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Position Summary

The Resident Assistant (RA) is a paraprofessional student staff member for the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life. The RA assumes responsibility for fostering an environment that supports the academic and personal development of students. The primary role of an RA is to actively and regularly engage with their floor community to help assess individual and community needs and to connect students to their floor neighbors and university resources. The position requires dedication, flexibility, commitment, engagement with students, and enthusiasm as the staff will actively respond to the changing needs of the residential community. The Resident Assistant is more than just a friendly presence; they are the crucial link in creating an environment in which students develop independence and learn to live cooperatively with others.

Position Roles

The RA role is guided by the idea that RAs are to build community with their residents by utilizing the objectives outlined below. The roles and tasks articulated below provide the tools to achieve the educational mission of The University of Alabama at Birmingham, as well as the vision of the Division of Student Affairs, and goals of the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life.

  • Personally, know, interact with and support your residents.
  • Actively link your residents to floor and campus community.
  • Promote and equip your residents to succeed academically.
  • Develop personal communication and leadership skills of your residents.

  • Education and Leadership

    • Maintains a positive and team-oriented attitude towards the community, staff, and department
    • Supports hall initiatives (i.e., programs hosted by Residence Life, Hall Council, Residence Hall Association, Second-Year Experience, etc.)
    • Serves as an academic role model and actively demonstrates an interest in residents’ academic engagement
    • Demonstrates effective and ethical decision-making skills
  • Community Development

    • Learns the names of all assigned residents
    • Establish a positive relationship with residents through active outreach and consistent contact throughout the year to help them develop their understanding of self, others, and community
    • Be a positive presence in their floor/area and should be regularly visible and accessible; this includes but is not limited to staying in the building a minimum of 4 nights per week
    • Fosters a strong sense of community among residents.
    • Advises and counsels residents with personal and academic issues (within the scope of training).
    • Mediates conflicts between roommates and communities.
    • Serves as a referral agent to appropriate UAB and community resources.
    • Supports residents in assessing academic and extracurricular interests.
    • Implements programs consistent with these interests, as according to the curriculum model established by the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life.
    • Creates monthly bulletin boards, door decorations and other appropriate postings used for advertisement.
    • Supports fellow team members and supervisors by attending programs, assisting with assignments, posting flyers and collaborating when appropriate.
    • Assists the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life, Residence Life Coordinator and Graduate Assistant in large area program initiatives.
    • Encourages residents to attend Residence Life and University-sponsored programs.
  • Safety and Security

    • Informs residents of responsible behavior in accordance with university policy.
    • Upholds enforces and supports all rules and regulations of the university and objectively documents all policy violations.
    • Responds to resident and campus crises and notifies appropriate professional staff members
    • Completes and submits all documentation as soon as possible after the incident occurs, but no later than 8 AM the next morning.
    • Follows up promptly with the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life regarding incidents of student misconduct and welfare.
    • Encourages individual responsibility and respect for others through role modeling, community building, and education.
    • Educates residents about safety and security issues related to living on campus.
    • Serve in the on-call rotation during the week and assigned weekends; on-call requires that the RA stay in their assigned building during the hours of 5:00 PM-8:00 AM Sunday-Thursday and from 5:00 PM on Friday through 5:00 PM on Sunday for weekend on-calls
    • Conduct Health & Safety inspections for their assigned floor/area at least once a month during the assigned Health & Safety Week.
    • Help students become aware of the University’s expectations as expressed in University policies and procedures, as well as including potential consequences if violated.
    • Encourage residents to exercise responsibility through active participation in assisting with policy decisions, addressing disruptive behavior, mediating conflict within the community, an evaluating the residential life program.
  • Administration

    • Communicates student concerns to the Residence Life Coordinator, Graduate Assistant, and the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life Office.
    • Attends weekly staff meetings and individual meetings with the Residence Life Coordinator and/or Graduate Assistant.
    • Assist in the implementation of fall and spring check-in and check-out procedures
    • Supports the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life with special projects such as RA recruitment, interviews of professional and student staff candidates, committee meetings and training of other RAs.
    • Assist the facilities personnel, and other UAB staff in providing a clean efficiently operated and well-maintained environment. Help promote a respectful understanding of the responsibilities of both the residents and facilities personnel.
    • Abide by, educate residents about and enforce all Residence Life policies as stated in the Residence Life Handbook, RA position description, RA manual, and expectations from Residence Life Coordinator and Assistant Director of Residence Life
    • Communicate that University policies and any resulting discipline are designed to challenge and support students to live responsibly within the residential community.
    • Make an effort to promote staff unity and harmony with all university staff members
    • Be a productive and positive member of the Student Housing & Residence Life team
    • Serve as a Campus Security Authority and Responsible Employee as defined by the Clery Act and Title IX
    • Accepts other area and departmental duties as assigned.
  • Professionalism and Ethics

