General Statement of Duties:
An Inclusion Assistant at Central Michigan University is a current student (sophomore status or above) who is a live-in paraprofessional staff member for the Office of Residence Life and works collaboratively to support our Educational Priority; As a result of living on campus, students will become empowered citizens who responsibly impact their communities. In addition to enhancing the support of students with underrepresented/marginalized identities, the role of an Inclusion Assistant is to educate community members on topics of equity and justice and to bridge campus resources and partnerships.
Inclusion Statement: As Inclusion Assistants, "we celebrate and focus on connecting with community members with a wide range of individual and group identities, including but not limited to:"
(CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity within its community. CMU does not discriminate against persons based on the above) (List of identities provided by Shannon Jolliff-Dettore Director - The Office of LGBTQ Services and Gender Equity Programs in conjunction with CMU's abovementioned AA/EO statement)
Inclusion Assistants will do their work through engagement strategies prescribed in Learning in Community: A Residential Experience, including but not limited to: intentional interactions (guided 1:1 conversations), community meetings, RD-RHD/Inclusion Assistant Content-Led programs, self-guided learning opportunities, and campus community events. Additional informal efforts to build relationships and community will also occur through weekly building/area social rounds. Inclusion Assistants utilize the learning goals and outcomes in Learning in Community to craft their engagement strategies with the supervision of their direct supervisor. Additionally, Inclusion Assistants assist in emergency response situations and participate in the paraprofessional weekend duty rotation.
The Inclusion Assistant is directly accountable to the Residence Director/Residence Hall Director and Assistant Director overseeing the Inclusion Assistant program and indirectly to the Assistant, Associate and Director of Residence Life.
Minimum Qualifications and Additional Requirements:
- Be at least sophomore status (26 credits) at the end of the semester in which the candidate applies (i.e. May for a fall position).
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher at the time of application and during the period of employment.
- Be available for employment for two semesters upon initial hire.
- Not be on disciplinary probation at CMU or any other university. Applicants who are on disciplinary probation will be eligible for consideration if it has been more than one year since being placed on probation on the day applications are due. Applicants who were suspended but not put on probation will be eligible if it has been more than one year following the end of the suspension when applications are due. During the period of employment, paraprofessional staff must not be in violation of any university policies or procedures.
- All employment positions within the department of Residence Life are interrelated. Consequently, disciplinary action received while employed in one Residence Life position may impact employment status in another Residence Life position, up to and including discharge. If a paraprofessional is terminated from the position and would like to reapply to be a paraprofessional, the individual must not be within one year of being terminated on the day applications are due.
- Staff are expected to place the position as one of their highest priorities. Non-academic involvement for paraprofessional staff members in their first semester in the position cannot exceed 15 hours per week. Non-academic involvement for all other paraprofessional staff members must not exceed 20 hours per week. All requests are subject to approval by the RD/RHD/supervisor and Assistant Director for the area of campus.
Note: International students may not be employed outside of the position due to restrictions in their student visa.
1. Community Development through Residential Education
- Contribute to the implementation of the residential curriculum, Learning in Community, utilizing multiple learning strategies including intentional interactions, self-guided learning opportunities, campus community events, and RD/RHD & Inclusion Assistant Content Led Programs.
- Build rapport with residents and focus support towards individuals with underrepresented/marginalized identities.
- Work closely with the RD/RHD and/or Resident Assistant(s) regarding concerns in the respective community.
- Engage in dialogue to deepen understanding, respect and empathy for others and build a rapport to foster open communication.
- Assist residents in their transition to university life, connection to campus resources and understanding their identities, values and beliefs.
- Serve as a positive role model by supporting and adhering to university policy and displaying positive academic and social behaviors.
- Assist residents in designing and implementing strategies for effective conflict resolution.
- Actively educate and engage in the areas of equity, justice and social responsibility for the purpose of building safe, healthy and thriving communities.
