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Resident Assistant Selection

Resident Assistant Selection Process (for 2020-2021 academic year)

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 residential communities. 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

RAs are actively supervised by a Residential Communities Coordinator (RCC) and serve on a "neighborhood" staff with 11-17 other RAs.  Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of the RA position include:

  • 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
Selection Timeline
  • ​​​January 20th (Monday) - January 24th (Friday): RA Info Sessions
  • February 2 (Sunday): RA Application Due, 11:59pm EST
  • February 3 (Monday): Candidate names submitted to Office of Student Conduct for Review
  • February 10 (Monday): RA References Due
  • February 10 - February 14: Individual Interviews (First Two Days For Returning Candidates)
  • February 17 - February 21: Individual Interviews Continued
  • March 16 - March 20: RA Hire Decisions Sent
  • March 27: Offers Due
  • April 4: All-Day Inclusive Leadership Conference (Required for all RAs)
How to Apply

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

  1. The RA Application utilizes JobX, which serves as the College's new Student Employment system.  The link to the RA Application is located under "Application Materials and Links," 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 upload a recent copy of their resume.  Please seek out the Career Center for assistance with developing your resume.
  3. After candidates submit their application by the deadline of Sunday, February 2, 2020 11:59pm EST, they should return back to this site and select the link to signup for an individual interview*.  Individual interviews last a total of one hour.
    *Only candidates who are eligible to serve as an RA will be offered an interview.  If a candidate is not eligible for the position, they will be notified in advance via email, and their individual interview will be canceled. 
  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.  The RA Recommendation form can be found in the "RA Application Materials" section of this website, so please share it with your recommenders.
  5. Returning RA Candidates: Identify two people that can complete an RA Recommendation for you.  Please note that Residential Communities Coordinators or the Director of Residential Communities cannot serve as a reference.  The RA Recommendation form can be found in the "RA Application Materials" section of this website.
  6. Candidates who are selected to be RAs will be notified within the last week of March (March 23-27).  Candidates who are offered the RA position will learn of their general community placement in their offer letter.  Individual floor placements will be determined over the Summer.
Requirements to Serve as an RA
  • Candidates must have a class standing of Junior or Senior for the next academic year.
  • Candidates must be willing to serve for the entire academic year; candidates who are planning to study abroad or take a leave from the college are not eligible to apply.
  • To be considered for employment and to serve in any type of Residential Peer Leader role, which includes the RA position, students must be in and remain in good standing throughout their employment.  A student is not in good standing when the student has been found responsible for a student conduct policy violation and as a result is serving a sanction of probation, suspension, or expulsion.  In addition, students are not in good standing if they are on academic probation.  Please consult with the Student Handbook for more information about policies related to academics and student conduct.

  • Candidates (both returning and new) who are offered the position must attend the Inclusive Leadership Conference, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 4.  It is an all-day commitment; while exact times and location are yet to be determined, please plan on being involved for the entire day.  Candidates who are currently abroad do not have to attend, and will be informed of additional trainings they may be required to attend. 

Application Materials and Links
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 Sunday, February 12, 11:59pm EST.  Abroad/away candidates will be able to signup for a one hour interview slot that will be conducted over Skype or another video conferencing software.  Specific instructions regarding the remote interview will be sent out to each abroad or away candidate.  

Information Sessions

Any student who is interested in the RA position is 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 required.  More information on the dates, times, and location of the sessions will be provided in January.

  • Remuneration for the RA position equates to the total cost of room at Swarthmore College.  For the 2019-2020 year, this amount was $8,252.  Candidates will be notified of this amount, once the college has set the room rate for 2020-2021.  RAs receive the entire RA stipend through the student payroll system, and will be paid one-half of the total remuneration each semester. 
  • Please note that the compensation received for work as a Resident Assistant is considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  RAs will need to inquire with Human Resources with any questions regarding how their compensation may be taxes.
  • 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.  
Important Dates for RAs

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:

Spring Peer Leader Inclusive Leadership Conference:
Saturday, April 4 (tentatively from 9:00am - 7:00pm)

Fall RA Training:
Friday, August 14: RAs can arrive beginning at 12pm (note: this is the earliest time an RA can return to campus)
Saturday, August 16: RA Training Begins at 12pm
Saturday, August 16 - Monday, August 24: RA Training
Tuesday, August 25 - Sunday, August 30: Orientation for New Students
Friday, August 28: Upper-Class Move In
Monday, August 31: Classes begin

Fall Closing:
Saturday, December 19: Residence Halls Close for Fall Semester - RAs should plan to depart from campus on this day by 6:00pm.  Your supervisor would have to approve any earlier departures, so do not plan your travel until you've spoken with your supervisor.

Winter RA Training:
Sunday, January 16, 2021: RA Training Begins promptly at 9am.  (if hired, your supervisor will have to approve any arrivals after this time)

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.

Questions and Contacts

For specific questions about the selection process, please contact RA Selection Coordinator Asraa Jaber.  Feel free to also contact any of the other Residential Communities Coordinators: Samuel Waters, Jasmine Owens.