Community Assistant Job Description

 

 The residence hall environment provides opportunities for students to enhance their academic and personal growth. The Community Assistant Program expands the opportunities possible by providing competent peer assistance in the living unit. Community Assistants, or CAs, are undergraduate students who reside in the residence halls and have the most frequent and direct communication with resident students. They, therefore, can and do have a great influence on the development and education of those individuals. Community Assistants are the core of our efforts in the residence halls and as such are appointed to fulfill responsibilities to individuals, student groups, and the University.

 Community Assistants, as students and representatives of Residence Life, stand in special relation to both. They must integrate their role as University representative and disciplinarian at the residence hall level with their role as advisor, community builder, and student advocate. It is our expectation that the Community Assistant is genuinely interested in the welfare of students and is constructively supportive of both the students and the institution by active involvement in the total residence hall program.

 There are several basic expectations of Community Assistants. These expectations are essential to their fostering of individual and group development for the students to and for whom they are responsible. Community Assistants must present themselves as positive role models since their own behavior often influences the behavior of students. They must be knowledgeable about, help enforce, and personally abide by all University rules and regulations as well as state and federal laws. They must have a working knowledge of all aspects of the University so that they can appropriately mediate for, assist, advise, and be a liaison between students and other members of the University community. They must have the emotional maturity necessary to cope with the daily decisions involved in working with their living units and promoting satisfactory living conditions within the units. They must have sensitivity and concern for others as individuals and a personal commitment that may extend beyond specific CA responsibilities and demonstrate a professional attitude. Finally, they must be committed to their own personal growth, taking care to budget time for study, work, and relaxation. All Community Assistants must have have a 2.80 at the time of hire and must maintain a 2.80 GPA during their tenure as a Community Assistant. 

A. STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS:

Community Assistants strive to help each student develop his/her full potential as a person, a student, and a member of his/her house, hall, and University communities. In their multiple roles as peer, facilitator, administrator and disciplinarian, Community Assistants model appropriate respect for the health, safety, welfare and rights of all students living in the residence halls.

Each Community Assistant is expected to:

·       Treat each individual resident with humanity and respect.

·       Initiate and maintain contact with each resident throughout the semester.

·       Introduce residents to each other, facilitate connections among residents, and help residents develop healthy interpersonal relationships among themselves.

·       Assist students with personal vocational, social, academic and general concerns within one’s ability, and consult with, or refer students to other campus agencies and resources when appropriate.

·       Assist in planning the initial welcome and in the orientation of students to residential living.

·       Be sensitive to individual adjustment problems and concerns and make referrals when appropriate.

·       Become aware of student attitudes, academic achievements and difficulties, and health concerns and report the information to residence life staff as necessary.

·       Role model appropriate academic and social behaviors including, attending class, utilizing campus resources, studying, and establishing positive relationships with faculty and staff.

 

B. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

A sense of community refers to that feeling of cooperation, of commitment to the group welfare, of willingness to communicate openly, and of responsibility to and for others as well as oneself. Community Assistants are responsible for structuring the house environment so that these attitudes are nurtured and rewarded.

Specifically, each Community Assistant is expected to:

·       Demonstrate approachability, availability, and visibility in an effort to enhance community development and support student success.  Promote a positive living environment in the residential areas. 

·       Plan, implement, and participate in residential community activities that enhance the social, educational community, and personal development of residents throughout the academic year.  

·       Conduct periodic floor meetings for the purpose of planning programs, disseminating information, and explaining residence hall procedures and policies.  Support Hall Council and Residence Hall Association by assisting in co-coordinating programmatic efforts.

·       Encourage resident interaction and provide opportunities for this to happen in a non-threatening way.

·       Work effectively with groups of students and encourage student responsibility for productive group tasks.

·       Plan, implement, and participate formal and informal experiences in conjunction with students and other staff that promote a sense of community, consideration for one’s neighbor, responsible freedom, etc.

·       Encourage students to take responsibility for their actions and to accept the consequences of their behavior.

·       Support community intramural efforts. 

 

C. STUDENT CONDUCT

Community Assistants are responsible for responding to student behavior so that an atmosphere conducive to study is maintained and the physical facilities are protected for student use in the future. Community Assistants are responsible for maintaining consistent policies throughout the residence hall and for impressing upon residents that they are responsible for their own actions. Community Assistants should not tolerate immature behavior or inappropriate conduct. Each Resident Assistant is expected to:

·       Role model positive behavior. Uphold and enforce all University and housing rules and regulations.

·       Help develop an atmosphere in the living unit which students have concern and respect for the rights of others.  Help students themselves develop methods for effective enforcement of rules regarding behavior necessary for an atmosphere conducive to academic and social growth. 

·       Familiarize residents and advise students of university and housing policies and procedures and Judicial Affairs.   

·       Demonstrate responsible decision making, communication (including social media), problem solving, and appropriate follow through skills.

·       Respond to all witnessed violations of residential and University policies occurring within on campus housing.  Prepare and submit the appropriate report within 24 hours. 

·       Maintain confidentiality with regards to policy violations and student behavioral concerns as directed by the Department of Residence Life, the University, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

·       Serve in an on call rotation within your assigned community.  On-call coverage is provided daily including University holidays.  Additional on-call responsibilities may be required at other times (i.e. fire watch, natural disaster, campus emergency).. -Assist the housing department in the communication and enforcement of housing regulations. Foster an understanding of maintenance limitations and the need to preserve housing facilities.

·       Discuss all behavioral problems and concerns with the coordinating staff on a regular and timely basis.

 

D. ADMINISTRATIVE AND MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Community Assistants play a crucial role in setting the tone for how the University and Residence Life are perceived by students, parents, other university staff, and external stakeholders. The smooth operation of residence halls is dependent upon the cooperative efforts of all staff members. Community Assistants are called upon to provide administrative support, which is important to the operation of the hall.

A Community Assistant is expected to:

·       Complete all assigned administrative tasks thoroughly, accurately, and on time.

·       Post University and residence hall information in designated areas. Bulletin boards should be maintained in a current and attractive manner. Disseminate necessary information promptly to students in living units.

·       Use the appropriate chain of communication (Residence Manager, Residence Life Coordinator, Area Coordinator) when transmitting ideas, needs, or concerns about residence hall living.

·       Maintain daily contact with the immediate supervisor; this includes checking and responding to e-mail daily.

·       Assist in gathering data about the student population in order to facilitate developmental programming and staff evaluation and other efforts of Residence Life.

·       Assist with necessary record forms and reports such as unit rosters, room change forms, unit condition

·       reports and incident reports.

·       Attend and participate in staff meetings, supervisory group meetings, and one-on-one supervision

·       meetings.

·       Develop and maintain an effective working relationship with the immediate supervisor for the purpose of communicating house and individual student needs, problems, concerns, and personal issues.

·       Utilize and cooperate with Public Safety, Maintenance and Operations, Emergency Services and other University agencies as appropriate.

·       Develop and maintain an effective working relationship with the supervisor for the purpose of sharing

·       continuous communication regarding all aspects of the CA Program.

 

E. OTHER DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Each Resident Assistant is expected to:

·       Participate in staff training and staff development  as defined by the hall director, Associate Director, and Executive Director of Residence Life.  Regularly discuss with the supervisor performance as well as personal concerns relative to job performance. 

·       Participate in the selection of new professional, paraprofessional, and student staff.

·       Read and maintain a working knowledge of the current job procedures and other materials provided by Residence Education. 

·       Assist in office coverage when requested.

·       Other duties as assigned.