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, Caltech Security, the Center for Inclusion and 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: Wednesday, June 9 at 12:00pm PT -OR- Tuesday, June 22 at 8:00pm PT
- Submit an RA Application & Advisor Form: Opens Friday, June 18; Due Friday, July 2 at 5:00pm PT
- Panel Interviews: Monday, July 12 - Friday, July 16
- Decisions are Announced: Friday, July 23
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.
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. 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 programs do you think might be helpful to Caltech students? Provide as much detail as you can about your approach to designing such programs.
- 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. The position is not guaranteed for continuing RAs; those who wish to continue in the position will be asked to re-apply.
Summer training for RAs will take place August 23 – September 2, 2021 (updated). There will also be a half day training on Thursday, September 9 and Thursday, September 16. Attendance on training dates are mandatory.
RA meetings take place every Tuesday all year from 12:00 – 1:30pm. 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 Experience 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.