We are pleased to have you on staff and excited about the possibilities the Housing and Residence Life staff can achieve next year! Below is essential, yet general information from the Housing and Residence Life Resident Assistant Contract for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Training begins Thursday, August 8, 2013 and your contract ends on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.
Click on the following list of links for specific information found in your RA Contract. Or, scroll below to read it in its entirety.
- Academic Requirements
- Arrival/Departure Dates
- Campus Life Night
- Community Building
- Community Reading
- Duty Responsibility
- Housing Application and Contract
- Keys/Access Cards
- Meal Plan Expectations
- Mentor Staff
- Role Modeling and Ethics
- Staff Orientation Requirement
- Summer Responsibilities
- Supplemental Employment/Outside Obligation
- Other Duties as Assigned
You will receive a room and a board (meal) plan. Please note that your employment has the potential to affect your financial aid status and you should discuss this with the Financial Aid Office.
Academic Requirements: An essential role of the Resident Assistant is that of academic role model. Minimum GPA requirement for all staff members is 2.75. The policy is enforced as follows:
- If your cumulative GPA falls below the minimum stated above you will be placed on probation. You will have one semester to meet the requirement or your contract will terminated.
- You must be a full-time student, enrolled in at least 12 credits, if you fall below this requirement, you must first receive supervisor and Assistant Director approval. In order to take more than 18 credits, you must first receive supervisor and Assistant Director approval.
Assistant/Liaison: Resident Assistants implement the goals of the Department of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) within the Living Centers and Apartment areas. These staff members serve as a liaison between the HRL administration and the students in our living areas. Resident Assistants foster an atmosphere for academic, social, cultural and emotional growth. As a Resident Assistant, you are responsible for the well being of the students in your assigned area, as well as the general atmosphere, the programs and the physical facilities of the residential area.
Arrival/Departure Dates: To coordinate the administrative tasks associated with opening and closing the Living Areas, all Resident Assistants must plan their departure and arrival times in accordance with the following break periods:
Fall Arrival: You are required to communicate with your direct supervisor for your specific move-in date (between August 5, 2013 and August 7, 2013 pending your assigned training dates.
Winter Break: You may leave no earlier than the Saturday following exams or upon the completion of your closing responsibilities. You must return for training no later than Noon on the Thursday before classes begin for the winter semester unless otherwise specified.
Winter Closing: You may leave no earlier than the Wednesday following final exams or upon the completion of your closing responsibilities.
In addition, staff will be expected to assist with on-going administrative tasks which could include fire safety checks, reports to your supervisor, etc.
Campus Life Night: All staff are required to participate in Campus Life Night. Campus Life Night is held on the Tuesday following Labor Day in September.
Communication: All communication (written, oral, or electronic) should be courteous, inclusive and representative of your status as a role model. This would include job related as well as personal communication. Also, it is required that you maintain and monitor your GVSU e-mail and blackboard accounts.
Community Building: A primary responsibility of the Resident Assistant is to help establish and maintain a positive living and learning environment for the residents within the Resident Assistant's assigned area. Additionally, you should take a supportive interest in the community council by attending community meetings in your assigned area to keep informed about current events within your building and throughout the campus. It will be necessary to attend Community Council and RHA meetings as assigned by your supervisor.
Community Reading: Staff will receive a common reading book before winter break of their employment year. Book discussions will be conducted during winter training.
Conduct: You are responsible for understanding and abiding by the policies and procedures in the Student Code, the HRL Residential Services Guide, local, federal, and state law, and the specific procedures for your assigned area in fact, in rationale and in spirit.
Confidentiality: It is important to maintain confidentiality in relation to all conduct or student issues that the Resident Assistant may encounter within his/her role (i.e. the Resident Assistant must keep his/her supervisor informed of all important events and must not discuss these events with other students/staff unless directed to do so by their supervisor).
