily with graduate students. The selection process to be a GRA in La Aldea is completely separate from the RA selection process. If you are interested in applying for a GRA position, please look for postings or contact the La Aldea office: laaldea@email.arizona.edu

What is the alternate pool and how will I know when I’ve been selected from the alternate pool?

The alternate pool is for those candidates who we feel are qualified for the RA position, but, due to the number of applicants, are not placed in a building. Candidates in the alternate pool will be notified via e-mail if they are offered a position and building placement as an RA.

When will I know my actual building placement?

When you are offered a position, your offer letter will include what building you will be placed in. You are unable to change what building you will be placed into. If you choose to decline the placement, you will be removed from this year's process.

Training and Support

When do I need to be back at the UA for Resident Assistant training?

Resident Assistant training for the academic school year begins in Late July/Early August. Please look for an update in February. You are expected to be present on campus, and fully participate in the entirety of training, opening and Community Day. The RA position will require a great deal of time from Late July/Early August through the first week of classes. Please contact res-raselection@email.arizona.edu if you have more specific questions.

If I have a conflict, can I miss training or be late for it?

No. Resident Assistant training is an essential component to you being a successful RA. During training all RAs and individual staffs will be talking about crisis management, emergency protocols, hall operations, etc. RA training is also an essential time to bond with your staff and start to build strong working relationships that will aid you throughout the year. Please keep in mind that Summer Session II typically conflicts with the first portion of Fall RA Training and class conflict is not an excusable reason to miss Fall RA Training.

Do I have to stay until the residence hall closes for break or return before the residence halls open from break?

As stated in our sample Resident Assistant Expectations, staff members are required to stay until the halls close for break and return before the halls open from break. Details of dates and times, which are specific to each school year, are listed on that year’s current Resident Assistant Expectations. It is necessary for some Resident Assistants to be on duty for Thanksgiving break and Spring break.

What are the basic components of training?

There are two basic components of training: RA Training and Hall Opening. As a new RA, you are not allowed to miss any part of training or opening.

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