Residential Life and Housing

Step 1: The Role of an RA  |  Step 2: Application Process  |  Online Application

Residential Life and Housing RA Selection Spring 2017
Thank you for your interest in applying for a Resident Adviser (RA) position at Clark University. We believe that being a Resident Adviser is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that Clark can offer you. The information contained on this website and in the Job Description below will allow you to think critically about the Resident Adviser position and prepare for the application process. If you should have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email Sarah Bergeron, Associate Director of Residential Life; call us at 508-793-7453; stop by our office; or talk to your Hall Director or Area Coordinator. Before you read further, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the RA Job Description.
RA Selection Timeline

  • Tuesday, November 1, 2016: Applications go live at
  • Wednesday, November 2, 2016: Info Session in Lurie Conference Room
  • Monday, November 14, 2016: Deadline to submit completed RA Application by 5:00PM.
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016: Group Process 2-4pm *Candidates must attend group process to move forward in the application process.
  • Sunday, November 20, 2016: Last day that references will be accepted.  Applicants who do not have their references submitted by this time will be unable to move forward in the process.
  • Monday, November 21, 2016: Candidates will be notified via email if they have advanced to the interview round and provided with instructions on how to schedule their interview.
  • November 28, 2016 – December 2, 2016: Individual candidate interviews.
  • Friday, December 9, 2106:  Decision letters will be emailed to candidates.
  • Friday, December 16, 2106: Position Agreements submitted online by 5:00PM.

Winter Training 2017
Resident Advisers who are hired for the 2017 Spring Semester are required to return to campus for Winter Training by Friday, January 13, 2017 by 9:00AM. Please consider these dates as firm and make travel arrangements accordingly.
Things to Consider When Applying:
Prior to beginning the application process, we encourage you to take a couple of minutes to look over the questions below and complete a quick self-assessment. As you enter the process to become an RA, it is important to know where you stand on certain issues.

  • Are you able to handle problems without over-reacting or making inappropriate compromises?
  • Do you need to be the center of attention? Do you need to be constantly showered with compliments, praise, and reward? Can you let someone else take center stage?
  • How do you handle stress, tension and anxiety?
  • How well can you adjust to the lifestyle of an RA?
  • Are you able to balance the role of the RA with the other components of your life?
  • Are you oversensitive to and critical of the shortcomings of others?
  • Are you able to learn from your experiences?
  • Are you able to fulfill your responsibilities and still be honest with yourself, your values, your philosophies and your commitments?
  • Are you able to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses?
  • Can you relate to and advise other students without becoming personally and emotionally involved? Even when these students are close friends?
  • Are you mature enough to accept that you cannot be all things to all people?
  • Are you able to accept behaviors of individuals and not pass judgment?
  • Are you able to accept direction and advice from a supervisor?
  • Are you able to professionally disagree with a colleague?
  • Do you have the self-confidence to be assertive without becoming aggressive?

Time Commitment:
The RA position requires a significant time commitment. For this reason, RAs:

  • May not hold an executive position on Student Council unless special permission is granted
  • May not serve on the Orientation staff.
  • Must discuss outside employment or internships with their supervisor prior to accepting the position.
  • May not leave campus overnight more than two weekends per month.
  • Must be available for duty over Thanksgiving Break/Spring Break.
  • Must attend weekly staff meetings as scheduled by your supervisor. In addition, RAs are expected to attend periodic "Area Wide" and "RA In-Service" meetings from 2-4pm on certain Wednesdays throughout each semester. Only unavoidable class conflicts are considered a valid reason to miss one of these meetings, and must be arranged with your supervisor in advance.

Important Tools That You Will Develop as an RA:

Team Building
Community Leadership
Time/Stress Management
Running Effective Meetings
Assertiveness Training
Communication Skills

Interviewing Skills
Networking Skills
Active Listening Skills
Public Speaking Skills
Program Planning Skills
Long Range Planning Skills

Customer Service Skills
Safety and security
Crisis Intervention Skills
Exposure to Diversity

To be considered an eligible candidate for an RA position, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Full-time, registered student in the University’s Undergraduate Academic Program.
  • In good academic standing (not on academic probation) with minimum semester and cumulative GPAs of 2.5 or greater.
  • Will have completed a minimum of two full semesters of undergraduate coursework (at least one being at Clark) by the start of the fall semester.
  • In good disciplinary standing (not currently on disciplinary probation).

