Function of Position:

The function of the Resident Advisor is to work with other Resident Life staff members and with hall residents to facilitate an environment within the residence hall that contributes to the overall intellectual, social, physical, moral, and cultural development of the students. The Resident Advisor articulates to students the philosophy and policies of the Office of Student Affairs and of the College and, in turn, represents the needs of students to the administration.


  • Be available and accessible to residents by making a strong commitment to be present on the hall.
  • Know all the students on the floor, passage, or hall section.
  • Refer students to appropriate departments for assistance. Counsel students on academic, personal, and social matters. Serve as a resource and referral person in the academic, personal, and social advising of students.
  • Assist in the management of crises and report emergencies or serious illnesses. Be informed and able to instruct residents regarding the evacuation procedures and the location and use of fire-fighting equipment.
    Respect confidentiality at all times, but as a Resident Advisor your allegiance is to the College and its students. Confidentiality should be tempered with sensitivity to the well-being and safety of other students, the College, and college property.
  • Defend the rights of individuals so long as they do not conflict with College policy, laws, or norms.
  • Recognize the talents and interests of students. Develop, administer, and encourage beneficial outlets for those talents and interests (i.e., intramurals, recitals, camping) in order to facilitate students' self-confidence and promote interaction among students.
  • Develop and carry out hall activities to promote a sense of community within the hall and College (i.e., a hall trip to a cultural or entertainment-oriented performance in Richmond, a pool party, and activities with a hall section of students at Sweet Briar, Longwood, or Randolph-Macon). Meet program and community service goals (i.e., can recycling, gleaning, Habitat for Humanity, FACES (Farmville Area Community Emergency Services), highway trash pickup, fundraising for various local community organizations such as the Moton Museum).
  • Other students may look to you as a role model. Your actions and words can carry weight that you may not have intended. Be cognizant of the role you have accepted, and make efforts to maintain as a solid, consistent, and well-rounded member of the college.
  • Encourage students to make the most of their College experience by emphasizing the various possibilities for learning and activity.

Know, explain, and enforce College policy.

  • Maintain the student living conditions by educating and encouraging students to respect the physical unit (neatness and safety), to maintaining a reasonable noise level, and to respect the rights of other students. It may be necessary to confront a student or group of students if he or they become abusive to College structures. If such a circumstance arises, you are expected to handle the situation in accordance with College policy.
  • Work closely with other residence hall staff members and student affairs staff members in the administration of the residence hall program to maintain, foster, and improve the present and future Resident Life program. Special aspects include assistance in orientation, room choosing, opening and closing of residence halls, maintenance, filing pertinent reports, and room changes.
  • Keep students informed about the College through meetings, posters, flyers, and general use of bulletin boards.
    Attend all scheduled staff seminars, meetings, in-service training programs, workshops off and on campus related to skill and program development, and pre-school workshop. Meetings may be called throughout the year to address rising problems or to disseminate information. Your presence at such meetings is both appreciated and expected.
  • If called upon, work with Faculty Advisors, College Faculty, or College staff to assist students with personal concerns, academic deficiencies, or academic difficulties.
  • Be on-duty in the residence hall for a designated period of time on weekends. LET YOUR RESIDENTS KNOW WHEN YOU WILL BE THERE OR WHERE THEY CAN REACH YOU (OR ANOTHER RA) IF THEY NEED ASSISTANCE.
  • Inform the Office of Student Affairs and your Head Resident Advisor before leaving for a weekend.



The Resident Advisor has the authority to implement College policies and procedures and to make recommendations for Resident Advisor hiring.


  • The Resident Advisor reports directly to the Office of Student Affairs. The Student Affairs Staff should be made aware of special issues or problems.
  • College Staff, College Administration, and College Faculty are here to help and to facilitate the overall Hampden-Sydney College experience. Using their experience or aid usually enhances a student's overall college experience. Take advantage of College services and workshops that may be of help to you or your residents.


The Resident Advisor is accountable for the policies and procedures of the Office of Student Affairs and the College, preserving the law and moral and ethical standards. This accountability extends to the entire College community and supporting community.


  1. Admission to Hampden-Sydney College as an undergraduate in good standing.
  2. Enrollment for 12 or more hours per semester is required. A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above is preferred. A 2.25 is the minimum average for consideration.  Current Resident Advisors are subject to dismissal should their GPA fall below 2.25.
  3. Proven academic performance and successful participation in extra-curricular activities.
  4. There are no absolute personality qualities that a Resident Advisor must possess but he should be self-disciplined, interested in people on an individual basis and aware of the feelings, needs, and rights of others. He should be interested in group living and in promoting positive aspects of community life on his floor and in the hall as a whole, and committed to student growth and the concept that residence halls can facilitate the educational development of the residents.

Terms of Employment:

  1. Each first-year Resident Advisor will receive (a) single room, and (b) a stipend paid semesterly based on years of experience.
  2. Each staff room will be furnished similar to other student rooms. The Resident Advisor's room is his office and confidential conference area. The room should be locked when the RA is not there.
  3. A Resident Advisor's master key will open all doors on his hall. In addition, a Resident Advisor's master key may open the doors of students in the same living area who are not his residents. The perceived confidentiality and trust that any student has about his belongings in his dorm room are predicated on the integrity of not only his Resident Advisor but on the integrity of the entire Resident Life Program. Because of this, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES is a master key to be lent to anyone besides another Resident Advisor. Each Resident Advisor, upon request, will be furnished with an additional room key that will open only his door. Lending a master key to anyone other than another Resident Advisor is grounds for immediate dismissal.
  4. Attend all residence hall staff meetings, in-service training sessions, and residence hall staff training workshops (Fall and Spring Workshop are held prior to opening of school)
  5. Resident Advisor evaluations will be based on one's ability to complete his goal statements, comments by his residents, and the observations of the student affairs staff.
  6. Resident Advisors are to leave and to return after vacation periods as assigned by the Associate Dean. The Resident Advisor should plan on being the last resident to leave his hall before breaks begin and the first resident to return at the end of a break.
  7. Appointments for the Resident Advisor position are generally made during the Spring Semester for the next academic year for a period of 9 months (end of August to May). Termination may occur at any time during the year due to poor performance or lack of compliance with College policy, rules, and regulations.

Academic Provisions:

  1. Both residence hall responsibilities and academic course work are demanding and time-consuming. Despite this, Resident Advisors should enlarge their interests and participate in worthwhile extra-curricular activities.
  2. The Resident Advisor must continue to perform at a satisfactory level academically and may be placed on probation for one semester or dismissed for failure to maintain satisfactory academic performance.

Rev. 10/15