Resident Assistant Selection

Resident Assistant Selection Process for 2018-2019


About the Position:

Resident Assistants (RAs) are selected juniors and seniors who serve in the residence halls as peer counselors and advisors. They are available to provide general information and counseling, and to make appropriate referrals as needed. RAs also have responsibility for security, fire protection, and general safety within the dormitories. RAs also function as liaisons between students and the administration. There are six primary areas of responsibility for the RA position:

    (1) Promote and Support the Health and Safety of Residents
(2) Facilitate the Development of a Sense of Community
    (3) Develop Individual Relationships with Residents
    (4) Be a Productive Member of the Staff Team
    (5) Foster Intentional Learning & Development Amongst Residents
    (6)Develop and Demonstrate Ethical Leadership and Professional Skills

Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of the RA position include:

  • Reporting directly to a Residential Communities Coordinator (RCC) and serving on a "neighborhood" staff of 12-18
  • Attend Weekly staff meetings that typically occur on Monday-Thursday evenings (typically last one hour)
  • Attend regularly-scheduled one-on-one meetings between the RA and the RCC
  • Serving "on-call" for your community on weeknights and weekends, as well as performing walkthroughs of the community in order to promote health, safety, and welfare of all residents
  • Completing administrative responsibilities, such as assisting with Move-In and Move-Out room inspections, completing RA Concern Reports, completing program request forms, completing on-call logs, and attending semesterly and on-going in-service trainings
  • Facilitating floor, building, and community programs that focus on wellness, community building, and safety
  • Collaborate with campus partners to bring programs into the residential community (e.g. working with Health & Wellness to create a "Wellness Relaxation Day")
  • Working closely with Diversity Peer Advisors (DPAs), Student Academic Mentors (SAMs), and Green Advisors (GAs) within the community
  • Serve as a CSA (Campus Security Authority) and Required Reporter for the college


How to Apply:

Candidates will need to complete the following steps to successfully apply for the position:

  1. The RA Application utilizes JobX, which will soon become the College's new Student Employment system. For more information on JobX, please visit the JobX and Student Employment page. The link to the RA Application is located under "RA Application Materials," below.
  2. To be able to submit your RA Application, you will need to complete all required questions in the application.  Additionally, the application requires each candidate to complete and submit the "RA Application Short Answer Supplemental", which is a word document that contains a collection of short-answer questions pertaining to the position.  This document is available for candidates to download within the "RA Selection Materials" section of this website.  Once candidates complete the supplemental, they will "attach" it to their formal application in JobX.  Please note that there are two supplemental documents; one for NEW candidates, and one for RETURNING candidates.
  3. After candidates submit their application by the deadline of Monday, February 12, 2018 11:59pm EST, candidates will return to the RA Selection website to sign up for both a group interview and an individual interview.  Signup links are located in the "RA Application Materials" section of this website.
  4. New RA Candidates: Identify three people that can complete an RA Recommendation for you.  One of the recommendations needs to be any of the current RAs, and the others can be anyone who can best speak to your potential of serving as a Resident Assistant. We strongly recommend that one or more of your recommendations be of a previous supervisor, mentor, or coach.  Returning candidates only need 2 recommendations.  The RA Recommendation form can be found in the "RA Application Materials" section of this website.
  5. Returning RA Candidates: Identify two people that can complete an RA Recommendation for you.  A professional staff member of the Office of Student Engagement cannot serve as a reference.  The RA Recommendation form can be found in the "RA Application Materials" section of this website.
  6. The Office of Student Engagement will confirm group and individual interview times with candidates.  Please note that receiving an in-person interview is contingent on the strength of a candidates' application.  Not all applicants are guaranteed an in-person interview.
  7. Candidates who are selected to be RAs will be notified within the last week of March (March 25-30).  Candidates who are offered the RA position will learn of their community placement in their offer letter.  Individual floor placements will be determined over the Summer.


RA Application Materials:


RA Selection Process for Students who are Abroad or on Leave:

If you will be abroad/away from campus for Spring and wish to be an RA, you will still need to apply for the position by the deadline of Monday, February 12, 11:59pm EST. Since you are abroad, you will be unable to participate in the group interview process.  This will not affect your candidacy.  We are asking abroad/away candidates to respond to an additional question in the application that reflects on their abroad experience.  Candidates who are abroad will be invited to a one hour Skype interview contingent on the strength of their application and additional reflection.  Candidates need to select an individual interview time slot after completing their application.  Please note that there are specific time slots for abroad/away students: do not signup for any interviews that take place in the Office of Student Engagement or David Kemp 101.


