2020-2021 Resident Advisor Applications

Resident Advisor (RA) applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are now closed. If you applied, our office will be in touch by 1/23/2020 with the next steps in our application process, and thank you to all who applied.

RA Job Description

Resident Advisor Job Description for 2020-2021

The Resident Advisor (RA) position is a multifaceted leadership position that requires skills in several different areas. The job description below is intended to give you a sense of the types of responsibilities you will have in the role. However, it is not an all-inclusive list of the responsibilities.

Minimum Qualifications

Resident Advisors must have a 2.50 cumulative GPA at the time of employment and must maintain a minimum semester and cumulative 2.50 GPA while in the position. RAs need to be in good behavioral standing with the university and be full-time undergraduate students. GPAs and student conduct records will be checked throughout the entirety of employment. Due to the nature and responsibilities of the position, Resident Advisor positions are only open to students who will be undergraduate students for the academic year.

RA retention and reappointment begins immediately following the evaluation period in the fall semester and is contingent upon the Office of Residential Life’s evaluation of overall job performance and the terms and conditions outlined in the RA Appointment Letter if/when offered a position. Individuals currently serving as RAs are eligible to reapply for a position the following year, but are not guaranteed a position. Any RA desiring to return to the role must submit all required documentation by the established deadline in order to be considered for rehire.


Resident Advisors are considered student employees of the University with an expectation that they work anywhere from 15-20 hours per week during the academic year. An annual stipend of $5,100.00 is paid to RA’s semi-monthly from September 1st through May 31st of each year.

RA housing assignments are made to provide the best environment possible for the residents in the residence halls and apartment communities. For this reason, and because RAs are called on to act in the case of any emergency situation on campus, the RAs are required to live in and compensated for a specific room designated by the Office of Residential Life. The approximate value of this housing is $10,278 and RAs on financial aid will not see a reduction in their aid package based on the cost of room. This benefit is considered non-taxable income and is not subject to withholding. Students on need-based aid will still be eligible to receive aid to cover education expenses. The RA’s assignment/placement is for the entire Academic Year, but is subject to change (placement may be adjusted) at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life.

All RAs are given a choice of two specifically-curated Meal Plans. Anytime Dining plus $225 Dining Dollars or 14 Meals per Week plus $500 Dining Dollars. Dining facilities are places where community building occurs and our entire staff are provided meal plans to assist in facilitating spaces for relationship building and being visible as well.

Community Building & Support

  • Build a rapport with residents, fellow staff, peers, and JHU community members based upon mutual respect.
  • Work to develop a sense of affinity and unity that allows residents to socialize and learn from each other.
  • Provide residents with information on departmental, campus, and citywide resources and activities.
  • Attend departmental, divisional, or University-sponsored events as needed or requested.
  • Assist in the planning and coordination of Residential Life sponsored events and encourage residents to attend all departmental sponsored social and educational events.
  • Facilitate the programs and touch points of the Residential Experience Plan outlined for you during training and in the RA Manual.
    • Consult with Residence Director to receive guidance and support on planning and implementing the Residential Experience Plan in your community.
    • Complete all related administrative tasks related to programmatic efforts.
    • Oversee the use of programming funds: Resident Advisors are responsible for making appropriate purchases and keeping track of monthly expenditures.
  • Advertise, explain, and facilitate Blue Jay Conversations with each of your residents as designated by your Residence Director.
    • Interact daily with your residents to become a visible part of the community: (ex. conversations in common rooms or when passing by open doors, eating meals with your residents, invitations to events or campus happenings, etc.)
    • Use the time you spend with your residents to watch for and ask about problems or challenges that may be troubling students and to learn more about their individual needs in their community.
  • Actively work to encourage residents to come to you and other Residential Life staff whenever they need guidance or support.
  • Consult as needed with Residence Directors about residents who may benefit from case management, counseling, accommodations, or other student support resources.
  • Consult with or make referrals to on-campus support staff in the Counseling Center, the Student Health and Wellness Center, Dean of Student Life Office, Housing Office, Student Leadership & Involvement, Student Disability Services, Office of Institutional Equity, Center for Student Success, and others as needed.

