Syracuse UniversityOffice of Residence LIfe

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RA FAQ

  1. How does this entire process work?

    • In order to apply to be an RA, candidates must attend an RA Information Session
    • The RA Application will open on November 30th, 2017 and close on January 5th, 2017 – application must be fully completed
    • If completed and meets requirements, RA candidates will be invited to an individual interview 
    • After individual interviews, RA candidates will be invited to a Group Process Interview
    • Decisions will be sent in early March, prior to Spring Break
  2. What are the next steps in the process?

    • Attend a required information session on any of the following dates:
      • Thursday, October 26th @ 4 pm - Maxwell Auditorium

      • Wednesday, November 1st @ 7 pm - Shemin Auditorium

      • Monday, November 6th @ 7:30 pm - Goldstein Student Center 201ABC

      • Monday, November 6th @ 9 pm - Life Sciences Building, Room 001

      • Friday, November 10th @ 1 pm - Hall of Languages, Room 500

      • Sunday, November 12th @ 2 pm - Life Sciences Building, Room 001  

      • Tuesday, November 14th @ 4 pm - Hall of Languages, Room 500
    •  Apply by January 5th, 2017 (application opens on November 30th) through our online system (found on our website – http://orl.syr.edu/employment/ra-employment.html). You must attend an information session in order to apply to be a RA.
  3. How should I prepare for the interview? Do we need to dress business professional for individual RA interviews?

    • We recommend business casual dress for your individual interview
    • For the group process, we recommend comfortable attire because you will be moving around.
    • We also recommend that you get a good night’s sleep.
    • Make sure cell phones are put away and on silent during individual interviews and group process.
    • Show up early!
  4. How many positions are available?

    There are a total of 177 RA positions throughout campus. 

  5. Is it possible to be an RA for both the academic year and summer semester?

    Yes, you can be considered/hired as a summer RA and academic year RA. 

  6. If you applied to be a RA for a learning Community, are you only eligible for those positions in learning communities? Can we still apply to become a LC if we are a RA candidate?

    If you apply for a LCRA position, you can still be considered as a general RA candidate. You can apply for both.

  7. When are you called as an alternate? Is it at any time? When will alternates know their ultimate fate?

    Things change for everyone. You can be called as an alternate at any given moment. If it is something you can still do, you can accept the position if called, but if that status changes, you should inform the Office of Residence Life. If you continue to be interested, you can be contacted at any time.

  8. When do you find out if you received the position?

    Early March. Prior to Spring Break and the Housing Lottery.

  9. If we are chosen to be a RA, when do we come back to school? Is it earlier than normal?

    You are expected to move-in approximately 3 weeks before classes start in the Fall in order to go through RA Training.

  10. Does our class schedule affect whether we are chosen as RAs?

    The RA role is pretty flexible. However, you must be available to attend the RA staff meeting on Wednesdays from 8pm-10pm and should not take more than 19 credits (undergraduate) or 12 credits (graduate). Please note you are also expected to have a strong presence on your floor and in the hall. Time in the building is an important part of the RA position.

  11. Does the RA position have any link with GPA? Meaning does the decision include GPA?

    Yes. In order to apply to be an RA and maintain the RA position you must meet the minimum of a 2.5 GPA (undergraduate), 3.0 (graduate), 2.2 (law) per semester and cumulative.

  12. Can you become an RA in a location that you did not ask for?

    Yes. When applying to be an RA, while you can mention areas of interest and why, that location/building is not guaranteed as we do not take preferences. When hired as an RA, you are hired for the Office of Residence Life as a whole and are placed based on strengths and building needs. 

  13. Do we have a choice to be a RA on a first year floor or not?

    When applying to be an RA, you can mention areas of interest and why, but that location/building is not guaranteed as we do not take preferences. When hired as an RA, you are hired for the Office of Residence Life as a whole and are placed based on strengths and building needs. 

  14. Is it possible to request a specific MRA or Hall?

    When applying to be an RA, you can mention areas of interest and why, but that location/building is not guaranteed as we do not take preferences. When hired as an RA, you are hired for the Office of Residence Life as a whole and are placed based on strengths and building needs. 

  15. Are there any resources that you recommend to better help me understand the RA role?

    Come to an information session!

