General Statement of Duties:

The Resident Assistant at Central Michigan University is an upper-class student who lives on the residence hall floor to serve as the primary resource for building community and helping students connect with each other and CMU.  The objectives of the RA position include building a positive community on their floor and within the hall, assisting residents with both personal and academic concerns, knowledge of and upholding University policy, and serving as a resource and/or liaison for the University.

Supervision Received:
The Resident Assistant is directly accountable to the Residence Hall Director and indirectly to the Assistant and Associate Directors of Residence Life.

Minimum Qualifications and Additional Requirements:
1. You must be at least sophomore status (26 credits)​ at the end of the semester in which you are applying (i.e. May for a fall position)

2. You must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher at the time of application and at the conclusion of the semester in which you are applying.  A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 must be maintained during the period of employment.

3. You must be available for employment for two semesters upon initial hire.

4. 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. During the period of employment RAs must not be in violation of any University policies or procedures.

5. All employment positions within the department of Residence Life are interrelated.  Consequently, disciplinary action you receive while employed in one Residence Life position may impact your employment status in another Residence Life position, up to and including discharge.  If an RA is terminated from the position and would like to reapply to be an RA or MA in Residence Life, the individual must not be within one year of being terminated on the day applications are due.

6. You are expected to place the position as one of your highest priorities. Non-academic involvement for paraprofessional staff members in their first semester in the position cannot exceed 15 hours a week. Non-academic involvement for all other paraprofessional staff members must not exceed 20 hours a week (no paraprofessional staff member may work more than 15 hours a week outside of their position). All requests are subject to approval by your Residence Hall Director/supervisor and Assistant Director for your area of campus.
Note: International students may not be employed outside of the position due to restrictions in their student visa.

1. Community Building and Peer Relationships:
A.    Become personally acquainted with each resident on his/her floor and build a rapport that will foster open communication.

B.    Implement and encourage the development and maintenance of a community spirit on his/her floor, including social, educational, recreational, and floor and hall council activities.

C.    Assist new students in their adaptation to University life.

D.    Become a positive role model for residents.

E.    Utilize the RA/MA Resource Center as a resource for community development.

F.    Implement and support the use of community standards on your floor and in the hall.

G.    Actively educate self in the area of diversity and social justice for the purpose of building inclusive communities.

2. Peer Assistance:
A.    Develop the capacity to listen and understand, and to be flexible and open-minded in responding to student needs and concerns.

B.    Utilize provided resources to have intentional and meaningful conversations with residents about their transition to CMU, academic habits, etc.

C.    Encourage and assist individuals in finding their own solutions.

D.    Refer freely to departmental, campus and community resources.

E.    Maintain appropriate confidentiality between you and your residents; inform your RHD of any concerns.

F.    Maintain familiarity with the locations and operations of departmental, campus and community offices and organizations (e.g. Career Services, Listening Ear, Student Employment, Office of Residence Life, etc.) and make referrals when appropriate.

3. Residence Hall Programming:
A.    Utilize events and activities that already exist on campus and in the Mt. Pleasant community that meet the needs and interests of students, in conjunction with the PASSAGES programming model.

B.    Coordinate events for the purpose of promoting interpersonal interaction and community development.

C.    Offer educational, or needs-based, programs to meet the dynamic needs of our residence hall communities, whether a specific, targeted group, or the entire population.

D.    Report all programs and community builders as directed by your RHD.

E.    Attend and/or provide programs on issues of diversity and social justice.

4. Administrative Duties:
A.    Assume duty responsibility according to the formal and/or informal hall schedule and remain on call as required.

B.    Assist in opening and closing of the hall, preparation of rosters, damage inventories, cooperation with Campus Dining staff, and other duties as assigned.

C.    Complete requested reports and documentation in a timely, thorough, and professional manner.

5. Health and Safety:
A.    Become familiar with fire safety equipment, and coordinate the fire drill program on the floor.

B.    Be available and report all safety hazards and maintenance concerns

C.    Assist the Residence Hall Director as assigned in emergencies.  

6. Residence Hall Regulations:
A.    Provide continuous interaction and example, which encourages students to act with reason, to assume responsibility for their actions, and to be consistently considerate of the rights and freedoms of others.

B.    Know and adhere to the rules and regulations pertaining to student behavior and residence hall organizations and communicate them to residents.

C.    Develop consistent methods of enforcing rules and regulations, and assist students in developing methods of self-enforcement.

D.    Take appropriate action to protect the health, safety, and rights of residents.

7. Staff Training and Communication:
A.    Provide the Residence Hall Director with accurate and timely information concerning the environment of the hall via requested reports, documentation, 1:1 meetings, and staff meetings.

B.    Attend and actively participate in regularly scheduled staff meetings and training.

C.    Utilize department provided online and other resources.

D.    Develop and promote a positive working relationship with all residence hall staff, including Resident Assistants, other Multicultural Advisors, receptionists, custodial and Dining Services employees.


  •     Employment is normally for the academic year; however, continued employment is subject to satisfactory performance. Individual evaluations of the RA will be made during each semester by the RHD.
  •     RAs receive remuneration for the position in the form of “in kind wage” for their room and board.  This “in-kind” support is classified by the U. S. Department of Education as a financial resource that reduces financial need. The amount of the RA remuneration will reduce CMU grant aid dollar for dollar.  Additionally, CMU maintains a policy that CMU gift assistance (scholarships, grants and other “in-kind” remuneration) may not exceed the cost of attendance.  Students should contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to determine what affect accepting a RA position will have on their award package.  
  •     The University recognizes the value of reduced occupancy in the RA rooms and will strive to achieve this whenever possible. It should be understood, however, that the capability to provide this option is based on hall occupancy.
  •     Circumstances may arise that necessitate the transfer of RAs within the University Residence Hall System. Responsibility for transfer rests with the Office of Residence Life.
  •     Duty schedules will vary according to the lifestyle of a particular hall; however, all RAs are allowed a maximum of 16 nights away from campus each semester. All RAs are on call as required.
  •     RAs may be issued or have access to Master Keys, and loss or misuse of any key may be considered cause for termination of employment.
  •     The University recognizes RAs as strong role models for all residence hall students. It is expected that RAs present a positive attitude and example with regard to responsible behavior and responsible alcohol use.
  •     Other duties as assigned. Each RHD and staff may discover needs within their hall that are not addressed in this Job Description. The Office of Residence Life encourages this individuality and creativity in job performance.

Revised October 2016​