Resident Associates (RAs) facilitate cohesiveness and community within the student residences–both undergraduate and graduate–and are responsible for ensuring that students on our campus are able to live and study in a comfortable and hospitable environment. RAs also identify and respond to concerns and issues and are responsible for furthering the education and awareness of the community. RAs conduct programming, enforce Institute policies, provide support to individual students, and address housing needs. They serve as key players in Caltech Cares initiatives and as liaisons to Caltech offices, including the Undergraduate and Graduate Deans offices, Student Wellness Services office, Caltech Security office, the Center for Diversity, the Safety Office, Student Housing, the Office of Residential Experience, and other Student Affairs departments.
- As members of the Caltech community, Resident Associates are expected to uphold, follow, and enforce Caltech's Honor Code, the Code of Conduct, and all other Caltech policies and procedures, and serve as an appropriate role model for students. RAs are also expected to comply with local, state and federal laws.
- An RA is expected to be a student in good standing with the Institute and must be making satisfactory academic progress. If any of these are in question, an RA can be removed from the role.
- Please note that RAs are not allowed to have pets. Please review the pet policy for more information.
For complete details, see RA Role Full Description.
Please note that postdocs are not eligible to apply for the Resident Associate role.
- Attend an Information Session
- Fill out an RA Application
- Group Interviews
- Panel Interviews
- Interviews over dinner or dessert in the Residences
- Decisions are Announced
All applicants are required to attend one Information Session. If you cannot attend an information session or have questions about the RA role, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- UG and GRAD RA Info Session: Wednesday, January 23rd, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in the Hameetman Conference Room
- GRAD RA Info Session: Wednesday, February 5th, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Central Cats Rec Room
- UG Info Session: Thursday, February 6th, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Hameetman Conference Room
Please note that you will need to answer both sets of questions if you are applying for the UG and Grad RA roles.
Undergraduate RA Role Questions
- What motivated you to apply for the Resident Associate role? Please be specific.
- Please list any relevant roles, jobs, volunteer work, or campus leadership experiences that you have held.
- What should the relationship between the Resident Associate and residents of his/her/their community look like? How would you establish yourself as a leader/and or role model for your residents while still enforcing policy?
- Describe a previous resident hall, co-op, or other community living experience of your own. Include the role you played in the group dynamics and what you see as the benefits and challenges you experienced living in a community environment.
- The undergraduate residences are homes for people from a variety of diverse backgrounds, abilities, lifestyles, and cultures. Please write about a significant experience you have had with people different from you. What have you learned from this experience that you can apply to the RA role?
- RAs are responsible for educational programming in their residence areas. What needs do you imagine Caltech students might have, and how would you design a program to meet them?
- Is there anything else you think would be helpful for us to know?
Graduate RA Role Questions
- What motivated you to apply for the Graduate Resident Associate role? Be specific.
- What do you see as some of the primary issues our graduate students deal with? How do these differ from the undergraduate experience?
- Describe your graduate residential experience so far. What are the benefits and challenges you experienced living in a community environment?
- What should the relationship between the Resident Associate and residents of his/her/their community look like? How would you establish yourself as a leader and a source of support for your residents?
- Describe your academic goals for next year. How do you expect to balance your work and RA duties?
- Is there anything else you think would be helpful for us to know?
Resident Associates are full-time graduate students who live in assigned Caltech housing and provide leadership to the community. Resident Associates are responsible for providing educational and social programming, connecting students with campus resources, and enforcing Institute policies.
The RA role is unique in that it is a live-in role. There are 8-10 structured and scheduled hours per week (e.g., attending meetings), but additional responsibilities take up at least an additional 10-12 hours per week. On the whole, RAs work an average of 20 hours per week. (There will be a few weeks that may require a little more than 20 hours including move-in week, training, etc.)
RAs are expected to spend a significant portion of their time in the community. The specific expectations are that RAs notify and secure approval from their supervisor for any extended period of time away from campus. This is to make sure our halls are adequately equipped in case of emergencies.
RAs are required to work several weekend duty shifts throughout the course of the term and must be around campus on occasional weekends which are "all-hands on deck" work days.
Yes, in fact, we encourage it!
The RA contract is offered on a year-to-year basis.
Summer training for RAs will take place Thursday, June 18th – Sunday, June 21st, 2020. There will also be a half day training in September (date and time TBD). Attendance on training dates are mandatory.
RA meetings take place every Tuesday all year from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Attendance at these meetings is mandatory.
To assist RAs in the performance of their responsibilities, and to otherwise promote the educational opportunities engendered by the experience, RAs shall be eligible for the following:
- Room: A furnished apartment in their area of assignment on campus (including utilities).
- Board: Meals in the student residences and on-campus are provided.
- Reimbursement for cell phone service up to $50 per month per RA.
- One parking permit and a designated parking space.
- RAs receive $375 per month to cover incidentals and other expenses, including food.
Given the diversity of both residential life experiences and the distinctive "personalities" of the various houses that comprise the Caltech Residential Life system, it is important that RAs understand and match this breath and diversity. These concepts will also factor critically in both RA selection and decisions concerning placement for specific student residences.
RAs will be provided a furnished apartment in their area of assignment (including utilities). Furnishings include a bed, dresser, nightstand, couch, kitchen table and chairs, and a coffee table. All furnishing must stay in the apartment.