Job Compensation:
Resident Advisers receive a room waiver for the room cost of their room and board package. The room cost covers all utilities such as cable, internet, heat and water, and local telephone service. RAs also receive the 5 meal plan as part of their compensation, and those in traditional or suite style housing are not required to be on the full plan. If an RA wishes to up the meal plan they may do so, but they are responsible for covering the cost. Please note that this compensation is considered a financial resource and financial aid candidates selected as RA’s may have an adjustment made in the self-help category of their aid packet. It is strongly recommended that you make an appointment with your financial aid counselor to discuss how this position would affect your financial aid package. Financial status is not considered as a factor in the selection of Resident Advisers.
Residential Housing Initiatives to Consider When Applying to be an RA:

  • All Female Housing: An option for female Resident Advisers is the all-female residence hall, Dodd Hall. This community provides female students with the comfort of living among only female residents in a supportive community.
  • First Year Programs Philosophy: The goal of First Year Programs (FYP) at Clark University is to provide first year students with a supportive and caring environment to assist them in their transition to life at Clark. The Resident Advisers (RAs) play an integral part of the FYP experience. Applicants applying to work as FYP RAs agree to abide by the same requirements as their assigned residential areas (e.g. Alcohol and other drugs).
  • Upper Class Experience: The goal of the Upper Class Experience is to help upper class students continue to develop as people. The Resident Adviser helps to do this by programming to enhance the student’s personal skills and knowledge of themselves and their identity, engage them on a deeper level in the Clark and global community and explore opportunities for career development. RLH understands that student’s in the upper class area are already acclimated to the campus but strives to create an atmosphere of learning and community. Upper class housing is comprised of apartments (Blackstone and the RLH Houses), suites (Maywood) and some halls mixed with suites and traditional doubles and singles (Dana and Hughes Halls).
  • Wellness Housing: An additional option for Resident Advisers in the upcoming semester is the Wellness Housing option. Applicants looking to promote this substance free housing environment will agree to live substance free when in the residence hall. The successful candidate for these positions will demonstrate an interest in the promotion of healthy behaviors and a lifestyle centered on wellness.

Up to the challenge?   Proceed to Step 2: RA Application Process


RA Application Process
Application Procedure:

  • Complete Application: Submit your application with resume attached by 5:00PM on Monday, November 14, 2016 (incomplete or late applications will disqualify a candidate from continuing in the selection process).
  • Ensure Recommendation Letter is Submitted: Recommendation letter must be submitted by November 20, 2016 to Sarah Bergeron at directly from your reference.
  • Attend Group Process: Group Process will take place during the common time on Wednesday, November 16th from 2-4pm.  Groups consist of approximately seven to ten candidates. The observers will be Residence Life staff members who have been trained in what to observe. The Group Process exercises are a required component of the application process. They often tend to be the most enjoyable component. Please dress presentably, but comfortably, for Group Process; there is no need to wear traditional interview clothes.
  • Schedule an Interview: If you are selected to continue as a candidate after Group Process, you will be contacted via email by November 21, 2016 and instructed to schedule an individual interview by Thursday, November 24, 2016 at 2pm. At the beginning of your interview, you will be asked to present for 2-3 minutes on a creative component using the guidelines below. Your individual interview will typically be conducted by two RLH professional staff members and a current RA. Professional attire is strongly encouraged. Interviews will be conducted November 28, 2016 – December 2, 2016.

In the electronic application, you will be required to upload an up-to-date copy of your resume outlining any educational and employment experiences you have had. Assistance in creating and updating a resume can be obtained from Career Services: or call 508-793-7258.
You must list one individual who can attest to your involvement in the Clark community and/or your performance as an employee (such as a past or current supervisor, administrator, coach, adviser, etc.) This individual should directly email Sarah Bergeron by November 20, 2016. Please note that your references' responses on the recommendation are confidential.
Creative Component:
This piece of the interview process provides candidates with the opportunity to express their abilities and interest in the RA position in a creative manner.  The candidate will have no more than three (3) minutes to display and explain their project at the beginning of their individual interview and respond to questions from the interviewers. You are encouraged to be creative and think outside of the box.  Examples of this project could be a poem, photo collage, painting, drawing, essay, sculpture, etc.; so long as it fits the stated guidelines:

  • You must use your own resources.  RLH will not provide materials and you are encouraged to create something that will incur little to no cost to you.
  • Your presentation should answer the following questions:
    • What is one experience of being a student/living on campus at Clark University that has made the greatest impact on you?
    • Why did you choose this particular experience?
    • How would you share this experience with your residents if you were hired as an RA?

RLH will scan or take a picture of your presentation to be included in your candidate file. You will be able to keep your creation.