Residential Life

Resident Advisors

Resident Advisor Roles and Responsibilities

The Role of a Resident Advisor is to:

(Statements marked with ** indicate responsibilities unique to RAs in First-Year Residence Halls)
  1. Promote and maintain a positive living environment for all residents.
  2. Fulfill the roles of peer advisor, role model, programmer, administrator, and limit-setter.
  3. Facilitate the personal, social, and academic development of your residents.
  4. Be supervised by an Area Director.
  5. Work to promote smooth and healthy acclimation of first year students into college life.**

(For all RA’s)
  1. Remain on campus to participate in a day-long spring training session in May.
  2. Return to campus early to begin fall training.
  3. Assist with fall New Student Orientation.
  4. Participate in on-going staff development sessions held throughout the academic year, which may include returning to campus early in January for Spring training.
Team Player and Educator
(Statements marked with an  ** indicate responsibilities unique to RAs in First-Year Residence Halls)
  • Maintain regular weekly contact with your supervisor though weekly reports and informal conversation.
  • Work as part of a team with your fellow RAs.
  • Attend and participate in all training sessions and area meetings.
  • Understand, abide by, and enforce all Hamilton College policies.
  • Support the Office of Residential Life and their mission. You will positively role-model their policies, as explained in the job description, this contract, and your supervisor.
  • Educate your residents of Hamilton College policies and procedures as well as confront and document any inappropriate behaviors.
  • Communicate regularly with residents through informal contact, meetings, and bulletin boards.
  • Coordinate and facilitate social and educational programs for residents as directed by your supervisor. All appropriate paperwork (i.e. program proposals, evaluations, receipts, etc.) must be submitted to your supervisor in a timely manner.
  • Assist with facilitation of First Year Experience weekend programming series (~6-8 pre-planned educational and/or social programs for First Year students – likely meeting on Sunday afternoons)**
  • Facilitate discussion and debriefing of First Year Experience programs (likely on Sundays during the first few weeks of the semester) with residents in the residence halls.**
  • Facilitate the discussion of residence hall/house policies (i.e. quiet hours, bathroom usage).
  • Participate in a formal evaluation meeting each semester with your Area Director.
  • Participate in and assist with fire drills.
  • Conduct health and safety inspections each semester.
  • Check your assigned mailbox in the Residential Life Office at least twice a week, your e-mail and voice mail account at least once a day. You will post all information distributed through RA mailboxes on your floor or in your area.
  • Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your supervisor as directed.
  • Participate in and complete all other tasks deemed necessary by the Office of Residential Life.

On Call
  • Participate in the RA on-call rotation.
  • Coordinate weekends spent away (off-campus) with your supervisor and other RA(s) in your residence hall to ensure that there is adequate coverage within your hall.

Opening and Closing of Halls

You will remain on campus until the halls are closed at the end of each semester. You will assist with the closing of residence halls at the end of the spring semester, which will include checking students out and completing inventory forms.


Additional Roles of a Head Resident Advisor

In addition to RA responsibilities, Head Resident Advisors have the following duties:

With your RA Staff
  • Offer support and experience to the RAs within your assigned building(s).
  • Be a positive role model for the RA position.
  • Facilitate communication and cooperation among RA staff.
  • Work with your supervisor to plan social and educational staff development activities.
  • Help ensure RAs within your assigned buildings fulfill their RA responsibilities.
  • Assist with the planning and facilitation of sessions during RA training.
  • Plan the RA On-Call schedule for their side of campus, including tracking changes in the schedule.
In your Respective Building(s)
  • Make periodic visual and verbal contact with the residents.
  • Assist in the planning of large scale programs.
  • Offer backup help in confrontations, conflicts, or mediation cases.
  • Assist in the planning and execution of fire drills twice each semester.

  • Help plan RA Training events.
  • Assist with the supervision and evaluation of the RAs in your respective building or area and work closely with your Supervisor on staff issues.
  • Participate in Fall HRA Training.
  • Help with RA and HRA Selection process for the next academic year.
  • Act as a liaison for the RA staff to the Office of Residential Life and to the Division of Student Life.
  • As the responsibilities of this position continue to be developed, you will help in that process and perform all other duties as assigned by your Supervisor.

Conditions of Employment for a Resident Advisor

  1. You are viewed as a role model both in and out of the classroom. Therefore, you are expected to:
    • Be a full-time student enrolled at Hamilton College
    • Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5
    • Be in good academic and social standing
    • You cannot be on social or academic probation during any period as an RA
    • Uphold and support the Hamilton College Honor Code
    • You cannot have been found responsible for any Honor Code violation
    • The RA position is a full academic year commitment if you are appointed as a new RA.
  2. You must keep your supervisor informed of all extracurricular and employment responsibilities. You may be employed up to 10 hours per week outside of your RA position.
  3. You must discuss any major extracurricular involvement such as a varsity sport, an office in a student organization, etc., with your supervisor in advance.
Should you fail to meet any of the above expectations, you may be released from your RA responsibilities.


The compensation for this position is a full room credit. Please recognize that in some cases this can have varying degrees of effect on your financial aid package. If you have specific questions about this, please contact the Business Office.


This appointment is subject to probation and/or termination if you fail to uphold the expectations and requirements outlined here, in the Resident Advisor Job Description and by your supervisor. If termination occurs prior to the end of the academic year, the Office of Residential Life reserves the right to re-assign you to another campus room and room credit will be pro-rated effective the date of termination.