Resident Assistant Job Description

Position Identification

TITLE: Resident Assistant

CLASS: Undergraduate

IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR: Residence Hall Director

General Function

The resident assistant (RA) facilitates the social, academic, and personal adjustment of students to the residence hall and University. The RA enforces the rules and policies of the Residence Life and Services Department and the University. The RA acts as a liaison between residents and the University administration. The RA serves as a positive role model to residents and peer staff members. The RA develops a sense of community among residents as members of a floor, residents of a hall, and active participants in the residence life system.

Minimum Acceptable Qualifications


At the time of application, the candidate must have a minimum of 12 completed semester hours at Missouri State and a Missouri State cumulative 2.75 GPA. Prior to participation in the Resident Assistant Program, the newly hired staff member must have a minimum of 24 completed semester hours at Missouri State and a Missouri State cumulative 2.75 GPA. During participation in the Resident Assistant Program, RAs must earn 12-16 credit hours per semester unless prior approval to do otherwise is obtained from the Associate Director of Residence Life. RAs must also maintain a semester and cumulative 2.75 GPA.  All hours and GPAs are calculated using coursework earned only at Missouri State.

Special Note:  Applicants with a Missouri State cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, but less than 2.75, may request permission to apply through the Associate Director of Residence Life.  These applicants will not be considered during the initial hiring process but may remain in the candidate pool for future consideration, providing all requirements stated above are met.

University Residence Life Experience

Prior to application, the applicant must have lived in any university housing for a minimum of one semester. Prior to participation in the Resident Assistant Program, an applicant must have lived in any university housing for a minimum of two semesters.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Applicants must show knowledge of the University and the residence hall system, of University and Residence Life policies and procedures, and of the Hall Council and its functions. Applicants must also have the following abilities: to communicate well in group and individual situations; to establish rapport with a wide variety of people; to organize activities to meet specific established goals; and to quickly evaluate crisis situations and respond appropriately.

Required Duties and Responsibilities


  1. Attend and participate in weekly staff meetings - every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
  2. Assist in the supervision of the residence hall, responding to all requests and emergencies during duty hours. Remain on-call for the remainder of the weekend.
  3. Attend and participate in staff training sessions held prior to the beginning of each semester and throughout the year.
  4. Contact the appropriate Residence Life administrator on behalf of the residents regarding issues of concern to the residents.
  5. Be available to residents on a daily basis.
  6. Attend all scheduled in-services offered during non-meeting times.
  7. Attend scheduled one-on-one meetings with the Hall Director.
  8. Perform other tasks as required.

Community and Student Development

  1. Counsel residents regarding personal and academic concerns.
  2. Assist residents in their adjustment to roommate and community living.
  3. Plan, implement, and participate in floor activities that enhance the social, educational, community, and personal development of residents.
  4. Actively encourage and promote involvement in hall council and Residence Hall Association programs and activities.
  5. Work with the residence hall floor president in the performance of his/her duties.
  6. Design and construct door decorations and residence hall decorations that coordinate with the overall residence hall theme prior to the beginning of each semester.
  7. Conduct periodic floor meetings for the purpose of planning programs and activities, disseminating information, and explaining residence hall policies and procedures.
  8. Relate well to individuals of all ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds, encouraging better understanding of cultural diversity and individual differences on the floor and in the residence hall.
  9. Conduct disciplinary conferences at the request of the hall director.
  10. Respond to all witnessed violations of residence hall and University policies occurring within any Missouri State residence hall. Prepare and submit the appropriate report to the residence hall director within 24 hours.
  11. Attend and participate in Residence Life Conduct Board proceedings and University hearings when necessary.
  12. Work with the Residential Programming Assistant in the performance of his/her duties, if applicable.


  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 halls, 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 Residence Life and Services.
  7. Assist in special events where the Department of Residence Life and Services plays an important role (e.g., Showcase, Homecoming, 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.


RAs respond to lockouts, emergency situations, and policy violations. They also monitor residence hall conditions and fill out maintenance and custodial orders as necessary. Duty is an ideal time to be visible throughout the residence hall. It provides time to visit with residents and socialize with other RAs.

Outside Involvement

In addition to the RA position, returning resident assistants may be employed or hold an internship/practicum up to 15 hours per week.  New RAs may be employed up to ten hours per week in their first semester.  Internships/practicums or outside employment must be approved by the supervising Hall Director and Assistant Director before the RA can begin working.  The RA should discuss the possibility of an internship/practicum or outside employment before applying for the opportunity, preferably at least one semester prior to beginning the experience.  RAs who are on academic or performance probation cannot seek employment or internship/practicum in addition to the RA role.  If a RA is unable to balance outside employment or internship/practicum and uphold expected performance as a RA, progressive disciplinary action may be taken.

RAs may not assume any role of leadership or service that might prevent them to be adequately available to residents and perform RA duties.  All extracurricular activities are subject to the approval of the supervising Hall Director prior to participation.  If a RA would like to hold an executive position within an organization they must first consult with their Hall Director.

Resident assistants may not participate in varsity athletics, marching band, or student teaching during the period of this contract.

Residence Life Student Staff Class

All incoming student staff members (RAs and RPAs) will be expected to enroll in and pay for a credit hour course (IDS 275), which will be reimbursed at a later date. The objective of this class is to aid in the education of the new Residence Life staff member. Class sections will be arranged and announced at a later date. You must pass the class in order to retain your staff position.


Room and meals (19 per week) at a University food service facility as per contract. Local phone service, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a computer are provided during the period of employment. A bookstore voucher for $275 to be used for educational needs at the Missouri State University bookstore is distributed to each RA at the beginning of each semester. Resident Assistants must sign a housing contract and pay the required security deposit, and assume responsibility for all long-distance telephone bills.

Financial Assistance 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, Missouri Grant, 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 Residence Life and Services Department, as stated in the Resident Assistant Financial Assistance Agreement, Line 20, will provide the RA with residence hall room (private room as space allows). The possibility exists that a roommate may be placed with the RA for any amount of time.  


Interested in becoming a Resident Assistant?  Attend an Information Session to learn more about the application process and requirements.