    • Convey a positive attitude toward the RA position and its duties and responsibilities.
    • Act as a positive role model for both fellow staff members and residents by not participating in questionable or unethical behavior.
    • Demonstrate mature, responsible decision making.
    • Respond quickly to residents' requests.
    • Work cooperatively with other staff and share duties equally.
    • Carry out to the fullest any responsibilities you assume or are assigned.

Time Commitment and Availability

  • Must commit to 1 (academic) year of service (fall and spring terms)
  • Attend all training activities and scheduled meetings
    • Fall training activities and scheduled meetings Fall Training
    • Winter Training
    • Super Sunday
  • Work a minimum of 8 hours per week at the front desk and serve in the on-call rotation over university-observed holiday breaks. This includes Thanksgiving break, winter break, and spring break. RA’s will be given an opportunity to notate which holiday break they would prefer to work.
  • Assist Student Housing & Residence Life with room checks during the academic year (as requested) to conduct overall general maintenance.
  • Assist Student Housing & Residence Life during special events including, but not limited to Blazer Welcome, Departmental Sponsored Events, Homecoming, Admissions events such as UAB Days, Scholar’s Day, athletic events, and other events required by Student Housing & Residence Life.
  • RA’s are required to receive prior approval before applying for any employment opportunities outside of the RA position. This request must be approved by the RA’s Residence Life Coordinator and the Assistant Director of Residence Life.
  • All RA’s are required to attend a weekly staff meeting on Thursdays from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM. As an RA, you will receive early registration access and will be expected to keep Thursday evenings free unless you receive approval from the Assistant Director of Residence Life.


  • Maintain a UAB semester and cumulative GPA of 2.50 or better. Failure to maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA will result in loss of your position. Failure to achieve a semester grade point average of 2.50 or better will result in departmental academic probation
  • Must obtain sophomore status (minimum of 30 hours) by the end of the summer term preceding the fall semester of employment.
  • Must have one semester of on-campus living; one semester’s residency in one of UAB Student Housing’s residence halls is strongly preferred
  • Must be registered for a minimum of 12 undergraduate-level hours or 9 graduate-level hours for both fall and spring term
  • Must be in good conduct standing with the university – conduct records will be verified


  • Benefits & Compensation

    • Assigned room, utilities including cable television, and internet.
    • RA Meal Plan
    • Non-tangible benefits: The opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals while developing leadership, problem-solving, crisis management, communication, organization, time management, and peer counseling skills.
  • Acquired Skills

    As a result of servind in the Resident Assistant role with The Office of Student Housing and Residence Life, students will be able to:
    Practical Leadership & Management Skills
    • Understand of basic requirements of the role and
    • policies and procedures associated with the position.
    • Understand of the Student Housing and Residence Life vision and mission.
    • Self-identify their strengths and weakness.
    • Engage in process improvement to help improve upon existing procedures.
    • Demonstrate autonomous function in their role through actions such as time-management and self-regulation.
    Civic Identity & Commitment to Service
    • Identify resources to increase their knowledge of civic responsibility.
    • Participate in organizations and activities that enhance their collegiate experience that foster greater sense of community within UAB.
    Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
    • Identify a problem when it exists
    • Understand protocols and procedures related to their role.
    • Identify pertinent resources for appropriate solutions to the problem.
    • Articulate why a specific strategy is appropriate to use for a solution.
    • Develop options or potential solutions to problem or concerns.
    • Articulate why protocols and procedures are important within their position.
    • Know of their authority in the decision-making process.
    • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the operation
    • of equipment within the context of their professional role.
    • Follow protocol.
    Cultural Humility & Global Fluency
    • Understand Divisional Core Values
    • Engage in activities that increase global perspective.
    • Exhibit respect and openness to work across differences
    • Understand the perspective of differences and will treat others fairly.
    • Define the basic functions of their role in relation to their functional area.
    • Proficiently execute the expected duties related to their functional role.
    • Arrive to your functional area, prepared to work, on time
    • Refer to the code of ethics related to functional role including all applicable laws
  • Required Dates & Events