Resident Advisor


Applications for Spring 2019 and Academic Year 2019-2020 were due on Sunday, November 11th @ 11:59pm 


Resident Advisors (RAs) live in the undergraduate residence halls on campus and act as community leaders and peer educators, encouraging residents to respect one another, helping residents become involved with wing/floor, hall, and area activities, and providing information about campus resources.




We highly encourage you to attend one of the 19 info sessions in person so you can ask additional questions of the RHDs and RAs running those info sessions. 


What is a Resident Advisor (RA)?

RAs at Cornell have many different roles. Some of the roles include (but are not limited to):

  • Peer Counselors
  • Community Builders
  • Academic Resources 
  • Programmers (Event Planners) 
  • Crisis Managers
  • Administrators

RAs spend a significant amount of time getting to know residents as individuals and generating enthusiasm as they bring students together to create floor and hall communities.

RAs are responsible for other students, which means that a successful staff member must be sensitive to the needs of many different people. Recognizing differences takes sensitivity, understanding, self-confidence, and a willingness to challenge personal beliefs to understand the experiences of others.

Finally, RAs are expected to be strong team players as members of a residence hall staff and Residential and New Student Programs. They are expected to display a commitment to the development of an effective hall staff and to work closely with their fellow RAs to ensure the success of the entire community staff.  


What does the RA application and selection process look like?

  • Submit your online application here between Monday, October 8th at 8am and Sunday, November 11th at 11:59pm
    • As with all job applications, we encourage you to start early so you can dedicate an appropriate amount of time to submitting a quality application
    • We encourage you to utilize campus resources such as career services, writing centers, etc. 
    • Late applications will not be accepted 
  • Selected candidates will be invited to the next round, an interview round, called Carousel 
    • If you are applying for RA openings for Spring 2019, you will interview in December 
    • If you are applying for RA openings for academic year 2019-2020, you will interview in January or February
    • As with all job applications, not everyone will be asked to attend Carousel 
    • Also as with all job interviews, remember that you are interviewing your potential employer (RNSP and RHDs) as much as we are interviewing you 
  • Attend the Community & Staff Socials for any community/communities you are interested in working in 
    • This is a time for you to casually network with the RHD, current RAs, and even current residents so you can get to know the culture of the community 
    • This is a great time for you to learn more about the RA position in that specific community and for that community to get to know you
  • Some themed living communities may have additional in-house interviews in February 
  • Applicants who went through Carousel will be notified of their candidate status in mid-February
  • Please know that the RA application process is highly competitive.  We receive 250+ applications for approximately 60 open positions each year 
  • You can find the full timeline here 


How do I learn more?

  • Info Sessions
    • Check out the Calendar to see a list of all the RA Info Sessions
    • All sessions will be the exact same and are not specific to the community where they are held, so feel free to attend any one that fits into your schedule
    • While attending an info session is not required, it is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to attend
  • Job Description
    • For a full job description of the Resident Advisor position, please follow this link: RA_Job_Description
  • Current RAs
    • We encourage you to talk with multiple RAs about their experiences before applying so you fully understand the position
    • Just like RAs know that each resident is unique and experiences residential living in different ways, candidates should understand that each RA is unique and experiences the job in different ways
  • RHD (Residence Hall Directors)
    • We encourage you to reach out to the RHDs of communities you are interested in working in so they can give you details of what the RA position looks like in their community 
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    • Additional information regarding the RA position can be found in our FAQs


Note that grad applicants will need to fill out and submit the form below to be considered for the RA position: Grad_Candidate_Eligibility_Form_Fall_2018

Student Staff Spotlight!

Name: Ariana

Community: High Rises

Semesters as a Student Staff Member: 4 semesters as an RA, 1 semester as an SRA

Favorite Part: My favorite part about being a student staff member is having the opportunity to get to know first-year students and truly make a lasting impact on the beginning of their journey here at Cornell. Living amongst first-years, you’re not only watching them grow but you’re able to see how they are also contributing to your own growth. It’s honestly beautiful and a constant give on both ends.

What has been your biggest challenge in this position? In the beginning, the biggest challenge for me was time. It can seem like a lot with programming and fulfilling requirements especially, but I want to stress that this role is not just another job. Our RHDs and supervisors genuinely care about your well-being and your staff is filled with others you can lean on for support when necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Advice to Candidates: My biggest piece of advice is to self-reflect and make sure you’re going into this for the right reasons because it’s not easy. Once committing to the role and your desire to take this on, just be yourself. Don’t worry about what you think anyone wants to hear, stay true to yourself.

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