1. How do I know which hall or group of halls is the best place for me?
Consult with the RHDs and current MAs and RAs about the job and differences between halls. Get out and explore different halls. Don´t assume that "XYZ" hall is the only and best place for you if that is the only place you have ever lived.
2. Are scholarship recipients compensated for being RAs and MAs?
Scholarship recipients may receive room and board for payment as Residents Assistants and Multicultural Advisors for Residence Life in addition to other scholarships and grants they may receive. Please note that the Office of the Provost instituted a policy that limits CMU gift assistance (scholarships and grants) to not exceed the cost of attendance. Room and board provided RAs and MAs fits into the CMU gift assistance category, and the value of the award may be reduced so that total CMU gift assistance does not exceed the cost of attendance. Applicants with questions about how a position may affect them should contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
3. Who should I choose as my references?
Pick people with whom you have had contact through volunteering, working, or other regular interaction. They will be able to give the best reference. Good ideas for references include Hall Directors, RAs/MAs, Student Organization Advisors, Professors, and current/prior Employers. The references should be people who know you and can comment on your skills, readiness for the job, and character. Relatives, significant others, etc. are not considered appropriate references.
NOTE 1: Before you write someone down as a reference, first ask them if you can use them as a reference. This is simply professional etiquette!
NOTE 2: Reference information on you may also be obtained from advisors, supervisors, RHDs, etc. who are not listed on your application, as well as from information posted on social media and other public resources.
4. What if I´m not sure my grades will be high enough or if I'll have enough credits?
Because applications are due in January, you will have received your grades before the application due date. Work on your application before then even if you think your grades may not cut it. If your grades are high enough, you do not want to rush to get your application done last minute. Regarding credit hours, to be eligible for a position, applicants must be at sophomore status at the end of the semester in which they are applying, i.e. 26 credit hours. Furthermore, you must have at least a 2.50 GPA. We do not round up.
5. What if I plan on studying abroad or doing an internship during the spring semester and want to apply for a Fall position?
Students in this situation will need to apply in November by the date stated on the candidate timeline. Each of the groups to which the candidate applies will conduct their interview process by mid-December. The candidate will know prior to winter break whether they are being recommended as hirable for Fall. Final hire decisions will not be made until prior to spring break.
6 . Is it true that RHDs and others may look at my social media?
Yes. Facebook, Twitter, etc. are "in the public domain" and are used across CMU and many campuses by faculty and staff. For CMU Residence Life, role modeling responsible behavior and ability to follow and enforce university policy are important hiring criteria. Applicants are encouraged to evaluate their online profiles and postings as they decide how they want to present themselves to others. A student's online presence ideally matches the person they are.
7. Can International students work as RAs or MAs?
Yes. International students may work as RAs or MAs. International Students must not exceed 20 hours per week due to visa restrictions, so employment outside of the RA or MA position is not permitted during the academic year, except during semester breaks. International students should contact the Office of International Affairs if they have questions about their visas.
8. Do I have to sign up for Fall housing on campus in order to be eligible in the selection process?
No. Candidates are not required to sign up for Fall housing in order to be considered as an RA or MA. Candidates who are not sure that they want to live on campus if they're not selected should wait until they are sure about where they want to live in the Fall.
9. If I have been found in violation by the Office of Student Conduct, can I still be considered for a position?
It depends. You must not be within one year of being placed on disciplinary probation at CMU or any other university on the day applications are due. If your probation has ended prior to the application deadline or you were placed on probation over a year prior to the deadline, then you would be an eligible candidate. Regardless, while employed, staff members will be disciplined up to and including discharge if they violate any University policies or procedures.
10. I want to be a teacher some day. As I plan for the future, can I do my student teaching and be an RA or MA?
We do not allow staff members to remain in the position while they are completing their student teaching or any other full-time internship due to the significant time commitment involved.
11. What is involved in the Personal Statement?
A Personal Statement document is required to be attached while applying –
which should include any facts about yourself that you think are
significant to the specific position for which you are applying.
We respect the personal goals, life experiences and diverse backgrounds
that students bring to a position. In order for us to make the best
selection, we need the most useful information from you. We are
interested in any facts about yourself that you think are significant to
the RA position. (We encourage you to expand on the information you
provided in your application. However, to avoid redundancy, please
refrain from re‐listing activities without further explanation.) Please
limit your response to between 100‐500 words. You may, but are not
required, to include:
‐ A personal experience that has helped to shape who you are.
‐ Any qualities or characteristics you possess that will contribute to your success as a Resident Assistant or Multicultural Advisor.
‐ A challenging situation that you have encountered and your response.