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RA (Frequently Asked Questions)

Information meetings?

Information meetings have been implemented, in order for applicants to comprehend what the RA job responsibilities and expectations are when they apply.

Those seeking to apply for the RA position MUST attend one of the following information meetings. Individuals will need to bring a Photo ID to the information session. Meeting dates/locations are listed in the Resident Assistant Overview

Group process

Individuals who have attended one of the information meetings, completed the RA application, and passed Fall 2013 grade checks will be invited to attend group process. As part of the RA application process, a "group process" has been implemented, so individuals' ability to work with and interact in group settings can be evaluated. As part of the RA role, individuals need to be able to work on a team with other RA staff members, speak in front of a group for events such as floor meetings and programs, and initiate interactions and conversations with other people as part of getting to know the floor community. Thus individuals will be observed participating in several tasks, scenarios, and group activities which relate to responsibilities, skills, and expectations of the RA position. Individuals who are successful in the group process will be invited to join the L.I.S.A. workshop.

Are first year students eligible to apply for a Resident Assistant position?

Undergraduate students must have completed at least 30 credit hours before they can become an RA. The application process, however, begins during fall semester, the first semester for most first year students; so, first year students can begin the application process during their first semester. They just will not be able to become an RA until the following fall semester or until they have completed 30 credit hours.

I would like to become an RA. However, I have several expenses that I would not be able to cover with just the stipend from the RA job. Is there any way exceptions can be made for first semester RAs to hold a job? Even on campus jobs?

Though this situation is understandable, first semester RAs are not allowed to hold other jobs. This requirement is in place to assure that they are able to balance their school work with the heightened responsibilities of the position. RAs do work very hard and their hours are not always convenient, so this first semester is seen as an adjustment period. After an RA has demonstrated the ability to prioritize responsibilities and balance academics with the RA position and outside interests, her/his RHD may give approval for the RA to take on a maximum of 10 hours of outside work.

Can RA's waive their free room & board and receive free tuition instead?

RA compensation packages are not able to be changed; however, if your reasons for asking are relating to a scholarship or some other financial aid opportunity, you should contact Financial Aid here at Kent, and see if there is a way to adjust your scholarship/financial aid package. The phone number for that office is 330-672-2972 and it is located in room 103 of the Michael Schwartz Center.

On the RA application, when filling out the section on hours and year, should we list where we are including this semester or NOT including this semester?

You should fill out the application NOT including your current semester information. So, if you are a first year/first semester student, you would have 0 credit hours and 0.00 GPA. This will not count against you, as long as by the beginning of the semester you would begin, you have acquired 30 credit hours and have maintained a 2.50 GPA.

I've been a commuter student for two years. Can I still try and become an RA even if I have not lived in the residence halls?

Students must have lived in university or college housing for at least one semester or quarter. While it may be helpful to have that experience on the Kent State University campus, that is not required. Students do not need to live in the residence halls at the time of application.

Can an RA be married and have his or her spouse live with him or her in the residence hall?

Married students would not be able to have their spouses live in the residence halls with them. However, our Allerton Apartments on campus have a comparable position called a Resident Manager, where you would be able to live together. To get more information about this position, contact Brian Hellwig at

Are the benefit amounts shown per semester or for the whole year? And what happens if RAs are assigned roommates?

Compensation is shown per semester. RAs receive full compensation for whatever room they occupy during their time as an RA. It is not typical that RAs are assigned roommates, but in the case that they would be, it would not affect their room compensation.

How many hours does an RA work each week?

There is no set number of hours an RA works any given week. Each week, RAs must have 5 office hours in their room/on their floor, where they make themselves available to their residents. They also have a staff meeting and a meeting with their RHD once a week. Depending on the size of the staff, RAs can expect to be on duty about once a week, which lasts from 8pm through 7am the next morning. They will also have weekend duty several times a semester, which typically lasts from 8pm to 8am each night on Friday and Saturday. Though they are not always actively working during these times, RAs must be in their rooms, prepared to respond to incidents and be available to residents. Other RA requirements (programming, community building, Hall Council, training, etc.) vary from week to week and require as much time as needed to be completed effectively. RAs are strongly encouraged to spend more than just their office hours on their floor, though, because visibility among residents and frequent interaction is important in developing good community.

What happens if I am hired as an RA in a residence hall where I do not want to work?

RA candidates have an opportunity to express their interests in different communities across campus during the “Leadership in Student Affairs” course. This, however, is not a guarantee that they will be placed in these communities. If a candidate turns down a position after they have been placed, they forfeit their position as an RA and will need to reapply to be reconsidered.

Can an RA, ARHD, or RHD be a reference?

Yes, RHDs or ARHDs can serve as references in the capacity of full-time faculty or staff members. The RA can be one of your references too, but will not fill the requirement for the full-time faculty or staff member.

I am not able to take the “Leadership in Student Affairs” course, because I will be studying abroad during the spring semester. Can I still go through the application process and make up for this requirement in some other way?

The 'Leadership in Student Affairs' workshop is a vital part of our selection process, as it is designed to evaluate a variety of important RA skills: the ability to communicate, operate as a member of a team, demonstrate sound decision-making and organizational skills, etc. Because it would be impossible to replicate this experience outside of the workshop, applicants must be able and willing to participate in the “Leadership in Student Affairs” workshop during spring semester to be eligible to receive a recommendation for hire the following semester. The only exception to this is for Mid-Year hires, who may be required to take the “Leadership in Student Affairs” workshop during their first semester as RAs. For these RAs, successful completion of the workshop and positive recommendations from their instructors are mandatory to be able to remain in the RA position.

For reference forms, who is considered a Residential Communities employee?

This qualifies as anyone that is currently employed by Residence Services. This includes: RAs, ARHDs, RHDs, security aides, area desk workers, KIC executive board members, clerical coordinators, lock staff, custodial staff, and department administrators.