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Frequently Asked Questions


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I still have questions, who can I contact? If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact either of the RA Selection Committee Co-Chairs, Angela Ward (award31@radford.edu) or Mark Craddock (mcraddoc@radford.edu). 


1. What is a Resident Assistant?

A Resident Assistant is responsible for a floor or wing of residents. He/she is there to help with the personal and academic concerns of the student and to help work out any group conflicts that may arise. The Resident Assistant also serves as a facilitator to encourage a cooperative and considerate group living environment. The RA is expected to help and build a feeling of togetherness and community by initiating and helping organize floor/wing/hall activities and programs. Most of all, the RA is expected to be a person who cares about people and attempts to make the residence hall a worthwhile place to live.

2. What are the minimum qualifications for an RA candidate?

RA candidates must have at least a 2.4 GPA and cannot be on academic or conduct probation.  Additionally, the candidate must be at least sophomore standing at the time that he/she starts the RA position.  For those applying for positions for the 2009 – 2010 school year, this means that you must be at least a sophomore by the end of summer terms.  Additionally, we prefer students who have had previous residential living experience and show great leadership potential.


3. Where do I go for an application?

For an application, please visit www.radford.edu/~res-life.


4. What is the deadline for applications?

For positions for the 2009 – 2010 school year, applications are due by February 5, 2008.  If you are interested and eligible for positions that may open up during the current school year, there is no specific deadline. Once your application is submitted and placed on file, you will be considered for any positions that may open up.


5. If I am currently on conduct probation, can I still apply?

Candidates currently on conduct probation may still apply for the RA position. However, you cannot be offered a position while on conduct probation.  If you will be applying and are on conduct probation, you should contact Angela Ward (award31@radford.edu) or Mark Craddock (mcraddoc@radford.edu) to discuss your individual situation.




6. What is the hiring process like?

Once you submit an application, you will attend one of the group process sessions. During this session, you will be assigned to a group and will complete certain activities within that group. Additionally, you will do an individual interview with a RD/RA team. After this group process, finalists for the RA position will be notified via e-mail to set up an interview with an Assistant Director/Area Coordinator.  After this final interview, the Residential Life team will make selection and placement decisions. All finalists will be notified of their final status before Spring Break.


7. What if I have participated in the selection process before?  Do I still have the same requirements?

If you participated in the selection process in the past, you will still need to go through the selection process again.  We keep applications on file for approximately one year.  Therefore, if you applied during last year’s process, you will need to re-apply.  If you have submitted your application since this summer, you may choose to re-apply or keep the application that we currently have on file.  If you would like to keep your current application, on file, you should contact Angela Ward (award31@radford.edu) to indicate your interest in going through the selection process this year. 

As for requirements, you still have the same requirements as all other candidates.  People grow and develop over the year, and we want to see who you are today.

8. Are the Informational Sessions mandatory?

Informational sessions are not mandatory, but are a great way to learn more about the position, get perspectives from various RAs across campus, and have any questions that you may have answered.  At the very least, we ask that you check out the virtual information session on the selection main page.

9. What happens if I don't complete part of the selection process?  What if I miss a deadline?

If you do not complete part of the selection process or if you miss the deadline, you will not be eligible for hire during our initial selection and placement process.  We will keep your application on file for positions that may open up during the course of the year.  However, it is most likely that candidates that fully participate in the selection process are placed prior to those who missed parts of the process.

10. What if I am offered an alternate position?

Finalists who are not placed initially during our process are generally (not always) offered a place in our alternate pool of candidates.  This simply means that we will keep your file and consider you for positions that may open up in the future.  We do consider all options in the alternate pool prior to any additional candidates through the beginning of the school year.  Historically, a great majority of candidates in the alternate pool are placed prior to the school year, as people leave the position for various reasons (grades, transferring, conduct, etc.), so it is recommended that you choose to accept the alternate position if you are still interested in being a RA.



11. What if I don't get selected for a position?

If you are not selected for a position, you will either be offered a place in our alternate pool of candidates or asked if you would like to keep your application on file.  The main difference is that we will consider candidates in the alternate pool prior to any other applications that we have on file.  However, if the alternate pool were to be used completely, we would move to those who have requested to keep their application on file. 

12. If I'm applying for an RA position, do I need to complete a Housing contract as part of the returning room sign-up process?

You should complete the room sign up process as if you were not going to get the RA position.  Basically, if you were planning to move off campus if you did not get the RA position, then you should not sign the housing contract as you would be fully held to that contract.  If you were planning to live on campus even if you did not get the RA position, then you should still complete the housing contract as part of the returning room sign up process.  Please note that all candidates selected as a RA will be required to complete a housing contract during the acceptance of the RA position.

