RESPONSIBILITIES OF RESIDENTIAL ADVISORS
Residential advisors (RA) are appointed primarily to assist the College, the Principal/CEO and Dean in their pastoral care and administrative roles. In exchange, they receive a rebate in the form of a half College tariff. Any academic tutoring is additional to the functions of the residential advisors, and is paid accordingly. It provides a further point of contact with other students, some of whom would be unlikely to approach you in the normal course of events.
As Residential Advisors are committed to full-time studies, the administrative aspect of the position is limited during term time, and is more demanding during vacation. Typically, it involves taking one’s place on the roster as RA-on-duty. The details of duties are set out elsewhere. The duty RA should stay in College throughout the night of a given duty. The duty period is 5.00 pm – 9.00 am on weekdays. Days of the weekend and Public Holidays are divided into three duty periods: 8.00 am – 1.00 pm; 1.00 pm – 6.00 pm; 6.00 pm – 9.00 am. During the duty period the duty RA’s name card should be on the door next to Front Desk. The night duty RA card should remain in place all night in case of emergency. Residential Advisors are expected to be in residence during the full course of the College year – from the time of opening in late January until the formal closure of College early in December.
The pastoral aspect of the RA’s responsibility is, of course, more difficult to define as, beyond the basic activities of pastoral care, its forms will depend on the personality and interests of the individual RAs and the students in their care. As far as possible, the body of RA’s for a given year is chosen to provide a spread of personalities and approaches, so that different ways of conducting the pastoral aspect of the job are to be expected; it is essential that as many students as possible should find one of the RA’s sufficiently approachable when help is needed on any personal, social or academic matter. Typically, RA’s develop interpersonal skills of a high order.
Basically, the pastoral role involves personal assistance given by a responsible and mature man or woman, who can be trusted to keep confidences. An aspect of confidentiality is the ability to judiciously reveal as much as may be needed to some other responsible person where further action must be taken. RA’s are expected to welcome new students; special care should be taken to seek out new students who arrive singly later in the year. RA’s are expected to take as many meals in College as is possible, to attend Formal Dinner and after-dinner activities in the Common room, to take part in all College functions and to help the Principal/CEO when guests are being entertained.
It should be the aim of all senior members of the College community to enrich communal life by all possible means both because a stimulating community life should be the distinguishing mark of a College, and because a variety of interests and activities happening provide more opportunities to help those students who are introverted, bored or depressed. All RA’s should therefore feel a special responsibility to use their own skills or interests to advance the cause of a lively and healthy community life.
Finally, the setting of the tone of the College is a most important but intangible aspect of pastoral care, since the harmony of community life depends on the prevailing atmosphere. Mature, thoughtful and tolerant attitudes should be encouraged in others by example; gossip, pettiness and intimidation will at times have to be actively discouraged and some residents will from time to time have to be reminded of their responsibility to be considerate about the amount of noise they make and to be safety conscious in observing fire regulations (that fire doors should not be propped open nor fire escapes obstructed). Similarly, strangers and unacceptable guests may have to be politely discouraged.
The Senior Residential Advisor
The Senior Residential Advisor is assuming responsibility for the College in the absence of the Dean and/or Principal/CEO. The Senior RA should check that individual residential advisors are pulling their weight, and should work closely with the Dean and Principal in matters of general College concern, as well as being responsible for the organisation of the Residential Advisor’s meetings. The Senior Residential Advisor is also currently an ex officio Member of the College Council.
Summary of Residential Advisor’s Duties
Typically, RA’s have one to two duties every two weeks for day-to-day administrative duties (performing role of householder – locking doors, switching out lights, registering visitors, dealing with emergencies of all kinds); ongoing pastoral care of all students; ongoing administrative duties as required (e.g. parking arrangements); availability to give advice on many occasions; attendance at formal meals and functions of College (social, sporting and official); provision of social and intellectual leadership; setting an example of desirable social behaviour; giving assistance to the Principal/CEO, Dean and Senior Residential Advisor as required; identifying problems and acting to avert difficulties; advising other RA’s, the Senior RA and Principal/CEO and Dean as necessary; and attendance at RAs’ meetings.
Residential Advisors are not paid as such but, in return for their work, they are provided with:
1. Accommodation in a small, self-contained flat.
2. Accommodation at half fees; the Senior Residential Advisor receives accommodation at no charge.
3. Accommodation free between the Australia Day weekend and the commencement of Orientation Week.
RESIDENTIAL ADVISORS: JOB SPECIFICATION
Residential Advisors (RA) are appointed by, and are responsible to, the Principal/CEO, for the purpose of facilitating the harmonious functioning of the College. They are primarily responsible for ensuring that the College’s culture, tone and atmosphere are healthy and happy. Trust, respect, goodwill and consideration for others are high priorities. RA demonstrate leadership, exercise good judgement and are creative in developing an effective management role. They are sensitive and discreet, and establish good working relationships with fellow RA, the Dean/Principal/CEO and the students at the College.
A Residential Advisor is a position of considerable responsibility, trust and respect within the College.
Residential Advisors serve the College by providing:
Residential Advisors are expected to:
– offer pastoral care to students in matters of relationships, family, and health, as well as study matters. They confer with the Principal/CEO and/or Dean where a matter impinges on the standing of the College in the community (this includes an infringement of the law).
– exercise discretion in maintaining confidentiality to students. However, they are expected to confer with the Principal/CEO and/or Dean when personal matters threaten the safety and wellbeing of students, or when a matter becomes too much for them to handle.
– caution students and when necessary, refer to the Principal/CEO and/or Dean for discipline.
– set a high standard of personal behaviour.
Residential Advisors are expected to:
– provide an example of academic and professional commitment.
– initiate and encourage participation in the intellectual life of the College.
– identify students with study problems and be a resource person for study skills assistance.
Residential Advisors are expected to:
– provide social leadership by attending College social and sporting functions.
– promote a sense of community through small social gatherings.
– help College Club in the organisation of College social events.
– promote the College in the community, and conversely, promote an awareness of the community within the College.
– welcome and help conference visitors as required.
– conduct tours of the College for prospective students and their parents or teachers.
– promote goodwill between students, Dean/Principal/CEO and Council.
– are the first point of contact in any emergency.
– serve as duty RA out of office hours (e.g., 5.00 pm – 9.00 am and weekends) when rostered on duty.
– lock the College and ensure security.
– unlock doors.
– control noise level.
– deal with accidents and report to the Principal/CEO and/or Dean.
– advise the Principal/CEO when a doctor is consulted, or a resident taken to hospital.
– initially deal with crises and report them to the Principal/CEO and/or Dean.
– maintain good relations with catering, domestic and grounds staff
– ensure that each room has a marked fire-escape plan
– assist in the organisation of fire evacuation drills
– conduct evacuation in event of emergency
– report safety and security problems to the Principal/CEO and/or Dean.