Resident Advisor (RA) & Apartment Advisor (AA)

Students on campus

Resident Advisors and Apartment Advisors play an integral, elevated role in which it is expected that they serve as a peer mentor and leader amongst their staff and peers. Their experiences and abilities will be utilized to role model positive and ethical behavior within the position. RAs and AAs are held to high standards of accountability, productivity, autonomy, and independence.

The RA and AA play an important role in community development, relationship building, providing general support, and in helping to achieve the mission of University Residences. The RA and AA position requires ongoing communication with the Assistant Resident Director and Resident Director, departmental staff and students, as well as participation in ongoing training and development. It is the expectation of University Residences that RAs and AAs adhere to the highest standards of ethical and role-modeling behaviors throughout all of their functions and areas of responsibilities.

The RA and AA position is live-in and requires significant time commitment of an average of 19 hours a week, with time spent during evenings and weekends.

  • 2 hours staff meeting
  • 1 hour supervisor one on one meeting
  • 4 hours on call response and documentation
  • 1 hour administration
  • 4 hours community visibility and community development
  • 7 hours/week intentional conversations

Differences between an RA and AA:

  Resident Advisor Apartment Advisor
Communities Served All residential communities, except Birnam Wood Birnam Wood Apartments
Tentative Agreement Dates September 2023 - June 2024 June 2023 - June 2024
Meal Plan
We strive to have our RAs and AAs living experience match that of the other residents living in their communities.
Since residence hall students are required to have a meal plan, RAs are required to have a meal plan and it is included as a part of compensation. Since Birnam Wood Apartment residents are not required to have a meal plan, we don't require it of our Apartment Advisors either.
Intersession & Break Coverage RAs help to cover Thanksgiving, winter, and spring break on-call AAs help to cover Thanksgiving, winter, spring, and summer break on-call
Enrollment in courses Full-time enrollment required for F/W/S quarters Full-time enrollment required for F/W/S quarters. Enrollment in courses during summer quarter is not required to hold the position.

Position Benefits

Our goal is to develop each RA and AA and give valuable opportunities to receive key experiences that will enhance a resume and provide skill development that will serve our staff as they enter the professional workforce.

  • Academic role modeling for peers
  • Analytical thinking
  • Building relationships with different people and community development
  • Communication and self-awareness
  • Cultural competencies and social-perspective taking
  • Leadership development
  • Personal development
  • Public speaking
  • Teamwork experiences and collaborations
  • Time management

Primary Responsibilities

  • Serve as a peer advisor and educator to an assigned community of 30–120 students within your residence hall or apartment community.
  • Establish and maintain open relationships with diverse individuals in the hall community, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, creed, marital status, and sexual orientation.
  • Create and maintain an atmosphere that stimulates residents' academic, social, personal growth and development.
  • Empower student leadership and participation in Residential Programming Board, programming opportunities and campus activities.
  • Develop a healthy and inclusive community by making connections and building strong relationships with residents.
  • Serve as a positive role model and educate students regarding University policies and procedures.
  • Intervene with individuals or groups allegedly involved in policy violations.
  • Provide referrals to academic and personal support services available to students.
  • Participate in rotating on-call shifts with other staff members.
  • Assist with hall opening and closing procedures as directed by the Assistant Resident Director and Resident Director.
  • Attend weekly staff and individual meetings with supervisor and participate in ongoing training sessions.
  • Facilitate intentional conversations around a variety of pre-determined topics as outlined through a lesson plan
  • Encourage involvement on campus (Residential Programming Board, AS clubs, intramurals, etc.)
  • Provide educational material via bulletin boards
  • Implement lesson plans, supplemental materials and system-wide activities developed as a part of the residential curriculum, University Residences Initiative for Student Engagement (URISE)
  • Utilize educational strategies to focus on the three learning goals of URISE: inclusive community building, career preparedness, and personal wellness through lesson plans
  • Actively participate in training and discussion around the URISE framework including, but not limited to, Dr. Tara Yosso’s theory on Community Cultural Wealth, strengths-based approaches to student learning, and community based learning models
  • Coordinate community specific special assignments assigned by Assistant Resident Director and Resident Director
  • Participate in a rotating on-call system serving as the emergency responder, trouble-shooter, and problem solver for the community. This requires communicating to and following up with appropriate students and staff regarding needs, problems, and concerns in a timely manner under the supervision and direction of your Supervisor or the (A)RD on-call.
  • The RA/AA-on-call submits incident reports and maintenance requests as necessary (within 24 hours at the latest) under the direction given by your Supervisor or the (A)RD on-call.
  • RAs and AAs are expected to participate in the on-call rotation during holidays, three-day weekends and all break periods, as listed in the position summary. RAs and AAs must obtain supervisory approval before making any travel plans for holidays or break periods.
  • Serve as a role model and act in congruence with WWU standards and code of conduct
  • Represent Western and University Residences accurately
  • Exhibit ethical behavior in fulfilling one's role
  • Maintain confidentiality and use appropriate discretion
  • Recognize that all other staff members (Residence Life, University Residences, Division of Enrollment and Student Services, WWU staff) are part of the same team
  • Exercise good judgment in upholding established policies of the University and the University Residences system; support and obey all federal, state, and local laws and ordinances; and obey all University regulations
  • Serve as an academic role model and support students in academic needs
  • Maintain fairness and act respectfully