13. Can I hold another job on/off campus if I am an RA?

First semester RAs are not allowed to hold any other jobs on or off campus.  After an RA completes his/her first semester and the RA class, he/she may hold an on-campus job where he/she works no more than 12 hours a week, but only with approval of both the RD and the AD/AC. This approval is not guaranteed and will be based on the RAs job performance and other time commitments. 

14. As an RA, will I have a roommate?

RAs do not have roommates, but generally do have suitemates.  RAs selected during the initial selection and placement process will be given the opportunity to request his/her suitemates.  After this initial process, RAs will not be able to request this.

15. Can I be involved in athletics, band, student organizations, and other activities and still be an RA?

RAs are allowed, and even encouraged, to participate in activities outside of the RA position.  However, it is important that the RA understands the time commitment required of the RA position when considering other involvements.  We have had RAs who have excelled in their position while being involved in intercollegiate athletics, music performance groups, etc., and we have others who have struggled immensely.  The RA must be a good time manager in order to do both successfully, but it is definitely possible.  If you are concerned about how your current (or future) involvement could affect you in an RA position, please contact Angela Ward (award31@radford.edu).  She can discuss your individual situation with you and possibly refer you to someone else who may be in a similar situation.



16. How does RA duty work?

RA duty varies per building, but generally this means that you are in the building 8 PM to 8 AM during your night of duty.  RAs work the community desk 8 PM to 12 Midnight (2 AM on the weekends) and do rounds every one to two hours during this time.  During duty, the RA is there to respond to resident needs, including maintenance issues, lockouts, and emergencies.  Talk with your RA to see what he/she does during duty.

17. Do RA's have a curfew?

RAs do not have a curfew.  However, there is a nights away policy, where any night that a RA is away from the building past 3 AM, he/she must take a night away. 

18. Can I go home for a weekend? How many weekends off do you get? Are you allowed to go out on the weekends?

First year RAs are given 12 nights away each semester.  RAs are allowed to use these nights away however they would like for the most part.  A night away means that the RA will not be the building prior to 3 AM.  Therefore, if you go home for a weekend, leaving on Friday and returning at 8 PM Sunday night, this is only 2 nights away. 

Each Resident Director is responsible for creating his/her own system for nights away and most will ask that you some notice that you will be taking a night away.  This is to ensure proper building coverage, as we are required to have at least half staff in the building each night. 

19. Do I already need to know how to confront people or deal with emergencies?

RAs receive a great deal of training before and during their time as a RA, so you don’t already need to know everything.  However, it is important that you understand that confrontation and crisis management are a part of your position and you should feel confident in your abilities to learn more about this if you are going to be a RA. 

20. Do I have to stay until the hall is closed or return before the halls open?

For Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks, your staff will create a plan as to who will need to stay until after the hall is officially closed and who will return before the halls are open.  Generally, everyone will stay until the Friday at 5 PM, but only one or two will have to stay through the next day at 12 Noon when the halls officially close.  For Winter Break and Spring Closing, all staff are required to stay until after the halls are closed, all rooms are checked, and all paperwork is submitted.  Additionally, RAs generally return two weeks prior to classes beginning for the Fall semester and about a week prior to classes beginning for the Spring Semester.  During this time, RAs go through additional training and prepare the halls for student arrival.



21. How often will little things "pop up" that I am expected to handle as an RA?

Things ‘pop up’ when you least expect it and for some, this is what makes being a RA so exciting.  It is difficult to quantify this aspect of the position, but RAs work hard on their time management so that when these things do happen, they are better able to handle it. 

22. How many hours am I going to have to work each week?

Generally, RAs will have one duty night each week and in rotation with their fellow staff members, may have either weekend duty or another duty night (according to the building).  RAs also attend their weekly hall staff meeting (about 1 hour) and meet one-on-one (30 minutes to an hour) each week with their Resident Director.  Finally, RAs host programs (6 – 8 each semester), do bulletin boards and door tags (monthly), and perform various other tasks throughout the semester.  Some weeks will require more work than others, but our office works hard to ensure that RAs are aware of their commitments as far in advance as possible to help the RA in his/her planning.

23. What is the compensation for the position?

The Office of Residential Life provides a single room and a meal plan for each RA.  The money for room and board are credited to the student’s account and is not paid directly to the student.  If you have questions concerning how this position’s compensation affects other scholarships, grants, and loans, please contact the Office of Financial Aid (finaid@radford.edu).


24. Can I choose what building I am placed in?

The Residential Life Staff works to ensure the best overall staff team and must consider a number of factors in the placement of staff.  We feel that it is more important that we know what population of students you would like to work with (upperclassmen, freshmen, themed communities, etc.) rather than a specific building.  Therefore, it is important that you keep this in mind as you go through the process.  Think seriously about which population you would like to work with and why, paying close attention to the pros and cons of working with that population.



Any questions about this website, email Simon at spsjogren@radford.edu.

2009 Radford University