Duty Responsibility: Each Resident Assistant is required to serve as an emergency on-call/student resource during pre-determined periods as established by their supervisor. Please see the HRL Training Manual for specific information regarding duty responsibility. This includes covering Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks with no additional compensation.
In-services/Meetings: In order to be able to offer on-going training opportunities, HRL requires all Resident Assistants to attend all in-service dates. In-services will be scheduled from 4-6pm on Fridays for the following dates:
It is a basic expectation that the RA will attend all in-services, training sessions, and meetings on time and in full preparation. In addition, RAs will have weekly staff meetings with their assigned staff team. Please plan on two hours for this commitment. Finally, RAs will have one-on-one meetings with their supervisor as determined by that person. If in the opinion of and at the sole discretion of your supervisors it is believed that additional training sessions of any nature will be of benefit to you in fulfilling your role as an RA, you may be asked to attend such session(s) in addition to those enumerated in this agreement.
Housing Application and Contract: Any student living in GVSU housing, whether staff or general student, must have a housing application and contract on file. This application enters you into the database so that your bed assignment can be made. Your application must be on file by the stated application deadlines or staff will lose their assignment. This deadline is in line with the RA position application deadline.
Keys/Access Cards: Resident Assistants are responsible for the cost of any lock/key/access card changes if they lose their HRL issued keys/access cards or contribute to the circumstances of them being stolen.
Meal Plan Expectations: A meal plan, (14+) is a part of your compensation for this position. You are expected to dine with your area residents, create positive relationships and provide regular feedback to our department about your experiences.
Programming: As a Resident Assistant, you are expected to promote the development of students by providing social and educational programming. Specific requirements will be detailed during fall training by your supervisor. However, RAs can generally expect to facilitate one social and one educational program per month.
Mentor Staff: For the 2013-2014 academic year, the options will be Intercultural Competency, Citizenship, or Academic Success. Mentor staff will give their preference for competency area; Living Center Director staff will balance the staff members preference with the needs of the community. Training will occur August 7-August 8, 2012 and will also be on-going throughout the year, meeting during in-service times.
Recruitment/Training/Selection: As a member of the HRL staff, Resident Assistants will be asked to assist in the recruitment, selection, and training of new staff. This could mean that you are part of interviews, information meetings, or our group process. In addition, we may utilize some staff photos as part of our recruitment materials. Please notify us if you do not wish to have your photo utilized in this manner when you turn in this contract.
Role Modeling & Ethics: RAs are expected to be good role models and ethical decision-makers at all times, both on and off campus.
Staff Orientation Requirement: All new Staff members are required to attend New Staff Orientation dates. These orientations will be held, April 12, 2013 from 3pm-6pm in 2250 Kirkhof and your supervisor will set up a team meeting at a date that works for the staff for your area. Failure to attend these orientation sessions could result in the termination of your contract.
Substance Use Expectations: Each Resident Assistant must sign and adhere to the expectations as set forth in the Housing and Residence Life Staff Substance Use Expectations and Procedures.
Summer Responsibilities: Staff will participate in ongoing summer training. This will include familiarizing yourself with the department and all that we encompass through blackboard modules and quizzes. Dates for these will be announced during Staff Orientation.
Supplemental Employment/Outside Obligations: Any outside job commitments or other student activity obligations outside the Resident Assistant job should be approved by your supervisor to ensure that you are able to maintain a healthy balance while in the job. We expect your academics to come first, but you must put your Resident Assistant job second over other outside obligations. In general, we ask you to keep all outside commitments below 15 hours total.
Transitions: Welcoming new Grand Valley students and welcoming back returning students will be a large part of this position. Staff will be present and participate in Transitions as well as provide in hall programming during "Welcome Week."