Candidate Eligibility

In order to apply for this position, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Candidate must be an admitted matriculating Western student and currently taking Western courses.
  2. Candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. If a Fairhaven College student, the candidate must be in good academic standing with the Fairhaven College administration. Please contact Residence Life for more information at 360-650-2960.
  3. Candidates must not be on disciplinary probation or in deferred-eviction/eviction status.

Placement Information

Gender is a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) for RA/AA assignments to gender-specific living spaces, for which there are legitimate resident privacy interests. In order to ensure that we respect student privacy interests in such gender-specific living areas, applicants who wish to be considered for such positions will need to confirm whether their gender identity corresponds with that of the gender-specific living space (male or female) or will otherwise be considered only for placements in gender-neutral living spaces. Applicants’ gender identity responses will only be used by Residence Life to determine RA/AA assignments to female, male, or gender-neutral living spaces.   

Terms of Employment

  1. Be able to serve in the role during the tentative agreement dates listed in table under position summary
  2. Must be willing to work evenings, weekends, holidays and breaks
  3. RAs and AAs are contracted for an average of 19 hours per week, the maximum allowed for student employees during the academic year. According to University guidelines, no other paid on-campus employment is permitted.
  4. Any off-campus employment or extra-curricular activities should be discussed with your supervisor.
  5. Compensation package includes housing, stipend, and a meal plan (or increased stipend for AAs). Candidates must live on campus for the 2023-2024 academic year. Accommodations consist of your own room in a residence hall/apartment complex. It is possible for RAs and AAs to host a roommate for overflow purposes during the year. RAs and AAs are compensated appropriately while they host.
  6. Move into your assigned residence hall/apartment at the beginning contract date to begin mandatory training
  7. Be available on Tuesdays 6:30pm-8:30pm for scheduled weekly staff meetings and additional trainings (entire academic year)
  8. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 while enrolled in 12–18 credits per quarter; obtain supervisory approval to enroll in less than 12 credits or more than 18 credits
  9. Fulfill position requirements as described in this document, the position agreement, and as assigned while in the position


  • Demonstrated enthusiasm for learning and ability to be open and resilient to new experiences
  • An ability to lead intentional conversations with a diverse range of residents
  • Build and maintain relationships that support an inclusive and diverse community
  • Promote and sustain positive peer leader relationships that support the goals of residents and student staff
  • An ability to role model ethical decision making that upholds the values of the university
  • Serve as a first responder, problem solver, and peer support for the community
  • Demonstrates ability to work autonomously and take appropriate initiative in supporting staff and community development

Selection Timeline

Applications will be initially reviewed to ensure that all required qualifications are met. Depending on the outcome of the review you may be offered an interview. Those who are offered an interview will be notified by email. Interviews will consist of two parts. The Career Services Center has resources to help you prepare:

  • Application opens: November 13, 2023
  • Application closes: January 28, 2024 at 11:59 pm
  • Interviews will be held February 26 - March 1, 2024

Required Application Materials

All of the following must be uploaded in order to be considered for the position. PDF format is preferred. 

1. One-page cover letter addressing the following prompts (No less than 300 words, no more than one-page single spaced)

  • How do your past experiences and personal strengths pair well with each of the required qualifications found on the RA/AA position website? 
  • How do your past experiences and personal strengths make you an ideal candidate for the RA/AA position? 

2. Resume (two pages maximum) 

3. One-page equity and inclusion reflection addressing the following prompts (No less than 300 words, no more than one-page single spaced) 

  • State your personal values, understanding, and commitment to equity and inclusion.
  • How do you plan to interact with and support residents from historically marginalized communities, such as students of color, LGBTQ+, and first-generation students through the RA or AA role? 

For assistance creating your application materials, we recommend utilizing the WWU Career Center and SkillsFirst.

About Us

University Residences engages students in diverse and inclusive, healthy, safe and sustainable communities that foster academic success and personal growth. Through 16 residence halls and one apartment community, University Residences provides on-campus housing for over 4,000 of Western’s 16,000 students. More than 165 students are employed by University Residences in part-time positions ranging from entry level to paraprofessional. Questions about this job posting can be directed to Residence Life (EH 113), or 360-650-2960.

Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity & Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).