Frequently Asked Questions about the RA Selection process
Do I have to be a resident to be an RA? Students need have the equivalent of at least 2 semesters in a residence hall or community living environment .
Is my financial aid affected by holding a student staff position? Student staff positions can affect your financial aid or scholarship award. To determine whether you will be affected, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 127 Sherman Hall, 309-298-2446.
Can I hold another position on/off-campus if I am a student staff member? An RA can work up to 10 hours per week at any on campus employment beyond the RA position. Any employment, student teaching, internship or other major responsibilities taking the RA out of the residence hall must be approved by the Complex Director.
When is student staff training? Dates for trainings, openings, and closings are still being finalized for the 2012-2013 academic year. In general, staff members are expected to attend training in August and training January. Specific dates for next year will be made available later in the semester.
If I have a conflict, can I miss training or be late for it? No. Attending all of training and fully participating in opening and closing the residence halls is an expectation for all student staff. The time set aside for training is critical to prepare staff for their positions.
If I have been documented for an incident/policy violation, can I still be a student staff member? Students must be in good judicial standing with UHDS and the University to be considered for an RA position.
Can I choose which building I want to work in? In your application you will be able to preference the communities (First Year Experience, Transfer Year Experience, Honors, Broadcasting, Arts, or Pathways) you are interested in. However, UHDS is looking for the best fit for each position. This may mean that you are a great candidate for a community/hall you haven’t considered.
What if I don’t have the required GPA? At the time applications are due, applicants must meet the minimum required semester and cumulative GPA of a 2.40. Applicants who do not meet these requirements will be released from the hiring process.
Do I have to stay until the residence halls close or return before the residence halls open? As stated in the job description, student staff members are required to be present for all residence hall openings and closings. Your Complex Director will determine some of the specific staffing needs for opening/closing during the year.
Should I go through the housing renewal process if I’m applying to be a student staff member? Yes. You should plan for fall housing in case you are not offered a position. Go ahead and choose the room you would want if you are not selected for a position. If you are offered a position UHDS will manually change your assignment to the appropriate location.
What should I wear to the interview? The individual interview is a job interview, so dress accordingly. Typically business-casual wear is appropriate.
Do I have to take a class if I am hired? Yes. First year RAs have to take a class that will be offered as an 8-week credit-bearing course. This course is worth two academic credit hours and must be completed with a grade of C or higher. All regular academic fees apply for this academic course, which will be included on your STARS account student bill.
How many credit hours am I able to take while being an RA? An RA may not carry more than 18 hours of class work per semester (including the RA Course), unless receiving prior approval from the Director of Residence Life.
Can I apply for a Desk Assistant position and an RA position? Yes. There are separate applications for the DA position and the RA position. Candidates interested in both positions should apply for both. Information for Desk Assistant positions will be available online when that process is open.
What are my chances of being offered a position? Each year we typically have around 200 candidates for about 80-90 open positions. Throughout the spring and summer a few additional positions tend to open up as well.
I won’t be here during the spring semester (due to study abroad, internship, etc.), can I still apply? Based on wanting to have a cohesive community and staff we only consider applicants that are available for the full academic year.
Is being an RA a lot of work? Please read through all the responsibilities outlined in the RA position description. Being an RA requires commitment, but staff is trained on time management and given the tools and support needed to be a successful student and RA.
Can I be involved in a club or organization if I’m an RA? In order to be a successful student and RA, it is our expectation that staff puts academics first, the RA position comes second, and everything else follows. We encourage all RAs to be involved and well-rounded as students. If your supervisor feels that your other outside activities are conflicting with school and the RA position, you may be asked to cut back on any extracurricular activities.
If I’m an RA, do I have to stay on campus every night? RAs are expected to be back on campus by a reasonable time. If they will not be able to return to the building at a reasonable time they must get approval to take the night away. RAs have 16 nights off each semester. Nights that RAs are on duty they are expected to check in at 7:50pm with a member of their Headstaff and are not able to leave the building until 7:00am the following morning.
How often will I need to be on duty? Duty schedules vary depending on staff size.
Can I apply mid-year to become an RA? Mid-year hiring process occurs in Fall Semester. Students who are interested must go through the application process for mid-year hires.
I went through the hiring process last year. Do I still need to do all the steps of the process? Yes. As we begin the new hiring process, all previous candidate applications (with the exception of the most recent mid-year hiring candidate pool) are considered void. In order to be considered for RA positions during the selection process, you will need to satisfactorily complete all portions of the hiring process.
I was dropped from the hiring process last year. Can I apply this year? Any student who meets the basic criteria for the positions is invited to apply. We encourage you to apply again even if you were dropped from the process as we are looking for new matches every year.