RA Information Sessions:

Any students who are interested in the RA position are suggested to attend one of the four informational sessions, in which candidates can learn more about the RA Position, ask specific questions regarding the process, and speak to current RAs about their experience in the position. Please note that attending an information session is NOT mandatory.  The following are the dates, times, and locations of the RA Info Sessions:

Information Session for Students who are studying abroad for Spring Semester:
Monday, December 11, Parrish East Parlors: 5-6pm

General Information Sessions:
Friday, February 2, Parrish West Parlors: 5-6pm
Monday, February 5, Mephistos (Willets Hall Lounge): 5-6pm
Thursday, February 8, Parrish East Parlors: 5-6pm



Remuneration for the RA position equates to the total cost of room at Swarthmore College.  For the 2017-2018 year, this amount was $7,670, of which $4,540 of the total $7,670 will appear as a credit on your student account ($2,270 each semester) and you will be paid $3,130 ($1,565 each semester) via student payroll for your personal expenses.  For 2018-2019, the total compensation amount will reflect the cost of room for 2018-2019.  Please visit and fully read the RA Compensation Information posted on the the Financial Aid Website:  This compensation includes Spring Training, Fall Training, Orientation Week, Winter Break Training and on-going in-service opportunities.  The stipend will be disbursed once in September and once in January, evenly split between the two semesters.  This stipend is considered income and taxable. 


Important Dates for RA Candidates:

The following are tentative dates and times of required trainings that candidates selected as RAs must attend.  If you cannot fully attend these trainings, you cannot serve as an RA, as they are a requirement of the position.  These dates and times are based off of last year's required trainings.  These dates and times will be finalized at a later time and will be communicated in a timely fashion to all candidates who are offered positions.  We ask that you do not finalize travel plans until you receive confirmed dates of trainings, specifically Fall RA Training:

Tentative Dates:

Spring Peer Leader Inclusive Leadership Conference:
Saturday, April 7 (tentatively from 9:00am - 7:00pm)

Fall RA Training:
Friday, August 17th: RAs can arrive beginning at 8am (note: this is the earliest time an RA can return to campus)
Saturday, August 18th: RA Training Begins at 1pm
Saturday, August 18 - Monday, August 27: RA Training
Tuesday, August 28 - Sunday, September 2: Orientation for New Students
Friday, August 31: Upper-Class Move In

Fall Closing:
Saturday, December 22: Residence Halls Close for Fall Semester - RAs should plan to depart from campus on the 22nd or Sunday, December 23rd at 8:00am (if hired, your supervisor will have to approve any departures before the 23rd)

Winter RA Training:
Friday, January 18, 8:00am: Earliest RAs can return to campus 
Saturday, January 19: RA Training Begins promptly at Noon.  (if hired, your supervisor will have to approve any arrivals after this time)
Saturday, January 19 - Sunday, January 20: Winter RA Training (all-day)
Saturday, January 19: All students can return to campus at Noon

RA Selection Committee:

The RA Selection Committee, a group of SGO-appointed students and senior Resident Assistants play an important role in the RA Selection Process, as they provide assistance in the marketing of the RA position, participate in interview processes, as well as make selection recommendations to the Office of Student Engagement.  The RA Selection committee does NOT make any final determinations of RA hires; the Office of Student Engagement makes all final decisions regarding RA hiring decisions.  These students are very knowledgeable about the RA Selection Process, and are very invested in Swarthmore's residential community experience.

 If you have any questions regarding the RA Selection Process, please contact your Residential Communities Coordinator (RCC):

Sarah Foster: RCC for Dana, Hallowell, Danawell, Wharton
​Asraa Jaber: RCC for Palmer, Pittenger, Roberts, PPR Apartments, Mary Lyons
Michelle Stark: RCC for Alice Paul, David Kemp, Worth, Lodges, Parrish, Woolman, Kyle
Sam Waters: RCC for Willets, Mertz
Isaiah Thomas: Assistant Director of Residential Communities