RA Job Description

The resident advisor (RA) a premier leadership position on campus that is vital to creating an environment in the residential community that students feel connected, respected, secure and develop both personally as well as intellectually. This is achieved through a focus on building relationships with each resident through enduring conversations and a faithful and regular presence on their floors and in their buildings.

Bluffton University Student Life Division’s Mission Statement

We believe that connecting the RA role to the mission statement of the division is important because of the depth of contact the role encounters. The mission statement of the division that the RA will uphold is as follows:

The Bluffton University Student Life Division in collaboration with staff and faculty colleagues strives to challenge and support student learning, discovery and growth. Using theory and best practices, the division will serve as a key resource and advocate for the holistic development of all students and create a safe, welcoming and diverse environment.

Residence Life Mission Statement
Residence Life will create an environment of hospitality while advocating for holistic student development.


  • To create a space that can be an extension of the classroom. Creating an environment where discussions can continue seamlessly from classes and personal and relationship development can occur through intentional efforts of the RA.
  • To ensure that students live according to the objectives of Bluffton University, the standards of conduct, the law and the regulations stated in the Student Handbook.
  • To bring awareness and encourage students to participate in the larger campus community.
  • To be a support to our students, especially when they find themselves in times of crisis, large or small.


  • Create meaningful relationships through enduring conversations with each resident on the RA's floor. 
  • Being regularly present on the floor, this means having the door open often and spending significant time visible on the floor.
  • Know every resident on the floor by name and some introductory information about them by the fourth week of class.
  • Create opportunities for residents to develop friendships with those on their floor and throughout the building. This will require an early emphasis on programming with an eye toward helping residents create community. 
  • Be actively present and engaged during staff meetings, training program, including fall and mid-year retreats, selection processes and room draw. This includes regular one-on-one times with your hall director.
  • Attend regular campus events with residents and have discussions related to these events afterwards (chapel, Forum, MCB events). 
  • Assist the maintenance personnel and hall director in keeping the residence hall functional for the use of residents, present and future.
  • Show hospitality to all guests of our facilities and provide excellent customer service.
  • Support the residence hall association by attending hall wide events and, when appropriate, offering to assist with functional tasks (such as moving furniture, putting up decorations etc.). 
  • Ensure that there are proper safety guidelines for various emergencies posted on your floor.
  • Know, interpret, teach and enforce the standards of conduct in the Student Handbook.
  • Assume responsibility for insuring that students are able to pursue academic interests in the living unit through a community of respect on the hall.
  • Participate in a duty rotation in the halls, this will be done by combining Bren-Dell and Ropp, Hirschy Hall and Hirschy Annex, and Neufeld with Ramseyer in an effort to give the position more space to be present on their halls. 
  • Assume responsibility for special projects as delegated by the director of residence life or the hall director.

Organizational reporting

The resident advisor reports directly to the hall director who is his/her immediate supervisor. The director of residence life is primarily responsible for the hall director’s selection, in-service education and evaluation.

Conditions of employment

  • A full-time student maintaining at least a 2.5 grade point average.
  • Additional employment off-campus is not permitted; employment on campus may be permitted only with prior permission from the director of residence life, this is limited to an additional four hour contract.
  • Floor and room assignments are determined by the director of residence life in consultation with hall directors.
  • Resident advisors are permitted three weekends away each semester, excluding holidays and campus breaks. These weekends away are pending approval by your hall director beforehand and cannot be taken the first month of the fall semester. 
  • Other times RAs must be on campus include before classes begin in August for training and new student orientation. At other times, RAs must be on campus up to the day vacation starts and return the day vacation ends. RAs must assist in the check-in and year-end checkout processes. RAs are required to remain throughout commencement.
  • RAs must complete a work agreement with Audra Oglesbee. This agreement can be terminated at any time if the director of residence life believes the responsibilities of the position are not being fulfilled.
  • Violations of student expectations as expressed in the student handbook can result in loss of position.


  • Has the opportunity to select either a single room or live in a double with a roommate. 
  • 1st year RAs earn $2,700/year, 2nd year RAs earn $3,000/year, and 3rd year RAs earn $3,300/year.