Resident Assistant (RA)


The Resident Assistant position is a live-in, peer mentorship, student staff position working an average of 15 hours a week within the Residence Halls on the Oregon State University Corvallis campus. RAs are assigned to a wing or floor of residents within that community.

RAs are responsible for creating and maintaining emotionally and physically safe and secure residential communities. RAs are called upon to effectively respond to and manage a variety of crisis and emergency situations. They play a key role in creating environments that encourage all students to be academically and personally successful. Resident Directors supervise RAs in the performance and evaluation of their duties through weekly one-on-ones, staff meetings, and trainings/in-services.

For more information, you can review the Resident Assistant Position Description for the 2021-2022 academic year.

  1. Be a current full time OSU student or degree partnership student with OSU with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.50 or higher.
  2. Maintain good academic and conduct standing with both OSU and UHDS.
  3. Successfully pass a Criminal History Check upon hire.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to cultivate relationships with diverse groups of people.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to engage with others with different experiences or perspectives.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to learn about social justice principles and concepts.
  7. Demonstrate the willingness to engage in difficult conversations or conflict.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to follow through and complete tasks or meet deadlines.
  9. Demonstrate the ability to prioritize competing responsibilities.
  • 1. Demonstrate understanding of social justice principles and concepts.
    2. Demonstrate commitment to diversity and social justice education, initiatives, and programs.
    3. Demonstrate crisis management skills.
  • RAs receive a residence hall room. RAs may be assigned roommates on a temporary basis as part of the UHDS Temporary Housing Plan.
  • RAs receive an RA Meal Plan equivalent to Residential Dining Level 2 each term, plus two additional prorated weeks during fall training.
  • RAs receive a $300 per term stipend.


Application Process & Timeline


RA Applications are currently open for immediate and anticipated vacancies for this academic year. The anticipated start date and move-in date for immediate vacancies will be January 2, 2021. Candidates will submit a resume and essay responses to the questions below. The Selection Committee will review application materials to determine who will be extended an offer to interview.

The application process for RA positions in the 2022-2023 academic year will begin in the middle of winter term. Information about that process will be updated in January 2022.


  • You will need to have an updated resume for your application.
  • Please save your resume as a PDF file.
  • Please highlight any experiences that relate to the required and preferred qualifications listed above. Some common experiences to highlight include:
    • Experience working with or supporting diverse groups of people.
    • Experience engaging in social justice activism, education, learning, and programming.
    • Experience in leadership position or work experience that requires prioritizing responsibilities. 


Improve your resume. Use Oregon State's online resume reviewer, Vmock, to get instant, personalized feedback before you submit your application to UHDS. Based on tips from Vmock, improve your resume to boost your odds of getting hired.


Essay questions

Part of the application process is to respond to several essay questions. It is recommended that you write your response offline and then copy and paste them in the application before you submit.


  • As an RA, you are tasked with forming relationships with all of the residents within your community. Tell us about a time when you took initiative to build a relationship or rapport with someone you didn’t know. What steps did you take or could have taken to further grow that relationship?


  • Give an example of a time when you engaged in a difficult conversation. How did you manage the situation, and what was the resolution? How could this experience help you support residents navigating conflict or difficult conversations?


  • UHDS believes that all students have the right to live in safe and welcoming environments. The RA plays an important role in creating these environments and supporting residents’ identities. Examples include promoting cultural events, role modeling inclusive language, engaging in dialogue across difference, supporting students experiencing bias, etc. Provide an example of how you have demonstrated your respect for people who are different from you. How have you worked to understand and appreciate the cultures, social identities, or perspectives of others?


Opportunities & Resources

We want applicants to be successful in this process. Here are some resources and opportunities to help you be a prepared candidate.

  • Learn more about social justice:
    • Talk to your Diversity Learning Assistant: Each hall has a designated Diversity Learning Assistant that facilitates workshops and programs around diversity and social justice issues.
    • Community Dialogues: Each term, OSU’s Community Engagement & Leadership, the Office of Institutional Diversity, and University Housing & Dining Services host dialogue opportunities to learn about critical & contentious issues.
    • Cultural Resource Centers: OSU's Cutural Resource Centers provide community for racial groups on campus. They host monthly programming, workshops, and cultural celebrations.
    • Diversity Education: For an in-depth look at social justice opportunities on campus, check out the Diversity Education website. Listed are events, programs, and departments that offer a variety of opportunities to be involved or learn further.



