Housing & Dining Programs


  • Housing / Dining Programs
    Fax: 202-885-1154
    Anderson, Room 1st Floor Anderson

    Mon - Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm Sat - Sun: Closed

    Moody, Christopher L
    Assistant Vice President for Housing & Dining Programs

Mailing Address

Position Description, Qualifications, and Remuneration

Position Description

The Resident Assistant (RA) is a part-time undergraduate student staff member of Housing and Dining Programs and a member of the University's Office of Campus Life. Housing and Dining Programs believes that life in the residence halls provides students an important opportunity to complement their classroom learning experience. The RA fulfills a vital role in the residence hall system by helping students integrate learning experiences gained from both inside and outside of the classroom. The primary function of the RA is to facilitate interpersonal relationships and to create living situations that maximize the opportunities for students to learn and grow.

The RA reports to the Resident Director (RD) and is expected to work closely with other staff members (RAs, Desk Coordinator, Desk Receptionists, Residence Maintenance Crew members, University College Program Associates, etc.) within the building, as well as across campus. Emphasis is placed on the concept that the RA is an active and integral staff member within the total campus community. The RA is in a position of leadership and responsibility that extends beyond the immediate scope of his/her own floor.


Position Requirements and Expectations


·         Attend weekly staff meetings.

·         Attend bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with supervisor.

·         Compile accurate and timely reports for supervisor as requested (IRFs, weekly reports, incident follow up, etc.)

·         Provide duty coverage. RAs are required to perform holiday and break duty coverage (Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, and Spring Break).

·         Confront, document, and follow through on violations of published University and Housing and Dining Programs' policies, regulations, and procedures in an accurate and timely manner.

·         Treat information concerning staff and/or students with the utmost confidentiality.  

Community Facilitation

·         Serve as the leader in developing and facilitating an environment on the floor in which students can grow and learn socially as well as academically.

·         Advise and/or refer students within the limits of the RA's training and ability concerning academic, personal, and social manners.

·         Develop a personal relationship with each student living on their floor. Be available and give genuine assistance to students. Maintain daily contact and be aware of existing and developing problems.

·         Serve as a liaison between students and the supervisor.

·         Have a working knowledge of the University's facilities, services, and resources.

·         Work to promote a sense of tolerance and consideration in the attitudes and behaviors of students living on the floor.

Role Modeling and Policy Compliance

·         Be well versed in, personally abide by, and help enforce University policies including the Housing Agreement. RAs must also abide by all regulations in federal and local jurisdiction.

·         Understand that all actions of an RA (including those engaged in outside of the residence hall) are observed by residents, other RAs, and staff members. RAs must hold themselves to a higher standard in all actions.  


·         Assist in opening, closing, and staffing of the residence halls at break times.

·         Serve as a Desk Receptionist for four (4) hours per week without additional compensation.

·         Prepare and maintain accurate records regarding room change, maintenance, damage, helping situations, and policy violations.

·         Assist other Housing and Dining Programs staff with no-show verification process, vacancy lists, room change, room draw, public area inventories, room inventory forms, and other administrative processes as determined by the supervisor.

·         Conduct bi-weekly walkthrough of hall/floor for facility checks.

Team Member

·         Maintain positive relationships with fellow RAs, DRs, DCs, RMCs, and PAs.

·         Participate in the recruitment, selection, and training of new staff members. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: encouraging students on a one-on-one basis to apply for the RA position; assisting with and serving as an evaluator during selection process; submitting thorough reference forms by the stated deadline; co-present training sessions when requested/appropriate.

·         Maintain on-going communication with supervisor, fellow RAs, and Housing and Dining Programs office by checking staff mail, phone messages, and e-mail messages on a daily basis. RAs are required to forward their designated AU account to any outside e-mail account utilized.

·         Support efforts of front desk staff in creating a safe living environment for the residents.

Student Learning

·         Plan and implement opportunities to learn for residents of the floor/building as required by supervisor in congruence with the Residential Education Plan.

·         Maintain and collaborate in positive relationships with floor council representatives, Hall Council Executive Board members, Residence Hall Association Executive Board members, and other special interest University housing programs (University College, Honor's Program, Community Service floor, etc.).

·         Assist Hall Council floor representatives in programming initiatives for floor/building residents.

·         Submit Program Planner/Hall Transaction Request in a timely manner.

·         Serve as committee member on a Curriculum Committee related to one of the four pillars of residential education.

Other Duties as Assigned

·         The nature of the RA position does not allow for all duties to be explicitly described. There will be times when hall staff are requested to assist in an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances. These situations will be presented as thoroughly as possible at the time of need.



All candidates must be able to produce documentation of their eligibility to work in the United States. If you are an international student, please contact International Student and Scholar Services to ensure you have proper work authorization and documentation prior to applying.

·         RAs must be American University undergraduate students and have achieved 60 credits (i.e. junior class standing).

·         Students must have at least one semester at American University completed before the start of employment.

·         RAs must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75.

·         All candidates must currently be in good conduct standing with the University.

·         RAs must be able to attend and fully participate in staff training in August and January prior to the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. They must also be available for the common staff meeting time (8:30-10:30pm on Tuesdays).



The compensation package for RAs is:

·         Full housing remission

·         Monthly stipend of $250.00 from August to May

The compensation package cannot be arranged in any other manner. It is the responsibility of the RA to understand his/her own financial aid package and the impact of the RA position upon that package. RAs are encouraged to contact their financial aid counselor when considering the position. Cash equivalents are not given.

Of course, the benefits you will enjoy from a student staff position go far beyond money. Student staff positions with the Office of Residence Life will enhance your skills in event planning, time management, working with people, handling conflict, and group facilitation. You will have the opportunity to make a significant impact in the lives of your fellow students as you help them make the transition to college, identify and use resources across campus, enhance their educational experience outside of classes, and help with problems they may encounter. The leadership skills you will learn in these positions are valued by employers; you will grow both personally and professionally.