Crisis Management & Policy Enforcement Responsibilities

  • Always let residents know how to reach you or another staff member in an emergency.
    • Use your Locator Board. Inform and advertise the numbers for emergencies (i.e. Security, RA Duty Phone, Housing Operations, OIE, etc).
  • Be familiar with all emergency support services on campus.
  • Inform residents of emergency services available on campus. Inform residents of fire safety procedures and encourage them to take an active role in keeping safe.
  • Inform the Residence Director or On-Call administrators of all emergencies within the designated and appropriate time period.
  • Stress to residents the fundamental values of community living: respect, integrity, inclusivity, community, and leadership.
    • RA actions and interactions should reflect those values.
  • Inform all residents at your first community meeting of the University policies governing alcohol, drugs, explosives, pets, fire safety equipment, vandalism, etc. and where to reference the Student Conduct Code and University Housing Policies.
    • Clarify and reiterate these policies as needed throughout the year.
  • Complete Health & Safety Inspections with Housing & Residential Life staff in all resident rooms and suites once a semester as scheduled by Community Living.
  • Actively work to create an atmosphere in which residents understand the value of policies and procedures as outlined in the Student Conduct Code and University Housing Policies and accept responsibility for their own actions and the actions of their guests.
  • Enforce University policies by taking appropriate action per policies and procedures.
  • Complete Communication Reports as necessary or instructed; inform on-call administrators of all policy infractions or crimes.
  • RAs and Residential Life staff are considered Campus Security Authorities (CSAs, or “mandatory reporters”) when employed and acting in their staff role according to state and federal law and University policy.
    • RAs must fulfill their specific responsibilities to report certain crimes to their supervisor or Residential Life staff designee for reporting to other campus authorities. (For more information about the responsibilities of a CSA, consult JHU’s annual Safety, Security, and Fire Report.)

Administrative/Building Management Duties

  • Check JHU email daily for any/all emails from supervisors and staff from Residential Life and respond accordingly and as requested.
  • Disseminate information to residents or to staff in a timely manner as directed by staff members in Residential Life.
  • Complete all administrative tasks associated with the aforementioned job responsibilities.
    • Program Planning Reports and subsequent Program Evaluations
    • Weekly Reports
    • Duty Switch Forms
    • Evaluations (self, of supervisor, of department, etc)
    • Involvement in recruitment processes, programmatic efforts, inservices, etc.
    • Housing processes; occupancy checks, Room Condition Reports, etc.
    • Other forms as assigned by the Office of Residential Life
  • Provide written and/or verbal feedback in a professional manner (both supportive and critical) to peers, supervisors, and department when needed and/or requested.
  • Notify the Residence Director of all switches that occur without your prior knowledge. If residents are requesting room switches, you should first make concerted efforts to address concerns, examine roommate agreements, and come to solutions before referring to Residence Director for next steps.
  • Notify the Residence Director immediately of any resident who moves out of your building. If your RD has knowledge of a resident moving in/out, that will be communicated to you.
  • Report all maintenance requests in a timely manner. Report emergencies immediately and make certain there are accommodations given, especially for problems that occur after office hours.
  • Follow up with the Housing Office on all maintenance repairs and housing-related services that are not complete within the expected length of time.
  • Make certain that entry doors remain locked each night. Encourage residents to cooperate in keeping entry doors locked at all times. Complete lockouts per the Housing Lockout Policy and procedures.
  • Perform all management tasks requested by staff of the Office of Residential Life and the Housing Office such as, but not limited to: posting notices or flyers, assisting with survey responses, residential or campus-wide emergencies, and assisting with special projects.

Behavioral & Staffing Expectations

  • The room you are assigned will act dually as a personal and workspace. This space will need to present a clean, organized, and odor-free environment. You should be able to host private conversations in your room without the distractions of clutter, trash, or unacceptable living conditions. Your room should always be able to meet the expectations of Health and Safety inspections and will be subject to inspections in the same manner as residents.
  • Serve as a positive role model for residents by abiding by all University policies as well as federal, state, and city laws. This includes but is not limited to modeling appropriate and mature behavior both on and off campus as well as via digital and social media.
  • In addition to abiding by the JHU Sexual Misconduct policy, as a member of the Residential Life staff, you should not engage in a sexual or romantic relationship with any students in the community in which you are appointed, for the duration of your employment so as to avoid the potential negative impact on the community.
    • If you are considering engaging in a sexual or romantic relationship with a resident, or if you are unsure if you are meeting the expectation of maintaining appropriate relationships with residents, you are to immediately discuss those circumstances with your supervisor.
    • For all of these reasons, sexual or romantic relationships—whether regarded as consensual or otherwise—between individuals in inherently unequal positions of perceived power should in general be avoided.
  • RAs are a part of the first response team for all residential students and, as such, will be prepared to help in any emergency at any time of day or night, including meal times.
  • Attend all training and staff development sessions, all staff meetings, and supervision meetings.
  • Exceptions will be granted only for courses required for graduation that only meet during the training time, and there is no prior or future opportunity available for student to take the class and/or meet the requirement. Approval must be obtained from the Office of Residential Life before registering for a class, meeting, or exam (i.e. MCAT, LSAT, etc.) during the reserved time.
  • Follow the semester on-call/duty schedule and adhere to all procedures and emergency protocols as scheduled.
  • RAs may be asked to stay for portions of Thanksgiving break, Intersession, and/or Spring Break. During such breaks, coverage constitutes being available to the assigned floor/buildings, residing in your assigned room, carrying an on-call cell phone, performing rounds as well as fulfilling any programmatic responsibilities as planned.
    • No travel plans should be made until duty coverage has been assigned or approved by supervisor.
  • Acknowledge and adhere to planning all travel and other commitments around the Required Dates for all Residential Life student and professional staff, which is available on the eRezLife Application website and will be provided along with the RA Appointment Letter for review. Please note that dates are subject to change.
  • Other duties as assigned

Full Application Timeline

Below is the full application timeline to apply to be a RA for the 2020-2021 academic year. Please note it is required to attend one RA Info Session in order to apply. If you cannot make any of the below dates, please contact our office at ResidentialLife@jhu.edu to set up a meeting time.