  • Get help with other career topics one-on-one. The Career Development Center offers consultations with career assistants who can answer your questions about resumes, cover letters, Handshake, and finding a job on campus. If you have additional questions, such as about career exploration for your major, make an appointment with a college-specific career advisor through Handshake.


Apply now!

  • Application goes live: Now Open
  • Application is due: November 15, 2021
  • Interviews: November 29 – December 3
  • Offers go out: December 13, 2021


Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not listed below, please contact

What if I don’t have the required GPA?
  • We encourage you to still apply! Students who do not meet the academic requirements would not receive an initial offer but still have a chance to be an RA by being placed in our alternate pool. We determine eligibility at the time that we send an offer letter. Students who improve their grades and meet the academic requirements would be eligible for offers that we make on a rolling basis throughout summer and into the academic year.  


I am an international student. Can I still apply?
  • Yes! Any full-time student who is permitted to work in the United States is eligible to apply, please check with the Office of International Student Affairs to ensure you’re eligible.


When is training?
  • Training for mid-year positions will mostly be done through online modules as well as through individual meetings with your supervisor and fellow RAs. There may be designated training sessions on Tuesday nights as needed.


Can I hold another position on/off campus if I am an RA?
  • Student employees are limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week, this position is set for an average of 15 hours a week. You will need to seek prior approval from your Resident Director to work any hours outside of the position. In order to promote healthy time management and wellbeing, we encourage students to be mindful of time commitments.


I’ve never lived on-campus. Can I still apply?
  • Yes, students are not required to have lived on campus. We recommend students to reach out to friends, student staff members, and Resident Directors for further information on what it’s like to live where you work. If you have questions, we encourage you to reach out to us at


Do I already need to know how to confront people or respond to emergencies?
  • While experience responding to crisis and enforcing policy would be beneficial, we don’t expect our student employees to be knowledgeable of protocol and procedures. Staff are trained on ways to respond to a variety of situations. Additionally, our department provides on-call support via professional staff, the Department of Public Safety, and other professionals.


I see RAs are “on duty.” What does this mean?
  • Resident Assistants work between 1-2 nights a week, holding a duty phone from 8 p.m.-8 a.m. the next day, responding to the needs of the residents throughout the night. During duty, RAs are expected to staff the front desk (from 8 p.m.-midnight on weekdays and 8 p.m.-2 a.m. on weekends) and and to walk through the building to ensure the safety and security of students.


Why am I being asked about social justice in the application?
  • OSU is committed to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We recognize that our residents hold a diverse set of identities and come from different backgrounds. For this reason, it is important for us to hire RAs who are able to create inclusive environments and communities. While our department provides on-going training and education around social justice topics, we recognize it is beneficial to our residents to have staff who are able to understand issues that impact the individuals in their community.
What is my expected time commitment in the building?
  • A large part of the RA position is cultivating relationships with individual residents and establishing a sense of community among the residents on their floor. While there is no set number of hours that staff must be present, staff are asked to dedicate time throughout the week to engage with the residents on their floor (based on their own availability) to build those relationships.
What health and safety precautions are in place for staff members during the pandemic?
Will I be able to stay in my current room? Will I get to choose which building I get to move to?
  • Each building has designated rooms for student staff to be assigned. If hired as an RA, you will need to move out of your residential room and into a staff room. Candidates do get to fill out a survey to preference communities and students that they want to work with; however, our professional staff team will ultimately decide where RAs are placed.
What do I do if I currently have a housing contract? Am I still able to be an RA?
  • If you have an active housing contract and assignment with UHDS, you can still apply to be an RA. If you are hired for the position, we will work with you to get your contract transferred over to a staff contract without any additional fees. Any prepayment of housing and meal plan will be credited back at a prorated rate depending on the date you move into your staff room assignment.