  16. What is the difference between RA/LCRA/Summer RA/MRA/RD/ARD?

    • RA = Resident Advisor; commitment of 1 academic year (Student Staff)
    • LCRA = Learning Community Resident Advisor. LCRAs work specifically with a Learning Community in the residence halls; commitment of 1 academic year (Student Staff)
    • Summer RAs work in 1 of 2 summer programs: SummerStart or Summer College and work 26.5 hours a week; commitment of approximately 7 weeks. (Student Staff)
    • MRA = Mentor Resident Advisor (Student Staff)
    • RD = Residence Director (Professional Staff)
    • ARD = Assistant Residence Director (Professional Staff)
  17. What are the requirements to be a RA?

    • Must be a full time student
      • cannot exceed 19 credits (undergraduate) or 12 credits (graduate)
    • Must maintain a minimum GPA (semester and cumulative)
      • 2.5 (undergraduate)
      • 3.0 (graduate)
      • 2.2 (law)
    • Must be in good judicial standing.
      • You can apply to be an RA, but depending on your judicial standing/outcome it may impact your ability to move forward in the process
      • Cannot have an open cases 14 days prior to start of employment
    • Must adhere to all published policies of the University
      • Code of Student Conduct
      • The Terms and Conditions of Student Housing
      • Residential Policies
      • The Syracuse University Sexual Harassment policy,
      • All Resident Advisor performance guidelines stated in the RA Staff Manual
    • Must complete 20 hours of work per week
    • Must be able to attend staff meetings on Wednesdays from 8pm-10pm
    • Cannot commit to more than 10 hours per week to other jobs, internships, organizations, extracurricular activities, etc.
    • Must complete Conversations About Race & Ethnicity (C.A.R.E) dialogue circle (6 weeks for 2 hours a week in the Fall semester)
    • Must live on campus in assigned building/space
    • Must attend all training dates
    • Will need to work building openings/closings
    • Breaks – some RAs will have to work Thanksgiving/Spring break
    • Cannot be an Orientation Leader or part of the Goon Squad if hired as RA
    • Being an RA is 1 full academic year commitment
  18. As a RA, what are the responsibilities that I need to fulfill?

    While the RA role may vary depending on the building/community, every RA is responsible for the following tasks:

    • Administrative
      • There’s a lot of paperwork associated with being an RA, which includes, but is not limited to emails, Incident Reports, proposals for programs, duty reports/logs
      • Duty - The days will vary depending on availability, but will be split evenly amongst all of the RA staff of the building
        • Cell Duty RA
          • Holds the On-Call phone from 8pm-8am (Monday – Friday) and 8pm-10am (Saturday and Sunday) and responds to any incidents/calls. RA must remain in the building/complex during this time.
          • Performs rounds in the building at designated times
    • Desk Duty RA
      • Works at the desk of the building from 8pm-12am and must remain in the building until 8am (Monday-Friday) and 10am (Saturday and Sunday)
      • Bulletin boards
        • Bulletin boards will typically need to be changed every month and may be centered around a certain topic
        • Event Planning & Community Initiatives
          • The first 6 weeks of the academic year typically has a larger quantity of events, but the specific number is going to vary depending on the community and their needs
          • Each RA is responsible for putting on programs/events for their floor, but will also work with other RAs to put on building/hall programs/events/initiatives
          • Meetings
            • Staff Meetings are every week from 8pm-10pm on Wednesdays
            • Every RA will also have a weekly/bi-weekly one-on-one meeting with their supervisor
            • Resident Interactions
              • RAs are expected to interact with 100% of their residents
              • Specifications will vary depending on building
              • And more!
  19. Are RAs expected to do certain activities?

    All RAs are expected to participate in the following:

    • Conversations About Race & Ethnicity dialogue circle (6 weeks for 2 hours a week in the Fall semester)
    • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner and supporting events (January)
    • Periodic in-services and all on-going training events (varies)
    • Assist with the Resident Advisor Recruitment & Training processes (varies)
  20. Are RAs required to be at their halls whenever they have free time?