#1 RA Information SessionFriday, November 15, 2019 at 4pm in the Charles Commons MPR
#2 RA Information SessionTuesday, November 19, 2019 at 4pm in the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) D&I Lounge
#3 RA Information SessionMonday, November 25, 2019 at 11am in the Wolman MPR
#4 RA Information SessionWednesday, December 4, 2019 at 6pm in the Charles Commons East Room
*NEWLY ADDED* #5 RA Information SessionTuesday, December 10, 2019 at 1:30pm in the Charles Commons Barber Room
LAST #6 RA Information SessionThursday, January 9, 2020 at 10:00am in AMR II Main ResLife Office
All RA Applications due by:11:59pm on Thursday, January 9, 2020
All Applicants contacted with application status:Thursday, January 23, 2020
Group Process Interviews:Saturday, February 1, 2020
Individual Interviews:Friday, February 7, 2020
All Applicants Notified of Offer Letters:week of February 18, 2020
All responses to offer letters due:Monday, February 24, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application open?

The week of November 18, 2019.

When does the application close?

January 9, 2019 at 11:59pm

If I applied last year, do I have to apply again?

Yes. We ask that all re-applicants go through the entirety of the process again. Speak to the ways in which you have learned and grown since last applying. The same applies for current alternate candidates.

Where do I apply?

Marketing on ResLife FB, Instagram, etc. has the link

Visit the top portion of this webpage and select, “ApplyHere”. Or go to the Star Rez Info and click on Star Rez info

How does the online application work?

When you click on the link, you will be asked to sign in with your JHED, then you click on Job Postings and Resident Advisor to get started. (There are instructions once you get that far).

You are then asked to create a job profile, upload a resume, complete the application questions, and enter the contact info for your reference(s).

**Check to see differences with StarRez**

Do I have to fill it out all at once?

No, you can save as you go, and return to the application later if needed.

Are you looking for RAs for this spring, or just next fall?

BOTH! We are in need of Spring 2020 RAs in a few of our communities. If interested, there is an expedited timeline listed on the website. If offered a position for spring, there are required training dates listed as well.

The remainder of the FAQs below pertain to the Fall 2020 positions.

What is the timeline for the rest of the process?

Applications are reviewed by professional staff during Intersession and applicants will be contacted the week of 1/20/2020 with their application status. The remainder of the interview process is outlined below:

  • Group Process Interviews: Saturday, February 1, 2020
  • Individual Interviews: Friday, February 2, 2020
  • All Applicants Notified of Offer Letters: week of February 18, 2020

What does the rest of the process (Group Process/Individual Interviews) look like?

Group Process Interviews are a series of activities where candidates are asked to communicate, complete tasks, or interact with peers in the process. Professional and student staff members will observe. Individual Interviews are 30 minutes with a professional staff and current RA’s, where a series of questions will be asked of candidates and the different skill sets associated with the position.

How does the RA job affect my Financial Aid?

The RA position impact on financial aid is different for everyone. Financial Aid officers are willing to sit and do estimates with you if you submit all your required paperwork ahead of time. For more information please contact your Financial Aid counselor directly.

Is the RA job compensated?

Resident Advisors are considered student employees of the University and receive an annual stipend of $5,100.00. This is paid semi-monthly from September 1st through May 31st of each year. RA’s also receive room and board as a part of their compensation. You can view the full details of the RA compensation model we implemented in 2019, PDF Document: here.

Who can serve as a reference for me?

Only one reference is required, and it must be a professional reference. It is preferred that the reference is a JHU faculty/staff member but if you are unable to identify a JHU associated reference, candidates may also enter a current or former employer, teacher, etc.

Do I have to attend an information session to be eligible?

Applicants must attend an information session in order to learn more about the position’s responsibilities, the process, the experience overall, and to meet and interact with our staff. Candidates experiencing conflicts with all of the dates of information sessions, should contact our office at ResidentialLife@jhu.edu.

When do I know if I got the job?

Email notifications (yes/no/alternate) will be sent on/around February 18, 2020, and acceptances will be due the following week.

What does it mean to be an alternate?

If you are hired as an alternate, it means that our office feels you have the skill sets and abilities to be a Resident Advisor, but there was either not enough positions available or there was not a suitable place on a staff for you at the current moment.

If you accept your alternate status, you agree to be contacted should a position become available between the date of the acceptance all the way through the next academic year.