Resident Assistants (RAs)

Resident Assistants (RAs)

Resident assistants (RAs) are responsible for maintaining the safety and security of students living in Harmony Hall, which can house 212 students.

While RAs assist students in adjusting to campus life and the Penn State system, they also work closely with the residence life coordinators to create healthy living and learning environments that promote student growth and development.

In addition, RAs are responsible for implementing programs that meet the year-round needs of Harmony Hall residents. Frequently these events are coordinated through the Office of Student Activities and the Athletic Department. Many programs are held on campus, but some are designed to take students off campus to enjoy diverse activities in and around the Pittsburgh area.

If you're interested in becoming an RA or if you'd like more information, please contact Amy Gartley, associate director of student affairs, 724-773-3956.

Resident Assistants - Roles, Responsibilities, and Expectations

  • Set a personal example by conducting themselves in accordance with all University, Commonwealth, federal, and local policies, rules, laws, and statutes.
  • Demonstrate an academic commitment by maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher.
  • Arrive on campus prior to the arrival of residents and remain until the end of the final exam period each semester. Permission to leave early prior to Thanksgiving and/or spring break may be granted, but isn't guaranteed.
  • Assist in orienting new residents to the campus. Facilitate activities for new residents. Inform residents about all aspects of community living.
  • Educate, interpret, and hold residents accountable to all community standards and University policies. Assist residents in developing a sense of responsibility for themselves and their living environment. Inform the residence life coordinator about resident misconduct problems. Document all aspects of the situation.
  • Regularly initiate contact with residents through individual and group meetings, electronic communication, and posting and distributing signs, posters, flyers, and memos. Be approachable and available, especially during evening hours.
  • Develop and maintain a positive community atmosphere in the residence area through the use of individual and group meetings and activities aimed at forming values and fostering communication, mutual respect, cooperation, and concern for all campus community members.
  • Support residents in their personal development including, but not limited to, identity, self-esteem, decision-making, responsibility, confrontation, conflict resolution, and respect for differences. Consult with or refer residents to campus resources when appropriate.
  • Assist residents with academic information and resources. Offer academic support to each resident. Promote an atmosphere in which studying is encouraged and supported.
  • Promote diversity in and through role modeling, programming, and other educational experiences in order to meet the needs of all students.
  • Provide assistance to residents with any emergency(ies) that may occur. Involve appropriate University staff and outside agencies when necessary. Document all aspects of the situation.
  • Participate in staff meetings, individual meetings, staff development activities, and training.
  • Complete administrative paperwork or assigned tasks promptly, including but not limited to, weekly reports, interaction reports, incident reports, program proposals, and program evaluations.
  • Share duty responsibilities with other resident assistants on a rotating basis and complete all duty tasks, including responding to emergency situations after hours. Remain on campus and assume weekend duty responsibilities on a rotating basis.
  • Coordinate programming for residents that includes needs assessment, planning, encouragement of resident involvement in campus activities, and program evaluation. 
  • Foster positive relationships with the residence life staff, including other resident assistants, the associate director of students affairs, residence life coordinators, and staff assistants in the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Residence Life. 
  • Maintain regular and open lines of communication with the assistant director and coordinators and keep them updated on general daily events occurring in the assigned area.
  • Serve as a liaison with key campus personnel, including members of the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Housing and Food Services, and Penn State Beaver University Police, etc. 
  • Perform other tasks deemed necessary to meet the mission and goals of the Office of Residence Life.