    • RAs are expected to have a strong presence on their floor and will need to complete the approximate 20 hours per week requirement for the RA job
    • RAs must follow all Code of Conduct and Residential Policies and must always be mindful of where they’re going and who is there (i.e. residents) when out of the building
  21. Do RA have to return to school during the summer/fall/winter breaks for meetings/activities or anything? What is the time commitment over breaks/ summer?

    • RAs will need to arrive about 3 weeks before classes start in the Fall in order to go through RA training, preparing for opening, and working during opening
    • ALL trainings are MANDATORY
    • RAs will also need to arrive about a week before classes start in the Spring in order to go through RA training and prepare for opening
    • Not all RAs will be required to work during Thanksgiving and Spring break, but some RAs will need to work during these breaks, as there are RAs on-call. If not working these breaks, RAs can leave.
  22. What is the RA compensation?

    • RA: Room and board
      • Room
        • Will live in a single room
        • Not all RA rooms have their own bathroom, varies depending on the building – can be in community bathroom style
      • Meal Plan
        • RAs can select between two plans:
          • 14 Meal Plan & $250 in Super Card money
          • 10 Meal Plan & $750 in Super Card money
          • If you want to add more than this, you can, but have to pay the difference
      • Early registration
    • LCRA
      • Same as academic year RA
      • Additional monetary stipend
    • Summer RA
      • 26 hours per week at a rate of $9.25/hour
      • Room
      • 14 meal swipes/week
  23. How would alternative jobs come into play when you are a RA?

    RAs can have a job outside of the RA job, but cannot commit to more than 10 hours to this other job (in combination with any and all other extracurricular activities/internships/organization commitments).

  24. Are RAs involved in other things on campus or is RA-ing the only thing we can do?

    RAs can do other things outside of the RA role, as long as those other things do not exceed 10 hours a week.

  25. Can you be a RA as well as an Orientation Leader/part of Goon Squad?

    No. One cannot be a RA and an Orientation Leader nor part of Goon Squad. This is because of the significant RA responsibilities during Syracuse Welcome and residence hall opening.

  26. What is the credit limit for a RA?

    To be an RA, you must be a full time student, but cannot exceed 19 credits (undergraduate) or 12 credits (graduate)

  27. Can RAs study abroad? And if they do, can they be a RA when they get back?

    RAs who are abroad and/or are considering going abroad can still apply to be an RA. Remember that the RA job is a one-academic year commitment.

  28. What are the qualities you are looking for in an RA?

    • Commitment to the job
    • Enthusiasm for the job and to interact with residents
    • Flexibility
    • Willingness to learn and try new things
    • Time management
  29. How does the RA position differ by building?

    • There are 3 different types of communities: First Year Centers, Mixed Populations (first year students and upper division students), and Upper Division Communities.
    • Each of these populations have different needs and will ask for a different kind of work from the RAs in these communities. No one position has more work than the other, the work is different.
    • Not all RAs will get their own bathroom because not all buildings are the same. 
  30. What are some differences when working with first year students or upperclassmen?

    • First year students are new to the campus and will probably have a lot more questions for their RAs and will need help navigating the campus. There is a greater social focus in communities with first year students, as it is important for RAs to help students connect with each other and form friendships. There is also a greater focus on educational experiences in an effort to get students connected to other offices on campus and make students aware of the different services the university offers.
    • Upper division students are returning students. They have more specific needs and will likely seek their RA for academic support/professional development/and reflective opportunities. Experiences and events in upper division buildings are completed in a less traditional way and will have a more detailed and specific focus, depending on the need and student. 
  31. Are most RAs alone on the floor, or are they working with another RA?

    This will vary depending on the building. There is a mixture of floors with just one RA and floors with co-RAs.

  32. What about co-RAs? What’s the dynamic like between co-RAs? How are tasks divided between each other?

    Co-RAs work together as a team for their residents. As co-RAs, each RA will be responsible for completing initiatives for the floor, but will have the opportunity to collaborate. Each RA will be responsible for the same tasks, but can be figured out between each other on how they want to work through each task together.

  33. How do RAs get placed into their position and where they are working? How do you decide which RA works in which building?

    RAs are placed in their position/building depending on the building’s needs and how the RA can best help that building achieve its goals. Each RA is intentionally placed based on strengths, interests, and the community’s needs.