Visibility/Availability/Referral: It is a basic expectation that you will be in your assigned area and available to students. This includes staying the night in your assigned area Sunday through Thursday evening. This time may include primary responsibilities such as attendance to staff meetings, participating in meetings with student groups (e.g. community meetings), dedicating time to perform administrative functions or may include secondary responsibilities such as availability for drop-in discussions with students, individual advising and referral, etc. During your “on-duty” responsibilities, you will be available for students and community building in a visible location within the community for a minimum of 2 hours. If you know at any time for any reason that you cannot provide a necessary service or referral to any student you contact within the scope of your job, you agree to refer that student to another HRL staff member who can provide that service or referral to the office(s) deemed appropriate by HRL. With advance approval, each staff member is entitled to be absent two weekend days per month. Other nights away should be cleared with your supervisor prior to departure.
Other Duties as Assigned: Please understand that you may be asked to fulfill other duties and responsibilities that are not listed above.
This appointment is subject to termination prior to its normal expiration for failure in assigned duties/requirements or for conduct inappropriate to this position, including violations of University and HRL regulations or local, federal, and state law. Each staff member is eligible for reappointment. If your employment contract is terminated, you will be responsible for the pro-rated amount of their meal plan. Further, termination does not release someone from the obligations of their Housing Contract. Please contact Susan Brunell or your Living Center Director if you have any questions about this policy. Eligibility in itself does not constitute a commitment of HRL to offer reappointment.
Staff members must reapply to return for an additional/consecutive year. Based upon the number of applications, positions are not guaranteed beyond one year. You may receive correspondence from your supervisor or other management staff over the summer. Always keep your address, cell phone and email updated in Banner. We will access Banner should we need to contact you. It is your responsibility to keep this information current.
One of the most important duties we have as a Housing and Residence Life staff member is that of a role model. These role-modeling duties carry over into all aspects of college life. As members of the Housing and Residence Life staff, we carry the responsibility of representing the University at all times and in all places, and are held accountable for our behavior as it applies to the Student Code and Housing and Residence Life policies. In accordance with this responsibility, the consumption of alcohol and drugs by Housing and Residence Life staff members should be carefully considered. We therefore adhere to the following guidelines:
Official Scheduled Duties
Activities such as training, in-service, on-call duty, programs, and staff meetings require an expectation of professional behavior. Consumption of alcoholic beverages or other illegal drugs before or during such events is unacceptable.
Official Emergency Responsibilities
Any staff under the influence of alcohol or other illegal substances WILL NOT give instruction or provide leadership in any emergency situation.
Off Campus Activities, Staff Training and Events
During off campus activities that involve Housing and Residence Life staff members, alcoholic beverages/other illegal drugs may not be consumed. All Housing and Residence Life staff members attending professional development conferences will adhere to the guidelines established by the conference, as well as the policy outlined herein. Further, alcohol/other illegal drugs may not be present or consumed in any vehicle used for a university-sponsored event.
Off Duty Leisure Time
It is imperative that as role models we monitor alcohol consumption during off-duty leisure time. Alcohol may be consumed responsibly by those of legal age during leisure time. Observance of law, courtesy, and safety is expected at all times.
Specific Policy Guidelines
- Any RA found using alcohol/illegal substances in violation of university, state or federal law will jeopardize their employment status with Housing and Residence Life.
- Violations include, but are not limited to:
- Using a false I.D, or one that does not belong to you.
- Drinking with underage residents.
- Drinking in the Living Centers/Apartments (except of age staff members in the apartment areas in accordance with HRL policy)
- Being involved in an alcohol overdose of self or another in your care.
- Supplying alcohol to a minor.
- Being involved in a display of public drunkenness, vandalism, or violence.
- Consuming alcohol combined with additional violation of policy or law.
- Returning to the Living Center or Apartments and disturbing the community.
- Use of any banned or illegal substance.
- Probation will be the minimum sanction one would receive for the first occurrence of any of the above violations, however termination is a strong possibility for any of these.
- A second violation will result in immediate termination.
- No RA shall glorify the use of alcohol.
Page last modified May 9, 2013