Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Applying to be a Resident Assistant

Please note: Only Jefferson University students are eligible to apply for the Residence Assistant position. Non-students are not eligible to apply. You may apply if you currently live on campus or are applying for the 19-20 academic year. You must be admitted to a program to be eligible to apply as a new student. 

What is a Resident Assistant?

TJU resident assistants

A Resident Assistant (RA) is a student staff  member who oversees a floor or multiple floors in one of the residence halls. The primary responsibility of a Resident Assistant is to build community within the residence halls and enhance the experience of the students living on campus. Resident Assistants are the primary contact in the residence halls to address any student concerns or issues.

Ultimately, a Resident Assistant wants to make sure the resident students living in the halls are happy, healthy and successful during their time at TJU.

Resident Assistant Responsibilities

Resident Assistants are responsible for covering a wide variety of tasks within five major areas. These areas include:

  • Community Development
  • Student Development / Programs
  • Discipline and Leadership
  • Information Source
  • Administrative Tasks

Along with these responsibilities, ResidentAssistants are required to participate in a rotating on-duty schedule over the course of a semester.

See “On-Duty Responsibilities” for more information.

Community Development

To build and maintain a community within the residence halls, Resident Assistants need to:

  • Oversee and build a rapport with their residents
  • Keep community clean and presentable
  • Get residents involved in community through meetings and programming events
  • Facilitate interprofessional interactions and build community spirit

Student Development & Programming

Resident Assistants not only build community but they help students further develop into the people they will become. Resident Assistants are often considered mentors or peer counselors for their residents by:

  • Planning programs for their floor(s) which gets students out and interacting with each other
  • Building new relationships between residents through programming events  or service projects
  • Being a good listener and taking the time to listen and talk to their residents
  • Learning more about their residents than just their name but their plans for their future and what they hope to accomplish.

Discipline & Leadership

Resident Assistants are the leaders in the residence halls. As a leader in the halls, Resident Assistants often:

  • Enforce University Polices and Procedures
  • Respond to student issues or concerns
  • Be a good role model for residents and campus community

Information Source

Resident Assistants are a source of knowledge and information within the residence halls. Resident Assistants should be knowledgeable about the University and the surrounding area. RA’s should know information such as:

  • University Policies and Procedures
  • Campus Office locations / Resources
  • Emergency Protocol
  • Academic Support Resources
  • Philadelphia / Local Resources

Administrative Tasks

Due to the nature of the Resident Assistant position, Resident Assistants are asked to do administrative tasks such as:

  • Filling out incident reports when dealing with situations in the residence halls
  • Programming proposals and evaluations
  • Bulletin boards and door tags
  • Regular floor meetings with residents
  • Attend weekly staff meetings

On-Duty Responsibilities

Resident Assistants are scheduled to be on-duty about twelve days over the course of a semester. When the RA’s are on-duty they should be on campus or close to campus in case they are called to a situation. When on-duty, RA’s are responsible for the following:

  • Responding to any emergencies or incidents in the residence halls
  • Mediating and resolving student conflicts
  • Writing and submitting incident reports for any incidents the RA was called to while on-duty.
  • Conducting rounds of the residence halls and submitting rounds reports to document any concerns or issues that need to be addressed in the residence halls (facilities concerns, housekeeping issues, etc.)

Perks of becoming a Resident Assistant

  • Resident Assistants in the Martin Residence Hall live in their own private room which is fully paid for during their time of employment.
  • Resident Assistants in either the Barringer or Orlowitz apartments live in an apartment of their choosing and receive a monthly housing stipend (stipend is equivalent to the cost of a private room in the Martin Residence) during their time of employment.
  • Becoming part of a great team!
  • Meeting new people and forming interprofessional connections! As a RA you will be helping and guiding your peers while meeting a variety of students from different programs than your own.
  • Great resume builder! Illustrates time management skills, responsibility and dedication for future employers!

Selection & Employment

Process Overview: The Resident Assistant Selection process begins in December1st. Applicants may apply with their campus key through the Housing Portal. Applications are available for interested candidates to complete along with two professional references. Candidates are also required to submit a letter of intent and resume, outlining their previous leadership experiences. Once a candidate submits their application and other materials, it will be reviewed to make sure it is complete.

The first round of interviews will be group interviews with the current RA staff and Assistant Director of Housing. Candidates are then selected for a second round of formal interviews with members of the professional OHRL staff.

Staff announcements are made in early-March. RA’s can opt to start over the summer months or start in August for the fall term.

The RA Staff is currently selected and filled for the 2018-2019 academic year.

For more information regarding the Resident Assistant (RA) position, please contact Morgan Portugal, Assistant Director of Residence Life, at either or (215) 955-1755.