- Coordinate events for the purpose of promoting interpersonal interaction across difference and community development, and/or utilize events and activities that already exist on campus and in the Mt. Pleasant community specifically related to topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion and that support our learning goals.
- Educate and be a resource to residents and staff on issues of equity and justice.
2. Peer Assistance
- Recognize human differences and develop the capacity to listen and understand in order to be flexible and open-minded in responding to student needs and concerns.
- Utilize provided resources to have intentional and meaningful conversations with residents about their transition to CMU, academic habits, identity development, etc.
- Encourage and assist individuals in finding their own solutions to issues.
- Connect residents with department, campus, and community resources.
- Maintain appropriate confidentiality with residents; inform the RD/RHD of any concerns.
- Maintain familiarity with the locations and operations of departmental, campus and community offices and organizations (e.g. Career Services, Listening Ear, Student Employment Services, Office of Residence Life, etc.) and make referrals in conjunction with the RD/RHD as appropriate.
3. Administrative Duties
- Assist in opening and closing of the building.
- Complete reports, assessments, documentation and surveys in a timely, thorough and professional manner.
- Utilize the Paraprofessional Resource Center and other departmental resources.
4. Health and Safety
- Become familiar with fire safety equipment, assist with drills, respond to alarms and follow all emergency response protocols.
- Encourage residents to make informed choices for the safety and well-being of self and others and role model this behavior.
- Be observant and report all safety hazards and maintenance concerns in a timely manner.
- Assist the RD/RHD, CMU Police, etc. during emergency situations.
5. Residence Life Policy and Protocol
- Know, abide by and be consistent in enforcing rules and regulations pertaining to student behavior. Communicate rules and regulations to residents.
- Take appropriate action to protect the health, safety and rights of residents. Encourage residents to live productively among others, to assume responsibility for their actions and to understand their rights and responsibilities for living in a community.
- Assume duty responsibility according to the formal and/or informal building schedule and remain on call as required.
6. Staff Relations and Development
- Provide the RD/RHD with accurate and timely community and resident information via reports, documentation, 1:1 meetings, staff meetings, emails and other communication tools.
- Develop and promote a positive working relationship and effective communication within the staff team and among all individuals working in our communities.
- Complete all required training, including but not limited to: fall, winter, and ongoing in-service staff trainings, Inclusion Assistant meetings, in-building or area training, Campus Security Authority, etc.
- Attend and actively participate in regularly scheduled Inclusion Assistant staff meetings and developments; bring information and resources back to the building staff, hall council and residents as directed.
- Utilize department provided online and other resources.
- Employment is normally for the academic year; however, continued employment is subject to satisfactory performance. Individual evaluations of staff will be made during each semester by the RD/RHD.
- Inclusion Assistants 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 Inclusion Assistant 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 an Inclusion Assistant position will have on their award package.
- The University recognizes the value of reduced occupancy in staff rooms and will strive to achieve this whenever possible. It should be understood, however, that the capability to provide this option is based on building occupancy.
- Circumstances may arise that necessitate the transfer of Inclusion Assistants within the Residence Life system. Responsibility for transfer rests with the Office of Residence Life.
- Duty schedules will vary according to the lifestyle of a particular building; however, all Inclusion Assistants are allowed a maximum of 16 nights out of the building/semester. All Inclusion Assistants are on call as required.
- Inclusion Assistants 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 Inclusion Assistants as strong role models for all students. It is expected that Inclusion Assistants present a positive attitude and example with regard to responsible behavior and responsible alcohol use.
- Other duties as assigned. Each RD/RHD and staff may discover needs within their building that are not addressed in this job description.
Paraprofessional staff members gain a wide range of skills as a result of performing position duties. As a result of being a staff member, individuals will be able to:
- Understand their identities, values and beliefs.
- Recognize human differences and educate others through intentional dialogue.
- Engage in dialogue to deepen understanding, respect and empathy for others within the staff team and building community.
- Design and implement strategies for effective conflict resolution.
- Manage time and balance competing priorities.
- Establish and maintain boundaries.