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Helping Students Become Resident Staff

Please note that this information applies to Resident Advisors (undergraduate housing) and not Community Assistants (graduate housing). Interested Community Assistant applicants can find most pertinent information on the Community Assistant Applications page.

What training will I receive as an RA?

Newly hired RAs are required to participate in spring orientation meetings and training sessions in March and April. These sessions allow candidates to begin learning the skills necessary to be successful in the Resident Advisor position.

During the summer, Senior Residents and Vice Chairs participate in Senior Staff Training, and the entire resident staff takes part in Orientation Week.

What is Senior Staff Training?

Senior Staff Training (SST) is a week of preparatory instruction on fundamental skills for success as a Senior Resident or Vice Chair. The training is facilitated by HRL professional staff and the Co-Chairs of Resident Staff, along with a few outside presenters.

Part of the training takes place on-Grounds. Part is conducted off-site (sometimes called "Senior Staff Retreat"). The training takes place prior to O-Week, and all Senior Staff members are required to attend.

Training topics typically include Leadership, Supervision, Multicultural Education, Professionalism, and Policy/Incident Response.

What is Orientation Week?

After Senior Staff Training, the entire Resident Staff participates in O-Week. O-week is when RAs learn about the expectations of the program and are equipped with the resources to address concerns that might come up during the year.

Because people process information in different ways, we provide training through information sessions, small group discussions, and realistic "Hypothetical Hall" (Hypo-hall) situations. In Hypo-halls, students have the opportunity to learn about issues, discuss them, and then practice addressing them -- all before their residents move into the residence hall.

O-Week is largely focused on community building and leadership, reminding our staff that as leaders in their community they have the opportunity to set the standard for how people behave and treat one another.