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Become a Resident Assistant

Position Description

TITLE: Resident Assistant

CLASS: Undergraduate


General Function

The Resident Assistant (RA) facilitates the social, academic, and personal adjustment of students to the residence hall and university. RAs enforce the rules and policies of the Housing and Residence Life Department and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. RAs act as a liaison between residents and the university administration. RAs serve as a positive role model to residents and peer staff members. RAs develop a sense of community among residents as members of a section, residents of a complex/building, and active participants in the residence life system.

Minimum Acceptable Qualifications


Prior to participation in the Resident Assistant program, the newly hired staff member must have a minimum of 24 completed semester hours and a cumulative 2.3 GPA. During participation in the Resident Assistant Program, RAs must earn 12-18 credit hours per semester unless prior approval to do otherwise is obtained from the Assistant Director of Residence Life. RAs must also maintain a semester and cumulative 2.3 GPA.

Housing and Residence Life Experience:

Prior to participation in the Resident Assistant program, an applicant should have lived in any university housing for a minimum of one semester.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Applicants must show knowledge of the university; the residence hall system; the university; housing policies and procedures and the Residence Hall Association and its function. Applicants must also have the following: ability to communicate well in group and individual situations; ability to establish rapport with a wide variety of people; ability to organize activities which meet specific established goals; and the ability to quickly evaluate and respond appropriately to crisis situations.

Required Duties and Responsibilities


    1. Attend and participate in weekly training and staff meetings - every Thursday from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
    2. Assist in the supervision of the residence hall complex, responding to all requests and emergencies while on duty.
    3. Attend and participate in staff training sessions held prior to the beginning of each semester and throughout the year.
    4. Contact the appropriate Housing administrator on behalf of the residents regarding issues of concern to the residents.
    5. Be available to residents on a daily basis.
    6. Attend scheduled Housing events offered during non-meeting times.
    7. Attend scheduled one-on-one meetings with the Resident Director.
    8. Perform other tasks and duties as assigned.

Community and Student Development: 

    1. Spend every night after midnight, in their residential unit, unless otherwise cleared by their Resident Director.
    2. Counsel residents regarding personal and academic concerns, within the limits of the RA’s training and capabilities.
    3. Assist residents in their adjustment to roommate and community living.
    4. Develop a personal relationship with each person of their section as soon as possible, being alert to students’ attitudes, achievements, and problems.
    5. Plan, implement, and participate in activities that enhance the social, educational, community, and personal development of residents.
    6. Actively encourage and promote involvement in Residence Hall Association programs and activities.
    7. Design and construct door decorations and residence hall decorations prior to the beginning of each semester.
    8. Conduct periodic section meetings for the purpose of planning programs and activities, disseminating information, and explaining residence hall policies and procedures.
    9. Relate well to individuals of all ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds, encouraging better understanding of cultural diversity and individual differences in the section and in the residence hall complex.
    10. Abide by all University regulations. Respond to all witnessed violations of Housing and University policies occurring within any UTC residence hall complex. Prepare and submit the appropriate report to the Resident Director.
    11. Ensure that residents are familiar with, understand the rationale for, and comply with all basic University rules and regulations.


    1. Actively inform residents of pertinent academic and University information.
    2. Assist, as requested, in the handling of all emergency situations (e.g., fire, health, safety).
    3. Assist in the opening and closing of the residence hall complex, requiring time prior to the beginning of semester courses and time following the completion of these courses.
    4. Receive and promptly process requests for maintenance repairs and custodial needs received from residents.
    5. Assess the physical condition of rooms before and after occupancy, preparing and filing the appropriate form with the immediate supervisor in a timely fashion.
    6. Interpret and disseminate to the residents information/directives from the Department of Housing and Residence Life.
    7. Assist in special events where the Department of Housing and Residence Life plays an important role (e.g. Living Learning Programs, RA Carousel, etc.).

*If any of the above expectations are not met, the Resident Assistant may be placed in a probationary status. During that probationary period, the RA will have to make adjustments in his/her performance to meet those expectations or the staff member may be released from his/her position.


Duty RAs respond to lockouts, emergency situations, and policy violations. They also monitor residence hall complex conditions and fill out maintenance and custodial work orders when necessary. Duty is an ideal time to be visible throughout the residence hall. It provides time to visit with residents and be an active participant in the residence hall community.

Outside Involvement

Frequently, members of the Department of Housing and Residence Life staff are individuals who are involved in many facets of campus life, leadership, sports, and work. The RA position demands a significant time and energy commitment which should not detract from student academic performance. Involvement in residence life activities such as duty, staff meetings, section and complex activities, staff training and quality time with the residents must take priority over other social and work activities. In addition to the RA position, Resident Assistants may be employed up to 10 hours per week on-campus, with the approval of the Resident Director.

Resident Assistants may not participate in paid internships, varsity athletics, paid practicums (this excludes in-class time practicums for education majors) or off-campus employment. RAs may participate in student teaching, if it does not conflict with his/her RA responsibilities (including training on Thursdays from 3:00-5:00). All involvement outside of the RA position must be approved at the beginning of each semester of employment.


First Year Resident Assistant: free room in assigned complex and at least a $575 meal plan per semester

After 2 semesters of RA service, RAs receive: room & meal plan listed above and a $500 per semester stipend

Assistant Resident Directors: room & meal plan listed above and a $1000 stipend

The above compensation is contingent on successfully and fully completing all required functions of the position. Employment can be terminated, by the employer or employee, at any time and for any reason. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is an equal opportunity employer.

Grant-In-Aid Agreements May Affect Financial Aid Award

The federal government requires the University to monitor all the resources available to a student who receives federal financial aid. If you have applied for or are receiving a Perkins Student Loan, HOPE Scholarship, Supplemental Grant, Work-Study job, or a Stafford Loan, those sources of aid may be affected if you become an RA. Aid applicants should check with the Financial Aid Office before accepting a Graduate Assistantship, Resident Assistantship, Cooperative Education position, or any other part-time job to determine what financial aid adjustment, if any, might be necessary.


The application process occurs during the Spring semester.  2014-2015 Application period has closed.